Drowning in Paper?
- Change your office from a disaster area to an oasis.
- Find storage solutions for office clutter.
- Create peace and calm in your office.
- Decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
- Deal with incoming mail.
- Create filing systems that work for you.
- Stay on top of bills and dated materials.
Never Enough Time?
- Organize your time more efficiently.
- Prioritize your schedule to make more time each day.
- Arrange daily tasks for maximum efficiency.
- Set deadlines appropriately.
- Order tasks according to level of importance & urgency.
Finances a Mess?
- Keep track of your money.
- Balance checkbooks and reconcile statements.
- Set up bill paying systems manually or on the computer.
- Get organized for tax season.
- Sort and handle all kinds of financial paperwork.
- Determine how long to keep documents and records.
Information Age Overload
A former client of mine whom I worked with 17 years ago emailed me recently. We remarked on the changes in technology since when we first met. Seventeen years ago, on the cutting edge of technology, we emailed back and forth with each other. Few people used email at that time. If I received a handful of messages in a day, it was a lot.
Meeting this client once at a tapas restaurant and sitting outdoors at a table in the sun, I noticed a couple nearby talking on their cell phones and ignoring each other. We both thought that was weird. Hardly anyone had cell phones, which cost a dollar a minute to use.
Now after my spam filter and automatic filing options in Microsoft Outlook do their jobs, I receive over a hundred emails in a day. My house boasts two desktop computers and three laptops, wireless internet connection to DSL, and automatic sync of my Google calendar with my iPhone using iCloud.
My business puts out 10 ezines a year using Constant Contact. When did “ezine” become a word? My email gives me news briefs. (I learned that “Miley Cyrus wows in a halter dress” today!) I tweet, blog, update my Facebook Fanpage and LinkedIn profiles. Send Out Cards helps me keep in touch with important people in my life. My website is hosted by Squarespace. Besides my online calendar, I use online storage for files and my database. And I don’t consider myself to be that tech-savvy! (Go to the HELP page to sign up for the ezine or follow us on Social Media.)
An Israeli woman who lives and works here, has three children and three jobs said earlier this week, “My dream is to be able to turn off my computer for two days and go somewhere beautiful.”
How do we navigate through the onslaught of email, technology, the information at our fingertips via Google and even our web host’s flashing news briefs at us all day long?
Here are 5 tips to slow down the world:
1) Take a 20 minute “vacation” from technology. Go for a walk every day, even if it’s just around the block, but somewhere beautiful is even better.
2) Create limits. Set times when you will answer your phone, email and use your computer. For instance, check email at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (or whatever works for your life) not every time an email comes in. Don’t answer the phone before 8:30 a.m. or after 7 p.m. Limit your internet surfing to 10 minute blocks. Set a timer.
3) Ask for help. Set up filters and auto filing for your email. Small business owners can hire people to do some of the social media and contact work for them.
4) Schedule free time. Put at least one block of time into your week when you don’t have to do anything. Then commit to not doing anything. Don’t give away your down time for any reason.
5) Coffee breaks. Take them! People are more productive when they take regular breaks.
It may seem counterintuitive that doing less will actually help you deal with more. However, as expressed in books like Do Less, Achieve More by Chin-Ning Chu (Thick Face, Black Heart and Working Woman’s Art of War), success is achieved through inner harmony.