All Ways Organized Blog

Preparing for Tax Time

How productive is your tax information search?

Preparing for Tax Time

It is that time of year again, the tax man cometh. Are you feeling anxious, frustrated and afraid about how difficult this process will be? Well, you have plenty of company. Pew Research reported in 2013 that 30% of us dislike doing our taxes and 26% of us hate doing our taxes. They cite everything from it being a boring chore, to the convoluted tax structure as reasons why. Especially notable were responses about the hassle of collecting and putting together the tax time documentation.

Has disorganization and lack of a system for collecting your documentation been adding to the pressure and the anxieties around this task. Is the desire to procrastinate beginning to build? Is fear of the unknown, and the shame of not having this all taken care of keeping you up at night?

Office Productivity Isn't Just About The Office

3 Keys to Being More Productive

Office Productivity Isn't Just About The Office

Being productive involves many things, but today I would like to focus on some things outside of your office that can mean a more productive day.

For the past several months I have been participating in early morning exercise at the gym. Now, if you have known me for a long time, you just did a double take. Yes, I said early morning exercise. I am not exactly what you would call a happy morning person, so this benefit was news to me too. What I have noticed over the past four months, since I made the commitment to go to the gym at 7:00am is that I have more done before lunch on gym days than on those days when I do not go to the gym. So why do I see a difference?

Putting Things "Away"

Welcome to my new blog. In the coming weeks I will share what is going on in the world of organizing, interesting things that I have learned in working with my clients and generally helpful organizing information.

Today I would like to begin with a quote from my very first client eight years ago.  As she stood at the front door, almost too embarrassed to let me in to assist her, she said" I would put things away if only I knew where "away" is."

When Putting Things Away Doesn't Help

I have had a number of clients tell me over the years that what they thought they needed was someone to put their stuff away.  When these clients hired someone to do just that, they were more lost than ever.  Why?  The process of getting and staying organized has to do with understanding the reasons why you are disorganized.  Until you know why, you will continue down the same road that got you into trouble in the first place.

Overwhelmed?

How many times do you find yourself feeling I am just too overwhelmed to do anything else?  It is a common problem for all of us as we negotiate the multitude of requests made for our time and talents.  We often succumb to fear, guilt and shame:

What is Getting in Your Way?

What Is Getting In Your Way?

Author Dr. Daniel Amen in his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, talks about killing your A.N.T.S.  What are your ants?  Ants are your automatic negative thoughts.  Maybe you have experienced ants when your boss gives you a new project, you look at that pile of papers on your desk for the hundredth time, you think about losing weight or getting into shape.  The ants are the voices in your head that scream "You can't do that!", "You are a failure!, You'll never be a success at that".

What Isn't Working?

This week I had a call from a client who felt that one of the components of her system wasn't working as hoped. This client had progressed from keeping multiple scraps of paper and random notes, to keeping one phone log to capture all needed follow up phone calls so that calls could easily be returned from the road. In practice the notebook had expanded to much more than a phone message log.

Can't Use A Calendar?

This week, I had several clients complain that they just can't use a calendar. This is very common, especially for clients who have situations that rely on constant "Triage".  I have heard this complaint from executives with large staffs, realtors, attorneys and trades people.  These folks start the day in adrenalin mode, responding to email and voice mail to make a plan of attack for the day.

"STOP" before you "GO"

Often before trying to organize a space clients will go to their favorit store to buy boxes and containers.  Rather than do this I recommend that you "STOP bofore you GO".  STOP stands for SORT, TOSS, ORIENT, PLACE.  First you SORT what you have into piles of what you use and love, items that are broken, trash and items to donate to charity.

What's In Your Wallet?

Do you know what is in you wallet?  What would happen if you lost it today?  I have had clients who have reported that this has happened to them in the past and it has devastated them.  The worst part is not knowing what might have been lost or stolen.  Just like you should back up your cell phone data and your hard drives, you should back up the contents of your wallet.  Make photocopies, scan to your computer hard drive, make a spreadsheet with the numbers, contact info for the company and any other data that would help in the event of a loss.

Some Great Finds

I have found some great products that assist my clients everyday to make life easier.

The Magic Eraser-cleans marks off walls, scum off bathtubs, pools, floors, grout, tools and countertops (these are just the ones I have tried). No chemicals and wonderful results.  Mr. Clean makes them, try them, you will love them.

Get Orgainzed and Find Money!

How would you like to find some money?  I find money all the time in my work with clients.  It is a great feeling.  Lost cash, paychecks and once the proceeds from a recent home sale...$262,000.00 That's right, two hundred and sixty-two thousand dollars!  It got mixed in with a pile of papers, only to resurface as we organized the office.

Organizing Dilemma Number One

As Part of our participation in the National Association of Professional Organizers GO Month (Get Organized Month) I will be providing answers to the organizing dilemmas submitted by the Members of the Business Network International – Business Referrals Unlimited Chapter

Our first dilemma is submitted by Judy Carlough of One Day Home Staging and Redesign.

 

Organizing Dilemma Number Two

Today's Dilemma is from Karen Burke, MBA, ACC, ELI-MP Mobius Business Coaching, LLC
I am giving away half of what we own this year - and writing about it - I look forward to sharing the journey along the way -  I would also like your advice! I was wondering how would you recommend someone get rid of half of what they own? What steps would you advice - that is my question!

Here are some steps that I would suggest in devising the list of what to send on to the universe.

Using a Timer to Boost Productivity

Using a timer will improve productivity.  I have clients who think that everything will take longer than it really does, because they have never really assessed how long things take. I often recommend the Time Timer.

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