I don’t believe in email. I’m an old-fashioned girl. I prefer calling and hanging up.
~ Sarah Jessica Parker
In the past, I extolled the virtue of having a SIMPLE SYSTEM as the key to getting and staying organized. And I gave away some of my best tips for starting to de-clutter your e-clutter. Now I am here to give you the next steps! By now you should have moved all of the unnecessary emails out of your inbox. So now it’s time to face your inbox and realize that the goal is to process instead of putting out fires. “How in the world do I do that?” you ask. It’s simple and elegant! For every single email, you will now and forevermore MAKE 1 OF 5 CHOICES:
Let It Go. How do you Let Go of an email? Delete it.
Let It Go To Someone Else. How do you Delegate an email? Forward it. A quick and easy way to track those that you delegate is to ‘blind copy’ yourself on these and when they come back to you, drag them either to your tasks on the dates they are due, or create a folder called PENDING RESPONSE and put them there to track.
Do It Now. How do you Do It Now? Use my “2 minutes or less” rule – so as emails come into your inbox if you can pop them out into someone else’s “court” in two minutes or less, just do it. During this de-clutter process, you can choose to either do all of these now or drag them to an AWAITING MY RESPONSE folder to do when you have the time.
Move to a Future Reference Folder. For all emails that you may need to ‘refer’ to later but don’t need to take action on now, simply click on one email or group of emails and drag them to an appropriate Future Reference Folder in your inbox or save to your hard drive. You may need to create new folders in your inbox or hard drive to store these.
Move to a Further Action Folder. For all of the remaining emails that require you to “take further action on,” here’s my suggestion: Set up a “to do” system in your folders. Call it COMMAND CENTRAL. Under Command Central, create a folder that says ACTION THIS WEEK, and one that says NO DEADLINE. Then when the email comes into your inbox, you can move it to the appropriate folder, and then work out of that folder, not the inbox. The big key here is processing as you go so you don’t end up with the backlog you started with EVER AGAIN. As I like to say, “Process people, PROCESS”!!!
I have so much more to share on this topic and you can find it all in my book, Enough is Enough Get Control of Your Stuff available on Amazon. There are also many ways you can work with me. I’d love to help you de-clutter!
Here’s to an empty email loading dock coming to a computer near you soon!
Yesterday I had a cancellation at the last minute. Not what I prefer, but as I say so often…” it is what it is.” So when that happens, I try to see what the positive is in this because I could go to the negative space of “Ugg, now what?”, or “why can’t they let me know earlier so I can accommodate someone else in their place?”
But here’s what I did instead. I looked at all the things I have not been able to get to because my calendar is so full of coaching, training, speaking, etc. I looked at what needs to actually get done for September when I’m traveling almost every week for business/speaking and have lots of moving parts to those trips that need handling. Yesterday, I took that free time to work on all things “September”. And it’s only the beginning of August! And let’s just say at the end of the day, I ROCKED some important tasks that I can knock off my list and feel great about having done this early in the game.
What’s on your list that, if you had a last-minute cancellation right now, you could actually get started on, or maybe even wrap something up that’s an uncompleted task? How can we make lemonade out of lemons every time, so that regardless of how things shake out, we are getting important work done – no matter the deadline? Let’s face it, the work we’re doing today might not be urgent now, but the more we put it off, the closer to urgent it becomes, right?!
So, bring on the cancellations, and know that it’s just the Universe opening your calendar up for you to knock some things off your list that you might not have focused on yet. Get it behind you…nothing feels worse than the hanging on of an uncompleted task!
As you may recall, last week I shared about my visit to Tammi in LA, where we not only set her up physically, electronically and emotionally to move forward with MOMENTUM, but we got her right to the “edge” of CHANGING THE TRAJECTORY OF THE COURSE OF HER LIFE!
After 33 years as an Emmy-Award winning TV Producer, Tammi decided to take a step back from her successful career, take the leap, and pursue her passion as a Camp Director of Campowerment. Like me, Tammi has always been obsessed with Camp, and now she’s found a way for us to relive the joy of our youth, and a twist designed to inspire every single woman smart enough to show up!
Campowerment is not only a sleepaway camp where grown women come to disconnect, chill, and reignite their flame, but also offers Corporate experiences to empower your teammates, colleagues, and employees of your company. How do you get them to meaningfully connect with your mission and one another? Carve out space for them to ditch the suit for sweatpants, to laugh a little, talk a bunch, learn, play, be, and check out, all at the same time in the same place, without distraction. Because everyone wants a reason to care, and caring people go bigger.
And speaking of caring people going bigger, that’s exactly what Tammi did! Took the leap to truly live in alignment with who she is in the world — a woman for others who are seeking to find themselves, or just reignite who they already know they are, but have been too busy “doing” them instead of “being” them. Pride for her tenacity is an understatement — humbled to have had the experience I did with this woman, and certain that all of us, when ready to “choose” over “want”, can take the leap to live the life of their dreams.
Someone once told me that the reason why my feet are so rough on the bottom is that I always land on them. Check the bottom of your feet out people, I’m beginning to believe them, whoever it was!
Check out Campowerment, check out their video below, and reach out to me if you want more info.
As I further my travels helping people get “unstuck” in their workplace, or should I say in their LIVES, I am always amazed at the people I connect with and the stories they have. Yes, everyone has a story, and if we take time to listen, what is most revealing is how desperate we all are to get on with the business of living our passionate, authentic lives.
A few years ago, I traveled to LA to work with a friend’s sister. We had never met but had spoken on the phone a few times prior to my visit, and I agreed to come out to help her create an environment that would function in a way that served her well. While we both had high hopes, we never anticipated this week-long experience far exceeding both of our expectations!
It should be no surprise that I am totally committed to helping people change the way they live in their environment to get the life they want. If I can share my natural ability for living a stress-free, productive, organized, passionate life with those in need of the same, I am happy and fulfilled. If what I do can pave the way for my clients to do the same –to get “unstuck”, take the leap towards living their passion and thus creating the life they want for themselves – then I have made a professional and personal connection far deeper and meaningful than I ever imagined. And it’s those connections that drive me to keep “changing the world, one disorganized person at a time.”
So here’s what happened on this trip (in a nutshell)… Tammi realizes the way she is living is not serving her well but does not have the tools to change the unproductive patterns. I have those tools and present them to Tammi. Together, we create a physical space where she can find what she is looking for and where everything that she chooses to keep HAS A PERMANENT HOME. Then we set up a system for processing every incoming email AS IT COMES IN, and again, each has to be moved to their PERMANENT HOME, AND THE INBOX ISN’T AN OPTION! Then once she is set up with systems for living her life differently, the results start to reveal themselves…no stress over where things are, less chaos and more order in her environment, places for everything to live, control over her incoming items, and a renewed sense of peace of mind. And if that isn’t rewarding enough, this entire transformational experience validated for Tammi that what she does for a living REALLY isn’t serving her well, and with a newborn sense of confidence and commitment to her passion – she “leaps”, puts in her resignation and embarks on a journey fit for a woman with a vision!
(Stay tuned for details of that new vision in Part II coming next week).
Recently, I had an interesting conversation with my husband about what motivates people to take action. We were talking in the context of marketing and branding oneself or one’s business and were considering what inspires people to decide (finally) to go for it. As we talked, I was even more convinced that the reason people take action on almost anything is because the “WHY” is strong enough. This question about why someone will stall and delay, ignore and deny and then grab an opportunity, comes up all the time when I talk to folks about what I do.
I explain that “I am the Weight Watchers and the SmokEnders of Getting Organized”, which sometimes causes people to ask, “What does losing weight and quitting smoking have to do with getting organized?”
Well, there are 2 very important common notions here, both worth taking a look at. The first is that Losing Weight, Quitting Smoking and Getting Organized are the top 3 most common New Year’s Resolutions. Every year, millions of people claim to be resolute about making one or more of these happen in their lives. And second, as to all three, the WHY has to be powerful enough to force a change in your behavior – YOU’VE GOT TO WANT IT BAD ENOUGH.
I remember when I smoked cigarettes, and everyone was trying to get me to quit. That just wasn’t good enough for me. Not that I didn’t value those who encouraged me to quit, but I had to get to the point that I no longer liked how it felt being a smoker. I actually got to the place where I wanted to be a non-smoker. It is the same with losing weight (which I have done numerous times in my life): every time I did, it was because I wanted to feel better in my skin, not because anyone wanted or asked me to.
So if you are not feeling good about the way your environment functions because it has you disorganized, stressed out about where things are, what might fall through the cracks, or how the lack of daily productivity leaves you feeling, know that by changing the way you live in your workplace can have a tremendous, positive outcome on your work and your life.
I invite you take the first action towards doing something different in your daily routine. Why? Maybe because you think you have to, want to or need to. Or just maybe because the ultimate WHY is…
* Feeling better about yourself and your work environment * Knowing where everything is and being able to access it in a moment’s notice * Never having e-clutter in your email inbox ever again * Never having piles on your desk again * Never being late to a meeting again * Getting a reasonable amount done in a day and feeling great about it * And the best WHY ever…THE UNIVERSE REWARDS ACTION!
Share with us what your first action was and how it made a difference for you using the comment section below.