Begin with a Master Action Plan, and supplement it with a detailed list of everything that needs to be done.
Once you’ve assessed what isn’t working in your workspace, and you’ve come up with some potential ideas for solutions, it’s time to create an action plan for how you’re going to actually accomplish the organizing projects you’ve identified. To do this you’ll create two lists—a Master Action Plan, which lists the projects or the spaces you are going to organize, and a more detailed sheet which lists the individual steps within a larger project.
The Master Action Plan is essentially a list of the different projects that you are going to be attacking and the order in which you are going to attack them. This list should be ordered by priority. If the state of your disorganized desk is driving you crazy, put that high on your priority list. If there are things you can do that will help you generate additional revenue or keep you from spending money, put those high on the priority list.
The second list you should make should detail the individual steps within the different projects. Break this list down into the following groups: things to edit, things to sort, things to purchase, things to move, and things you need to do. Let’s go through these one by one.
Things to edit. In this step you will identify the items that need to be weeded through or thinned out. For instance, you might be looking to weed through your storage so you can create room for more things. Or you may want to weed through your file drawers so that you can keep only the papers that you actually need.
Things to sort. After you’ve edited, it’s a lot easier to sort what remains into categories because you are left only with what you want or need. There are a variety of ways that you can sort your things—by topic, category, color, size, or type of item.
Things to purchase. In many cases you will need to buy some sort of supply to help you get or stay organized—whether it’s a new file cabinet, a different storage system for keeping your pens or pencils on your desk, or a completely new desk or shelving unit. Whatever you have identified as missing during your needs assessment, list it here as something to purchase. This will help consolidate all that information into one spot so that you will know that this is where you need to look when it’s time to think about making a purchase.
Things to move. As you did your needs assessment you might have noticed some things that simply don’t belong in your space anymore. If so, move them out! Take note of those things you don’t need in your space and decide where they should go—whether it’s a storage space, a donation center, into your car, or even simply into your briefcase.
Things to do. Finally, there might be some bigger things that you need to do or create as part of the organizing project in a given space. For instance, if you are working at your desk and you’ve noticed that your paper is not under your control any more, you might want to create a paper management system. That is a larger sub-project in the overall organization of your desk, so it falls under the “to-do” heading.
The more time you spend on planning how you are going to attack your organizing projects, the more successful you will be.
If you’re wondering how to implement these strategies, we’d be happy to chat with you. Contact us for a complimentary “Eliminate the Chaos” strategy session by going to http://www.customlivingsolutions.com/advice