BossWoman ENews |
Combining prosperous work lives and balanced personal lives
My goal is to bring you news, insights, and information about leading a balanced and prosperous life.
In this issue, you'll find:
- Getting and Staying Organized
- BossWoman coaching
- Up and coming workshops
1. Getting and Staying Organized
The clients I coach tell me that their most common unfulfilled
New Year’s resolution is the dream of getting more organized.
What keeps us from making that dream a reality?
- We get discouraged because we often lack the practical
skills of breaking down the aspects of getting organized
in small manageable amounts.
- We aim too short. We aim at getting organized instead of
aiming just a bit higher at getting and staying organized.
Staying organized that increases our work efficiency and
lowers our stress. Staying organized goes beyond the
weekend binge of closet cleaning to building better daily
habits that keep things in the places you have designed.
- We hold the unrealistic expectation that one can get
organized during a dreary January weekend while your
husband is watching football. This is as realistic as
hoping you will get fit by going to the gym one time. Just
as fitness is a life goal that takes energy at the start
and energy to maintain, so does getting and staying
Less Is More
You probably already know that binge organizing doesn’t
work very effectively. It overwhelms you and burns you out.
After a Saturday of cleaning out the garage, you collapse in
a heap of exhaustion and discouragement. I have recently
discovered an approach to getting organized that is
completely anti-binge. “One Year to an Organized Life” by
Regina Leeds outlines a slow but sure approach to
organizing your life over one year, a month at a time. With
this approach you will have a better chance at success
while feeling less overwhelmed. Breaking tasks down into
smaller tasks makes them more doable and less overwhelming
Leeds recognizes that it takes more time to get organized
than a week or a weekend. Her gradual approach may
frustrate those who mistakenly think they can get it all
together in one spring cleaning binge. However, this
approach keeps you from dooming yourself to failure and
demoralization by helping you makes slow steady progress
towards a final outcome of having an environment that
supports your body, mind, and spirit.
What I particularly like about Leeds’s book is her
psychological sophistication. She helps the reader
recognize that the chaos we have was created by processes
we put into motion long ago and that processes we start
now will create and maintain order, save time, and give us
more ease and less stress. While each chapter helps you
get rid of clutter and organize what you need to support
your life, this book suggests that it is the small changes
in your daily habits that will help you to stay organized.
For example, Leeds suggests that you hang up your clothes
when you take them off. So simple, so hard! But now that
I’m following her advice, my bedroom looks neater when I
walk back in at night. No greeting by last nights’ clothes
flopped over a chair.
This book is the next best thing to hiring one of those
personal organizers who moves into your home or office
and helps you declutter and reorganize your stuff. It is
even better because while the personal organizers help
you get organized, they eventually leave you on your own
to stay organized. With no change of your habits, you
will continue with those habits, junking things up,
avoiding filling, losing stuff, ending up as disorganized
Unlike many cleaning and decluttering books and websites
who tell you to “just throw it out,” this book accepts
how hard and emotional decluttering and organizing can be
because of the attachments we have to our stuff. Often we
stay attached to stuff, because we are either:
A Year of Getting organized;
a Lifetime of Staying Organized
“One Year to an Organized Life” by Regina Leeds takes
twelve areas of your life, one each month, for example,
the kitchen, the bathroom, the closets, or photos and
memorabilia and focusing on just that area for the
whole month. Each month is subdivided into four weeks
of small manageable tasks related to that area. During
each week you receive a list of materials, instructions
on what to do, and the time you should allow for each
Except for familiarizing yourself with a bit of
introductory material in the beginning of the book that
the author keeps referring to, you don’t have to read
in any order. Instead, you can start with any month,
skip around, and follow the plans for only the areas of
your life that are most in need of organizing. For
example, if you begin reading the book this month, you
can start with “April: Bathrooms, Chasing Your Cares
Away” which will help you create your own home spa get
away without knocking down walls or replacing the tile.
However, if you are planning a move soon, you can open
to July, “Preparing for Your Move,” and see what steps
to take across each of the four weeks of the month to
have as low a stress and organized a move as possible.
Leeds has developed and easy to learn organizing
formula that repeats itself in each of the areas you
need to organize:
In almost every chapter, there are suggestions to
building good habits that will keep the stuff and tasks
from building back up to an overwhelming mess. Those new
habits are the only way to change your goal from
getting organized to staying organized.
- Eliminate: at first things will seem very messy as
you pull everything out of a closet or pantry to
free the space to put things back. As you pull
items out, you put into piles for trash, recycling,
charitable contributions, etc.
- Categorize: put the things that go together back
into the space together. In the pantry, all the soup
cans go together. In your family files, insurance
records can be broken down by subcategories such as
insurance/auto, insurance/home, insurance/life, etc.
- Organize: putting things back so you can reach them
when you need them might take some devices such as a
lid holder for the pots and pans or little plastic
bins in your bathroom drawers so that the fingernail
file doesn’t get lost under the toothpaste.
Is this the year you get organized … and stay organized?
2. BossWoman coaching
About the publisher: Susan Robison, Ph.D. is a professional coach,
speaker, author and seminar leader. She loves to coach women who
want improvement in:
- work-life balance,
- career transitions,
- building your business or practice,
- time management,
- increasing productivity.
If you are feeling stuck on the way to your ideal life, give Susan
a call for a complementary half-hour coaching session.
She provides keynotes and seminars to business and organizations
on the topics of:
- leadership strategies for women,
- work-life balance,
She offers her audiences a follow-up coaching session because she
knows that workshops don’t work.
Contact Susan for your coaching, speaking, or seminar needs at
Susan@BossWoman.org or at 410-465-5892.
3. Up and coming workshops
I am currently accepting speaking invitations for
work/life balance workshops for the winter of 2008.
Contact me if your group needs a speaker on
any of the topics listed above.
Title: “Transitioning into Retirement: What Role
Will You Play?”
Date: May 13, 2008; 10am
Place: National Women’s Leadership Council,
United Way of America.
College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, MD.
Title: “MAPping Your Career”
Date: October 12, 2008; 8-12
Place: AASHA annual conference; Philadelphia, PA.
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BossWoman e-Newsletter is intended for informational and educational
purposes only. Coaching should not be construed as a form of,
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© Copyright 2008 Susan Robison. All rights reserved. The above
material is copyrighted but you may retransmit or distribute it to
whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or
deleted, including the contact information. However, you may not
copy it to a web site without the publisher’s permission.