This article by Sherry Borsheim, a Paper Tiger Expert of International Association of Business Organizing (IABO), gives us some great advise on planning our organizing project. Below are three project planning tools and strategies you can use right away to break free from organizing paralysis to finally get organized.
Also check out Sherry’s Organizing Bootcamps which will give you a JUMP-START on ORGANIZING your office, home and life. She will give you her trade secrets and steps to setting up your organizing systems, including recommending Paper Tiger filing system software for document management, to be organized and manage the information and stuff in your life.
At some point, you may have started organizing your office or a room in your home then you freeze up and walk away because it was just too overwhelming, you feel exhausted by the process, don’t feel like you have the project planning tools you need, or you weren’t sure where you were going to put all the stuff. This is what I call organizing paralysis.
Take a step back from your organizing project and realize that, just like gaining weight, it didn’t happen overnight. It was a slow progression over time of accumulating papers, books, magazines, business cards, receipts, supplies, gadgets, clothes, kitchen appliances and so on. Therefore, getting organized will take time to sort through all your piles and you’ll be making a lot of decisions on what to keep, what to donate and what to let go of.
People who want to be organized realize that the current situation is not working for them and they want to make a change for the better. They desire a different experience. Getting clear on your purpose and ultimate outcome for being organized is the first step.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Questions are great project planning tools. Answer these questions and you will be clear on why you want to get organized in the first place and secondly, this will be your motivation as you sort through your things.
Here’s a few of examples of what to get your creative juices flowing:
“I want to walk into my office in the morning to see a clean desk and have a plan of action for the day. Everything has a home and I have space to be creative.”
“I want to have client meetings in my studio, they will see that I’m am organized and able to take on bigger client projects.”
“I want easy to maintain systems in my home and office. Family members know where to put things away and I’m not embarrassed to have people over.”
If you say you’ll get to it later or someday, the piles will continue to grow because later never comes. Decide to take action now and make a commitment to get your organizing projects complete. I’ll often say to my clients, “An item on a to do list is not a commitment at a specific time. When you scheduled an appointment in your calendar, it’s a commitment to get that task done.” That’s one of the reason clients like working with a Professional Organizer because they have a scheduled time on their calendar for the session. I know it sounds simple, but most people don’t schedule time to get organized.
To move your organizing projects along at a steady pace, schedule 1 to 3 hour sessions at a time. Set a timer, play motivating music and have a glass of water or tea on hand. There’s something about knowing the timer is ticking and the countdown has begun. It’s a great motivator and will help you to stay focused. Don’t underestimate your scheduling calendar, it is a powerful project planning tool.
Having the right project planning tools and setting up a staging area is key to your success. If you were inviting friends over for dinner you would plan what you were going to serve, buy the groceries and then prepare the meal. The same applies to your organizing project. Designate a staging area for items to donate, recycle, shred, garbage and for other rooms. Gather some boxes or bins for sorting and grouping like things together, use garbage bags for items you are donating and for items you may want to sell.
During the organizing process, you may find that it gets worse before it gets better. But don’t be discouraged, stay focused and pretend you have a scheduled appointment with me, your Organizer. During each of your organizing sessions, state what you want to accomplish by the end of the session upfront. Then work towards that goal. That’s what I’d be doing if I was with you.
P.S. Clear Out Your Clutter Day is this month! (Saturday, May 19th) It’s a live free virtual event where women around the world are clearing their clutter. You log on from your home or office throughout the day for tips, tools, inspiration & motivation. AND you get access to Sherry for the day! There will be a surprise bonus offer for those who register and attend!
Get the details and register at:
Sherry Borsheim is the president of International Association of Business Organizing and Simply Productive. You can visit Sherry, access her free article archive and grab lots of free stuff at http://www.BizOrganizing.com. Sherry lives in Vancouver, BC Canada with her husband (her high-school sweetheart).
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Original article posted at http://www.bizorganizing.com/2012/05/my-project-planning-tools-to-stop-organizing-paralysis/