Archive for the ‘Self Management’ Category

Organizing, Gratitude and Asking for Help

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Marcia Sloman, Under Control Organizing

The grocery-cart-return area was about 20 feet away, but the able-bodied, middle aged man rolled his emptied grocery cart to an level surface next to his car instead.  I just couldn’t walk away.
“The return area is right over there”, I stopped, pointed, and said with a smile.
He froze, unexpectedly confronted.  “Yes, it is”, was his retort.
“I’ll be happy to help, and take it for you, if you like”, I offered.
“That’s kind of you”, was the man’s reply.
“You’re welcome. All you had to do was ask.  Have a nice day.”

Whether it’s keeping the parking lot safe from rolling grocery carts, being able to find things quickly in my home and office, or listening carefully to you to determine the best “systems” in your space, it’s all Organizing.  I’m happy to do it.  All you have to do is ask.

It’s natural instinct for people to want to help.  We need help, and help may come from unexpected sources.  All you have to do is ask.

I’m happy, and grateful that I chose my second career in Organizing. I’m grateful to my mentors, supportive friends, family and acquaintances.  I’m grateful to the career counselor who evaluated my skills in 1992 as “having excellence in organizing”.  I am grateful every day for the challenging projects offered to me by my clients.  All you have to do is ask.

Giving thanks is not limited to the holiday time of Thanksgiving.  I think that if we make time to remember and acknowledge others throughout the year, our lives might be easier, less stressed, more organized and productive.  We would feel comforted by partnership.  We just have to ask, “Can you help me with ______?”  After receiving, please pay it forward.  I can only hope that the man in the parking lot “paid it forward” in gratitude later that day, even if no one asked.

It’s a challenge to stay organized.  Today’s hectic, harried life commands our attention in so many directions.  Tasks take longer to complete than expected.  Our high priority lists grow.  We’re stretched.  Distractions abound.  There are only 24 hours in the day, and we can’t be everywhere at once.

What does gratitude and helping others have to do with Organizing?  I named my Organizing business “Under Control” to represent a feeling one would have after they work with me.  I enjoy sharing that knowledge with you.  I want you to feel a sense of confidence and calm after our work together.  Being organized can provide that sense.  Organizing is a thoughtful process, whether it’s downsizing, transition-ing or building a new venture.

For me, “organized” is knowing how, when and from whom we need to ask for help, and being able to take our valuable time to express our appreciation for it.

Organizing Options for Care-giving and Care-getting

Monday, August 29th, 2016

balance-1372677-1024x682I heard it said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The other day, I received a call from a client who confidently exclaimed When I get stuck, I ask myself What would Marcia do?” Wow!!!! I was flattered and glowed with pride. I pride myself in setting a good example by practicing what I preach. Managing time, for instance, is self management. If you had a brief 20 minutes to get something done or started, what would you choose to do? The following are options for accomplishing something in 20 minutes from which this Veteran Professional Organizer would choose.

Enrichment Creative
Learn something new Draw, paint, craft
Practice a skill Cook, Garden
Read Play Music
  Photograph
Social Write, Visualize
Catch up on Social Media De-Clutter/ Organize
Call Someone  
Write a note Well-Being
  Snuggle your pet
Tasks Meditate, pray
File, Put stuff away Yoga, Exercise
Clean/clean out Healthy snack
De-Clutter/ Organize Personal hygiene

Did I leave out any choices? One cannot say there is nothing to do, unless your choice is to do nothing. We have to capitalize on downtime, if not create it.

We all enjoy having choices, but we often fritter away precious moments. What can you accomplish in 20 minutes? What do you need? Is it an urgent need, or a plan for some future important event? If you’ve thrown away precious time in the past, start new. Set a timer. Eliminate distractions such as silencing electronic alerts (except for emergencies).

Life is full. We’re so busy as care-givers to ourselves, our families, our businesses and our loved ones, that we forget to “care-get.” We’re filled with obligations to others, demands from new life, and expired life, let alone our own deadlines. And because we care-give so much, there are more demands on us to organize. We can’t properly help others unless we help ourselves first. The flight attendant’s announcement before every flight includes “In the event of an emergency, make sure your oxygen mask is securely tightened before assisting a child.” Ask YOURSELF, “What do I need to help myself?” Should I write another post on how to ask for help?

Take heed this quote by Amelia Earhart, “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things.” Have the courage to organize, grant yourself peace of mind, and ask yourself, “What would Marcia do?”

Simple Ways to Streamline your Life, Be More Productive and Stay Organized

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Praying for Organization?

Start with a few simple ways to streamline your life, be more productive and stay organized:

Manage your schedule

  • Send yourself reminders via email, app or electronic calendar.
  • Set up a separate inbox for your reminders, and check it daily.
  • Use a family calendar to track family commitments.
  • Eliminate multiple calendars, or be sure to synchronize.
  • Set up a grab and go area near your exit to remember to bring items with you when you go out.

Pare down paper

  • Pay as many bills online as you can.
  • Remember to maintain receipts if they are tax-deductible expenses.
  • Find what you need, when you need it: set up a simple format and naming convention to scan and to file. Please remember to back up. If you don’t keep the paper as back up, save to a hard drive or cloud storage.

Eliminate electronic clutter

  • Reduce stress and anxiety resulting from the overwhelm of feeling buried.
  • Unsubscribe from e-offers and emails that are no longer relevant to you.
  • Clear out your Inbox by creating folders for important senders/categories.

Filing

  • No one LIKES to file (except for me). Make it easy on yourself, or set up a simple system, for paper and electronic matter, so that anyone can put your stuff away.

De-clutter your space(s)

  • Surround yourself in an environment that represents who you are.
  • Free up valuable space.
  • Start with the EASY decisions. Choose to keep or eliminate. Get to know what you have.
  • Set aside 10-15 minutes a day: with a notebook and pen, walk room to room, closet to closet, drawer to drawer, until your entire home/office is inventoried. Bookmark where you left off each day so that you can pick up where you left off. This may take a month or more overall to complete. The process will force you to eliminate items that you no longer want.

For more easy ways to streamline your life, be more productive and to stay organized, contact me. We can quickly brainstorm your unique life situations to transform your life to an organized life.

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A. A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh