Monday, May 31, 2010

Two Forward, One Back

You organized your desk top, cleared out your files, set up your hot files and got your income tax in on time with a moderate "clean up this mess" bill from your accountant.  Congratulations!

And now you sit dispondant staring at a piles of paper on the floor, an inbox full of unopened mail - both electronic and otherwise - and stuff all over your desk.  You've spent the last half hour trying to find something you know you had last week and need before the end of the day.  It's 10:00 on Monday and you are already frustrated and ready for the weekend.

Relax. With even the best of intentions most of us experience some form of organizing back slide at some point in our lives.  For most of us, it is a regular occurance and merely another facet of staying organized that needs to be managed.  Event the most organized professional organizers backslide from time to time and need a little boost to get back on track.

First, realize this is normal and not serious.  Cut yourself some slack; you are human.
Second, focus on what is really important right now - if you need that thing you are looking for, is there someone else who can help you look.  A second pair of eyes often will see things that you don't and will find it faster.
Third, recover your organization by scheduling several small organizing sessions for yourself and commit to this time for yourself to get back on top of the stuff.  It could be 15 at the end of the day or 30 minutes at the beginning of the day.  Pick whichever time your are most productive.
Fourth, start small.  Don't expect to clear all the paper in the first 5 minutes. You may need a whole week to get back on track.  Keep your expectations realistic, stay focussed on your goals.
Finally, reward yourself.  If you clear the top of your desk after the second session, celebrate. Well done!

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