“The sweet, sweet sound of organization”.

Love that line from ‘Nurse Jackie’ …

Organization is something most of us crave after the happy chaos of the holidays when we startno clutter settling back into a routine. We all typically like to start off the year uncluttered and ready to roll.

I’m pretty organized by nature (a good thing since I’m a project manager), but clutter CAN creep into my life and my office over time (why does everything seem to end up on my desk for ‘sorting’?).

My preferred way to get organized and stay on top of everything is to use an online collaborative tool like TeamworkPM (try it for free here: http://www.teamworkpm.net/refer/virtualpminabox ). With a system like this, I can set tasks, send reminders, email people, store files, track my time, manage my calendar, interface with DropBox or Freshbooks … all at my fingertips. Very efficient.

If you still like manage old school, a big calendar with your schedule and commitments is a good way to keep an eye on the big picture as well as focus on how days flying are by. If you’re not using an online tool, daily planners and agendas can help you timebox activities and break your day into tasks to be completed. Having a big old clock nearby keeps you painfully aware of hours ticking away, and you can also use timers to keep track of time spent on tasks or to set time limits.

Even though most of us operate our business online, I’m willing to bet there is still some paper accumulating on your desk! If you can’t live without it, then organize it into coloured file folders or expanding files so it is neat and centralized when you need. Create a paper ‘flow’ on your desk: ‘to do’ on the left, in progress – front and centre, completed to right (or in one of those nice coloured folders).

Remember – one size does not fit all!

  • Front and left-brain thinkers tend to prefer a work space that is organized logically with minimal stuff on their desk – just a few key items (laptop, clock, file folder, calendar … they are already pretty organized people!).
  • Front and right-brain thinkers like a more unstructured environment with a big table, creatively repurposed furniture/supplies and lots of stickies for reminders (don’t forget a big clock to reinforce time management).
  • Rear and right-brain thinkers work best in comfy, colourful rooms full of personal mementos. Since they like to be around people, having portable supplies (and laptop) make it easy for them to migrate from room to room.
  • Rear and left-brain thinkers love details and tend to keep everything labelled and orderly. They like solitude and prefer not to be interrupted when they are in their ‘space’.

Regardless of your style and preference, here’s to being prepped and organized when you get back to work in 2014!

Seriously … try TeamworkPM for free … it will change your life! http://www.teamworkpm.net/refer/virtualpminabox

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