Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

Time Myth: “busy people are more productive”

Ready for a tough assignment? The next time you feel overwhelmed because you have too much to do, slow down.

This is not easy. It is a natural tendency to rush through our work when we feel short of time, but in the end it doesn’t help. That’s because busy-ness is not the same thing as productivity.

Our goal is not to do the most things, but to do the most important things.

The next time you feel really rushed, stop and take stock of all you have to do. Give yourself a full minute to take it in. Think about what really is the most important thing for you to move forward. Then do that one thing.

At the end of the day, you’ll find that the discipline of moving mindfully through your tasks, rather than racing frantically through them, allows you to get more of the important things done while feeling less stressed and more in control.

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Are professional organizers perfectly organized?

This recent news from my organizing colleague Margaret Pearson Pinkham, who specializes in working with chronically disorganized clients in Sonoma County, CA:

I went to sign up for the Spring season of NSGCD teleclasses and guess what? I had waited too long and the class on Procrastination was FULL!

Occasionally someone will ask me whether I, a certified professional organizer, am perfectly organized. Does a doctor get the flu? Has a horse trainer ever been bitten? Can good mechanicsĀ  suffer an automotive breakdown?

Here’s the truth: we all are sometimes overwhelmed with all the stuff that comes at us. I know what it means to be late, to feel disorganized, to procrastinate, and to lose things — all from personal experience.

In fact, I would beware of any professional who has not faced and conquered their own hurdles. Who is more likely to help me, the personal trainer who has healed from their own tweaky knee or bad back, or the one who has found fitness a breeze from day one?

I am always on the lookout for new and better ways to address the challenges of modern life. First, I form the habits that make organization possible, including making a clear and compelling plan, recognizing what I need to capture and how to let go of the rest, and the discipline of actually doing the work. Then I look for whatever tools can make it easier for me to do the job.

And because there is no one solution that works best for everyone, I also look for whatever tools may help YOU do the job, too.

What organizing, time management, and productivity issues give you a hard time? What hurdles would you most like to get over?

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