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Getting Organized in the Era of Endless

SQUALL PRESS, the publishing division of FileHeads, is pleased to announce Getting Organized in the Era of Endless: What to Do When Information, Interruption, Work and Stuff are Endless But Time is Not!
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Posts Tagged ‘organizing’

What To Do When You are Overwhelmed and Overloaded: A Get It Done Guide

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 @ 05:06 AM
posted by admin

What To Do When You Are Overwhelmed & Overloaded: A Get It Done Guide | Fileheads.net

These tips originally appeared on ADDitude and were written by Judith Kolberg

You can’t hide from your to-do list forever. Use these 11 strategies for de-cluttering, managing paper, overcoming distractions, and getting things done.

Overcome the Overload

Every day we’re confronted with information, distractions, work and lots of other stuff. Is it a surprise anyone gets anything done, never mind those with attention deficit? People with ADHD are easily overwhelmed by the fast pace and interruptions, so they need some stay-focused strategies to keep them on track. Consider this your “how to get things done” guide.

Capture All That Information

Instead of going crazy trying to write down all those bits of information that come your way, try these solutions:

  • Call important information into your voicemail and leave yourself messages.
  • Convert verbal information into text, using an app like Dragon Dictation.
  • Store your text messages in one place using an app called Treasuremytext.

Finish Something, Anything, Early in the Day

Completing a chore – a small task or something larger that you worked on yesterday – gives you a sense of closure, making the rest of the day meaningful. No matter how the day goes, you can say you got something done, which gives you a sense of satisfaction that will encourage you to keep going the next day.

Get A Grip

If a phone call or a request from your spouse distracts you from a task you’re working on, hold onto a physical artifact to remind you what you were doing. An unopened envelope, for instance, will remind you that you were opening mail before the interruption, and will focus you attention more quickly.

Put It On The Calendar

It’s not enough to write down a task on your to-do list. You have to enter it into your calendar. Assigning a task to a specific day increases your chances of getting it done. With a to-do list only, you have a 40%-50% chance of doing the task. Scheduling the task increases your chances of completing it by 70% or so.

Just Do It

Don’t get overwhelmed about where or when to start a decluttering task. It doesn’t matter where you start; begin at any spot in the room. After you start, continue in some kind of logical order. If you start on the left side of the room, keep going to the left. If you start on the top shelf of a cabinet, work your way down.  There is no ideal way to tack clutter.

Manage the Mail

  • To cut off junk mail at its source, log onto catalogchoice.org and have them alert marketers to stop sending you stuff.
  • Have only one place for the day’s mail to land, maybe the dining room table. Yes, it piles up quickly, but at least you know where it will be when you decide to tackle it.
  • Don’t open junk mail. It can contain four to seven pieces of paper. Junk mail goes, unopened, right into the recycling bin.

Change the Scene

People with ADHD can optimize their focus and attention by doing different tasks in different kind of places. If you have to do your taxes, rent a room in a local hotel for a day or two. You can spread out all the papers and receipts, with fewer distractions that at home. Some people with attention deficit can’t get anything done – studying, writing, reading – in the quiet of a library. Finding a setting like a Starbucks (LINK) with some background noise, will help them be more productive.

Enlist a Support Team

Stop trying to be an ordinary person who keeps it all together in the same way that people without ADHD do. Support might mean another set of hands, someone to keep your morale up or someone to function as a body double. A body double is somebody who is physically present as you do a task but doesn’t to the task with you. Your body double anchors you to the chore at hand.

Switch Up Your Routine Every Quarter

People with ADHD get bored with their routines more quickly than those without the condition. The higher boredom factor keeps them from tackling things they once completed with ease. Routines – whether it’s opening mail, doing dishes or tackling a project at work – can be kept fresh by changing them up every three months. This doesn’t mean a complete overhaul, just a tweak.

Play It Loose With Deadlines

Schedule extra time to finish a task. Rather than trying to precisely estimate how lone a task will take, just say, “Screw it. I’m going to need 30 percent more time for everything I plan, no matter what.” Just pick a number: 20% more, 50% more and allot that. The worst that can happen is that you finish it early.

Keep Calm and Carry On

As you start your day, do the first three things that worry you the most to get them off your plate. The internal distraction of worry plays more on people with ADHD than on other people and prevents them from getting things done.  If you do any small part of what is worrying you, chance are you’ll break the anxiety and move forward.


Now available – the revised 2nd edition  ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg and Dr. Kathleen G. Nadeau which offers the best understanding and solutions for adults with ADD who want to get and stay organized. Readers will enjoy all new content on organizing digital information, managing distractions, organizing finances, and coping with the “black hole” of the Internet. We also offer three levels of strategies and support: self-help, non-professional assistance from family and friends, and professional support; allowing the reader to determine the appropriate level of support. Pick up your copy today.

What To Do When You Are Overwhelmed & Overloaded: A Get It Done Guide | Fileheads.net

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Professional Organizers: The Who, What & Why of the Organizing Industry

Friday, June 2, 2017 @ 05:06 AM
posted by admin

Professional Organizers: The Who, What & Why of the Organizing Industry | Fileheads.net

What Does A Professional Organizer Do?

According to a survey of 1,001 people sponsored by the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals, the public is well-aware of the term “professional organizer”. In fact, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed is familiar with the term*. More than half of those surveyed know professional organizers assisting in both the home and work environments, and the public totally get that they can help reduce clutter, lower stress, and help them find things easier. In fact, 22% of all respondents who’ve never used an organizer’s services would consider hiring one. One of the primary factors that influences this decision is whether their friends or family members saw results when working with a professional organizer.

Why Should You Hire A Professional Organizer?

The tough nuts are those 50% of respondents who have not yet used a professional organizer and are holding back. Why? No, it’s not value. “I think it’s a waste of money” actually comes in fifth place. Is it cost? No, guess again. The number one reason people do not consider hiring a professional organizer is “I can do it myself.” Okay. Have at it. But when your home office explodes or your den has to house your returning adult children, the professional organizer be here for you. The office and den are the most disorganized rooms of a home, according to the survey at 42%, followed by the kitchen (35%), laundry room (33%) and master bedroom (30%).

Who Is Most Likely To Hire A Professional Organizer?

25-34 year olds are most primed to hire a professional organizer, the survey reveals, followed closely by 35-44 year olds. And although the survey does not make it clear what they might need from an organizer that differs from other age groups, we know that these millennials have just surpassed the Baby Boomers in numbers reaching 75.4 million this year. So there’s plenty of organizing business go to around.

Once someone hires an organizer, 73% of respondents with prior use of a professional organizer would hire one again and not just for clutter-control but for the broader benefits of increased safety and security and improved relationships. Who knew? Well, now you know!

Click here for a great infographics with more statistics from this survey.


*Conducted in April, 2016 by NAPO, the first annualPublic Survey is sponsored by the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. It surveyed 1001 qualified respondents on questions related to residential and office organization, organizing industry awareness, and perceptions of the public to that industry. Qualified respondents are US citizens only, over the age of 25 and who own their own home. For more information about these results, please contact Kahra Buss at kahra.buss@napo.net.

Professional Organizers: The Who, What & Why of the Organizing Industry | Fileheads.net

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Ready for Disaster?

Thursday, September 24, 2015 @ 06:09 AM
posted by admin

Are You Ready for a Disaster? What you might be overlooking by Judith Kolberg

Recently I was interviewed by Bonnie McCarthy of the Los Angeles Times for National Preparedness Month. Along with 2 other experts I shared my thoughts on a few things that you might overlook when preparing for an emergency or disaster. You can read the article in its entirety here.

 

Organize for Disaster by Judith Kolberg, fileheads.net

 

If you want to learn more ways to protect your family and home in the event of a disaster, I recommend my book, Organize for Disaster: Prepare Your Family and Your Home for Any Natural or Unnatural Disaster.

 

 

Other articles you may enjoy

What We Are Most Likely To Forget During A Disaster

Creating Your Digital Estate Plan

 

 

 

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Information Junkies

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 @ 03:07 PM
posted by admin

My client, Ann client calls her husband Joe “an information junkie.” Ann needed a new car and Joe was eager to help her find one. He researched consumer reports. Joe asked his online friends, fans and followers what they thought of particular vehicles. He watched Youtube videos of the cars in action and set up Google alerts. Joe amassed an enormous amount of information. Ann says “Joe keeps thinking there is just a little bit more information out there to find and we’ll know exactly which car to buy.” He’s right. There is a little bit more information, in fact, there is no end to the information that can be found to answer a question, solve a problem, make a point or satisfy a curiosity.  The problem for Ann is that Joe’s “help” delays her car purchase. “He doesn’t know how to stop”, Ann says.

And as if endless information were not enough, it turns out that Joe is turned-on by information. What do I mean? Information turn-on is like gambling. My mother loves to gamble. On her 91st birthday, we went to Harrah’s Cherokee casino. They play a sound track of coins tumbling out of the machines: ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching. Just the sound of money plopping out entices Mom to sit at that machine. She’s hooked. When a person gambles, the brain releases dopamine, a neurochemical that the brain loves like your tongue likes sugar. Turns out that the tendency to pursue new information has a similar effect. The ping of a text or bing of an incoming email can light up parts of the brain once thought only to be ignited by drugs, sex and gambling.

If you don’t know when to stop or tend to fall into the black hole of the Internet, here are some tips for you:

Tips for Information Junkies

  • Learn how to search more efficiently. Go to www.google.com/insidesearch/tipstricks/basics.html to brush up.
  • Your social network will be full of opinions so limit this kind of input.
  • Choose two or three professional sources and/or experts (who are not paid for their opinion.)
  • Make your search well-rounded and then STOP. Well-rounded might include several live experts, up to three authoritative blogs or podcasts, and a few choice YouTube videos plus your Internet search.
  • Set a time limit for your research/search.

And remember, since there is no end to the amount of information, points of view, perspectives, arguments, “facts” and claims you can gather from others, at some point, you need to draw your own conclusion, formulate an opinion, or make a decision. These are great stopping points.

A professional organizer can help you organize your search, set goals, and manage your time. You can find one at www.napo.net .

If you cannot stop, are neglecting your time with your live family and friends, or have a high dose of perfectionism, consult a professional counselor.

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Reining in Information Turn-on Teleclass

Thursday, January 30, 2014 @ 03:01 PM
posted by allisoncarter

Wednesday March 19, 2014, 8pm-9pm ET       Price: $79.00

We are overwhelmed by information and yet many of us can’t seem to get enough of it!  In this teleclass, you’ll hear the latest research about why information turns us on and makes us seek even more. Information turn-on can be especially harmful in the era of endless information in which we live because it can diminish productivity, steal precious time away from other activities, and overwhelm us. You’ll learn how to assess information turn-on in your life, methods to help filter information, who to determine when ‘enough is enough’, how to implement ‘the new stopping points’, and social media rules of engagement. These new skills are practical and easy to implement.  (For those in the organizing trade, assessing and addressing information turn-on can be directly transferred to your clients, increasing your service offerings, and enhancing your unique value.)

** Classes are recorded. Registrants have access to mp3 audio recordings of each class in case you miss one!

Add Class to Cart – click HERE

View Cart – click HERE

See other classes

Coping with Endless Connectivity, March 20, 2014

Information Afterlife and Digital Estate Planning, April 17, 2014

We’re All Time Managers, April 23, 2014

Organizing in the Era of Endless, 4 Teleclass Series

Any questions, please contact our Teleclass Techie, Allison Carter, at theorganizer@gmail.com, or call (678) 439-8866

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Endless Connectivity

Thursday, January 30, 2014 @ 03:01 PM
posted by admin

Coping with Endless Connectivity Teleclass
Thursday March 20, 2014, 8pm – 9pm ET       Price: $79.00

We are wirelessly tethered 24/7 to family, friends, fans, co-workers, customers, clients, vendors, suppliers, and perfect and imperfect strangers. The overall effect of endless connectivity is to blur the line between work and leisure. Even leisure-like activities like sharing family videos on Facebook, commenting on blogs, and following people on Twitter all take time. Time lost to endless connectivity includes family time, face-time, and real-time leisure. A Family Technology Policy helps you balance digital activities with non-digital activities, sets boundaries for the use of the devices inside of family life, and reclaims real-time activities. Every family is different. These guidelines will enable you to custom-build a Family Technology Policy.  (For those in the organizing trade, creating a family technology policy can be directly transferred to your clients, increasing your service offerings, and enhancing your unique value.)

** Classes are recorded. Registrants have access to mp3 audio recordings of each class in case you miss one!

Register for Coping with Endless Connectivity Teleclass

Add to Cart

View Cart

See all other classes:

Reining in Information Turn-on, March 19, 2014

Information Afterlife and Digital Estate Planning, April 17, 2014

We’re All Time Managers, April 23, 2014

Organizing in the Era of Endless, 4 Teleclass Series

Any questions, please contact our Teleclass Techie, Allison Carter, at theorganizer@gmail.com,
or call (678) 439-8866

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An Interview With Judith Kolberg

Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 11:09 AM
posted by admin

BY CLUTTER INTERRUPTED  ·  SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

Did you know…

  • Judith Kolberg’s books have sold over a quarter million copies.
  • There is a sheik in Saudi Arabia who orders many of Judith Kolberg’s books every year.
  • The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) has a “Judith Kolberg” Award.
  • Judith enjoys woods, oceans and mountains far from her computer.

Clutter Interrupted Radio episode #120 is about adults with chronic disorganization and/or ADD. Judith gives fascinating and helpful information that gives us a sense of hope as she reassures us that there is no shame in chronic disorganization and ADD. She shares strategies and little tricks to implement into your daily life that will help your situation.

You are reading this at this time in your life for a reason!

Click here to hear the interview.

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How To ‘Stop’ In an Era of Endless

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 @ 06:04 AM
posted by admin

My client, Lisa does not know how to stop. Lisa is a 39-year old university professor.  Like most professors, when it is time to prepare her student’s reading list, she reviews hundreds of books and academic journal articles. That was overwhelming enough, but to ‘keep up’ now, she also has to go through videos, podcasts, and blogs. “I’m afraid I’ll miss something really vital to their education”, Lisa says. She researches and prepares, prepares and researches until the final deadline for submitting the reading list looms close and large. “I have no idea when to stop because I have no idea when I’m done,” Lisa confesses.

It’s a common complaint these days. In the era of endless, information is infinite, but time is not. Time is finite. So at some point quantity has to be qualified.  What is a sufficient quantity to sift thru? How much is enough to qualitatively satisfy a need? It’s increasingly difficult to know.  Too Big To Know by David Weinberger traces the history of facts as they evolved from scarce, isolated foundations of finite bodies of knowledge to the present day where knowledge and facts are common, group-oriented, and readily available.  The concept of rare has gone away in an era of endless when things are equally and endlessly available.

If you find it difficult to stop, here are some tactics you can use:

  • Practice the Law of Diminishing Returns which is the tendency for a continuing effort toward a particular goal to decline in effectiveness after a certain level of result has been achieved. Or, as a client in Houston once put it, Stop when the lemonade ain’t worth the squeeze.

My client Debra is an HR director for a law firm. Her job is to find qualified prospective attorneys to work for the firm. The longer she keeps looking, the more the open post continues to go unfulfilled. The other attorneys have to add more work to their plate to cover for the unfulfilled position, and the as-yet unhired attorney’s contributions are forestalled. Debra says, “It’s just not worth it to the company for me to keep going and going and going with my recruitment efforts.”

  • Spell ‘done’ out ahead of time. Debra decided to prospect the 10 best candidates as a result of her best efforts exerted over 30 days. Any more effort applied actually diminishes the return.
  • Keep in mind that progress towards closure is a quality of life issue. It is good for your mental health to complete things. David Allen, of Getting Things Done fame rightly observes that, “When we spend a lot of psychic energy on half-closed loops, on things left undone, we waste time and energy that could be put to better use elsewhere.”
  • Ask yourself, outloud, what are the 2 things I can do right now to bring this task/project to closure, to get it off my to do list? It might be to make a call, find something on the web, get a question answered, or take even a small action towards closure.
  • Close before you open especially in the morning.  Finishing something early in the day builds a “meaning reservoir”, an expert on obsessive behavior once told me. Completing just one thing early in the day can give meaning to the entire day.
  • Focus on one or two big wins for the day.
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Work Creep

Friday, January 27, 2012 @ 12:01 PM
posted by admin

A day is still 24 hours long yet there are features of modern work that seem to bend a day a little bit farther over its natural edges, a phenomena I call ‘work creep.” In the name of greater productivity, there are out-of-office conference calls, weekend team building trips, shifts to cover, and time zone differences. ‘ Technology has made it possible to work without an office, without a supervisor, and without regard for time of day. In the absence of absolute clarity about the boundaries of work, the line between our working lives and our non-working life is blurred, and discretionary time is disappearing altogether. 62% of at-work email users check work email over the weekend. 50% check email on vacation. In 2009 Americans threw away 465 million vacation days. And 40-hours is rapidly becoming the new part-time. Add to this mix, the fact that we are in a deep recession where the expectation of working longer hours is the norm, and its no wonder we find it hard to find the time to anything but work.

As a professional organizer and time management expert, I tell my clients that I will find them more time, but not to invest into more work. Instead it will be leisure time that we will actually put into their schedule to rest, relax and recreate. Here is where that time can be found:

  • Use Skpe, web-based meeting programs, and phone to limit face-to-face meetings.
  • Agendize business phone calls, all meetings, and interactions. Write a teeny agenda of what to cover, ask, solve or do at those interactions.
  • Delegate to the machines. Taking time to learn how to optimally use your smartphone, tablet, web tools, software and apps can be a huge return on investment in terms of time you save.
  • Limit social media usage to a hour at a time. Set an alarm. Get up, walk, and then before setting the alarm for the next hour, decide if you can knock off.
  • Schedule leisure, rest, relaxation, and every other kind of downtime. It may sound counter-intuitive to your sense of spontaneity and fun but you’ll find you have the best of both worlds: spontaneity and planned non-work time.

Need more help? Contact a professional organizer who can show you how to manage your time to combat work creep.

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