Archive for October, 2009

Productivity Complaints

October 26, 2009

Productivity is a hot topic these days. The subject comes up on  many websites, blogs, and discussion boards. You could become a productivity geek if you wanted, but that wouldn’t be very productive, would it?

As a professional organizer, I hear my clients talk a lot about productivity (or more commonly, a lack of productivity).   There are usually three main complaints:

  1. I don’t have time to finish projects that are due.
  2. I never get my “to do” list done.
  3. I feel like I never have anything accomplished at the end of the day.

Over the years I’ve developed a few responses to these complaints and I’d like to share them with you.


I don’t have time to finish projects that are due.
Time blocking rocks for projects. Learn it.  Simply block segments of time off each day for certain projects, tasks and deadlines.  It might seem counter-intuitive to take time to plan time, but once you gain the benefits of long, uninterrupted periods of time to actually put your head down and work on projects, you’ll look forward to your planning sessions.  Trust me.

Still unsure about what time blocking really means?  Here’s an example.

You want to do a few marketing-related tasks.  Specifically, you want to go on Twitter, update Facebook and create a small blog.  Great! Now time block.  Set aside one hour each day and make sure that you use that time for the allotted tasks.  When the hour is up, you can move on to the next part of the day.  Now,  go get blocking.

I never get my “to do” list done.
There are many ways to conquer your “to do” lists. Making a list of  everything you have to do is the obvious starting point. Then, start with the most urgent task and work from there.

Work your way through your tasks and check in on your list from time to time. At the end of the day, the things you didn’t finish will transfer to the next day. You can either do this electronically or with a paper calendar.  The important things to remember are to stay focused on the tasks and to concentrate on your priorities.

If you want to be even more organized, you can prioritize your tasks with a labeling system.    Label the most important tasks with an “A” and the least important tasks with a “C.”

To-do lists don’t do it for you? Reframe, the productivity system that I co-created, has a different spin on the “to do” list. Check it out.

I didn’t get anything done today.
At the end of each day, spend 15 minutes thinking about the word ‘gratitude’ by asking yourself some key questions.

For example, ask yourself:  what did I accomplish today that I’m grateful for? To answer, you can start by looking at your ‘to do’ list. What did you mark off?  You’ll probably be surprised by how much you did get done.

The exercise here is to be nice to yourself.  I’ve never met anyone with a fully completed “to do” list.   Once you gain some peace around the fact that nobody can get everything  done,  the stress will melt away.

Today I’m grateful to all my clients for trusting me enough to let me know what’s bothering them.  I hope my suggestions help.


Look for Empty Space

October 26, 2009

Wine Bottles in WindowIf you are challenged by storage space, try thinking about the space that’s actually right in front of you.

All open wall spaces
Mount shelves to store books or knick-knacks that are cluttering up essential surface space.

Backs of doors
Hang up shopping bags and aprons on doors in the kitchen.  Find a new home for your kids’ raincoats and rarely-used painting smocks in the bedroom.

Underneath beds
Store seasonal items that do not require frequent access.


  • Keep travel accessories and seasonal shoes in an out-of-the way space.  Attach a temporary label to the suitcase so you know what you’ve stored.

Under shelf baskets

  • Store binders or rarely used books.

Unique storage solution

October 6, 2009
Itouch case

Itouch case

Use your ipod or itouch boxes for storing concert tickets.

Thinking inside the box.

Why do I have “consulting” in my company name?

October 6, 2009

A consultant is an expert in a particular area. Consultants assess the current situation
and then advise on the appropriate path to take. For the most part, Professional
Organizers are consultants.

Organizers assess situations, recommend the appropriate
solutions and then implement solutions, sometimes with their client’s help and sometimes without.

Home Show Oct 15 -18th

October 6, 2009

The Professional Organizers in Canada will be the Vancouver Home Show this year. Come and visit our booth. We’ll have a before/after display. Also, come by and stump an professional organizer.

Do you have an organizing challenge in your home/office?