Last part of Chapter 5. Day 2 –
Now that you’ve gone through the desktop, desk drawers and countertops, go on to the inside of your cabinets. If these areas are out of control, write that on a piece of paper and place it into your inbox.
Floors, Walls, and Shelves – View all those items on your walls. Anything on your bulletin boards, white board, chalkboard you need to take action on or update? What about pictures and/or artwork? Books, binders, etc., in your bookcases that need to be reorganized? I went through mine yesterday and found several that needed to be donated. Stacks of stuff on the floor you need to purge or organize? Scoot that stack over there closer to your inbox area.
Equipment, Furniture, and Fixtures – If there is anything you feel needs a change related to your space, your printer, phone, lighting, desk, chair, etc., write each item on a separate sheet of paper and do what? That’s right. Place it in the procreating inbox of mounting papers. Ugh! It just keeps growing, man! Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Yes, I am! Ok, if I can collect it all and not have a stroke in the process, then I can go through the next step and so can you. Have you collected it all? Still working on it? Ok.
Don’t forget the other locations. After you get finished with whatever room you are making productive and user-friendly, go to the next room that desperately needs help. The pantry and cabinets in my kitchen could stand to be reorganized a bit.
It took me an hour and 17 minutes but I collected absolutely everything into one area in my office, in and around my inbox to process. Everything that was out of place is now collected. I’ve cleaned those areas where I had all the stuff just taking up space, clogging up my ability to be successful and productive and now it’s time to process it all. All of my stress is in my collection bucket. Now what?! It’s a lot of stuff. It’s no wonder I stay stressed out. I can never find anything or it takes me an hour to find it and I know (I’ve known for a while) I need to simplify my life. Workin’ on it.
Mental Gathering: The Mind-Sweep
Now that all the physical items are gathered and written down on your sheets of paper, you are REALLY gonna need that paper. It’s time to work through your mind, gathering all that junk, that clutter that has been filling every cell of memory. Sweep out the cobwebs. Everything you can think of, your ideas, plans, actions – get them all out of your head and write each thing, on individual sheets of paper and place (again!) into your inbox. Once you clear your mind of all that stuff, you will find a little space in there for some peace. 😉 Ah, doesn’t that feel nice?
To help you go through your memory, or brain RAM, Mr. Allen has some “Trigger” Lists set up for “Professional” on pages 114-115 and then “Personal” on pages 116-117. These trigger items will help to jog your memory of any incompletes you may have not thought of on your own.
Now that you have all of your “In” inventory, your brain should feel a little free-er, although that inbox looks overwhelming. We made it through the first part. Hang with me. We will do this together. (I’m holding your hand. And so is Mr. Allen.) We can do this.
Your inbox should also include voice mails and emails you have not taken action on, as well as any organizer lists “you have not yet determined next actions.” That goes for day planners that need to be reorganized. Any electronic notes, voice mails, emails that are stored on a device, should be printed out and added to your stack of papers, although just write “Take action on e-mails” instead of printing all those suckers out, as you may actually reach the ceiling with all the papers you print out for each one of these.
I actually worked with someone who would print out all of her emails and then bind them as if she was going to do something with them. It was a great idea to actually see them all, I guess, but was she really going to look at those emails and take action on them? I wonder. Her work office was as bad as my home office, so I do actually get her. I understand. But we must face our weakness at organizing and take action. We will each be more useful and productive and creative once we can control our areas – once they become functional – once we make them that way.
We don’t want anything to stay in the inbox for long. We must hurry and deal with each and every item, which brings us to our next step: “Getting ‘In’ to Empty.” That sounds good to me. I’m going to Office Depot to purchase a box of manilla file folders. You can get 100 folders for about $7.00. Not bad. I also need a label maker with an ac adapter and some labels. Don’t know if I want to spend that money today, but we’ll see what they have to offer and at what prices. I’ve heard that labeling tape is expensive. I suppose if I can find a decent one that’s somewhat affordable, it’s worth it in the long run. I need to organize my life! Besides, without going broke, I’d like to try it Mr. Allen’s way, since my way has not been working. Wish me luck? I wish you luck, too.
Make it a spectacular Thursday. Yes, it is Friday Eve. Yee-ha! Always looking forward to the weekend. I must say, though, that not going to an office outside of home has given me the opportunity to get my home under control and it feels good. So far, I can still pay bills, and hopefully, very soon, I will have found a way to earn some moolah for future bills. Gotta eat, right?! Love y’all! *hug*