Removing Clutter: Advice from Professional Organizer Rachel Strisik
Over and over, I find that the number one way to improve your effectiveness as a speaker is by clarifying your message. And to do this, you need to first remove the information clutter – and hone in on the precise message you need to deliver to a particular audience.
Critical to this process is having an uncluttered workspace.
Organizing Your Work Area in Four Manageable Steps
We all spend a lot of time at our desks-maybe too much time. However, whether you working from an office or work from home, there is no doubt that having an organized desk makes you more productive and efficient.
Now, look around your office. Are there piles of paper, unnecessary office supplies or other objects that don’t belong there? Physical clutter creates mental clutter which in the end can impact just how much you are able to accomplish with things like preparing your next presentation!
Here are our 4 easy steps that you can take today to clear the physical clutter.
1. Pile and sort. Neat piles of paper do not necessarily mean you are organized but it is a step in the right direction. Take all of the sprawled paper, supplies and other items on your desk and pile them into like groups (paper in one pile, pens in another, etc).
2. Go through each pile, leaving the paper for last. Sort the first group of items. For example, if your first group of items is pens you will want to throw away any that are broken or don’t write or that you dislike using. Once you are down to only the ones that work, determine the amount you need to keep.
3. Take a break before you tackle the paper. When you are ready, divide the pile of paper into categories that make sense to you. This may be client files, bills, insurance, etc. or divided into even smaller categories. With each smaller pile of paper, keep only what you need for tax, insurance or medical purposes and what still needs to be acted on.
4. Create files based on what categories make sense to you and file your remaining papers (you can also save them digitally). Keep in mind that many things, like bank statements you can print online if needed so you may not need to keep them in paper form. As new paper comes in, determine right away if it can be thrown away or if you need to keep it. If it needs to be kept, create a system for incoming paper that needs to be ACTED on vs. those that can be filed. Just be careful though, we only truly need 20% of the paper we file.