Tag: organization

It’s About Time: Tips to Master Time Management for Maximum Productivity

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One of the most positive things about humans is our adaptability, which makes setting up a more efficient time management schedule surprisingly simple once we adjust to the new routine.

To fix the problem of poorly-managed time, you must first sit down and analyze exactly how you’re spending your work hours, decide what to keep and what to get rid of, and figure out the best method to accomplish everything you’d like to get done every day.

Below are 5 top tips to help you master time management for maximum productivity:

 

1. Eliminate Distractions—

One of the hardest to accomplish, yet most productive things anyone can do to manage time more efficiently is to eliminate distractions from their working environment.

Distractions can take the form of internal conflicts, such as anxiety, interpersonal problems or difficulty concentrating, and external disturbances, such as chatty co-workers. Irritating outside noises, computer notifications and cell phone alerts can also be common diversions.

The obvious solution for avoiding external distractions is to create a working environment free of disruptive outside forces using isolation or privacy, if possible, and the elimination of electronic interruptions by silencing alerts.

If you are in charge of many people and unable to avoid constant human interaction, you may need to determine if a virtual assistant can save your company time and money.

Having someone else to serve as a “gatekeeper” to decide whether or not you are urgently needed by employees can remove unnecessary distractions on a daily basis, allowing you to get more work done.

 

2. Prioritize Your Day Early—

One of the top tips recommended to help with managing time is the popular method of ending each work day by writing down the six most important tasks to be accomplished the next day.

These tasks should be prioritized by importance, from first to sixth, and starting the next morning they should be completed in order before moving on to the next priority item.

By finishing each number before you move to the next, you will avoid the time-wasting pitfalls of procrastination and multi-tasking, both of which can derail your train of thought and lead to distraction.

Also: Be sure to give yourself adequate time to accomplish each of your six daily goals, because underestimating task time is a common time management mistake.

 

3. Just Do It—

Procrastination is the worst enemy of efficient time management, because we all know that if we don’t feel like accomplishing a task now, we aren’t going to magically feel like working on it later.

This can be difficult for everyone because sometimes we simply don’t feel like doing something, but if we have it on the priority list, there’s usually a good reason. Remember that working hard to get an unpleasant chore over with will allow you move onto the next thing.

But if you truly don’t have the time, or absolutely cannot deal with the task at hand, remember to delegate so the job gets done.

 

4. Set Your Schedule—

It’s easy for busy business people to get caught up in the chaos of a bustling, hectic work environment, making it extremely important that you have a set schedule to count on.

Adding structure to your workplace can help you stay on-task by giving you somewhere to focus, so create set times at which you do the necessary parts of your job, and stick to them. Examples of this might be checking e-mail at the same time, one or two times per day, and setting up other daily must-do chores on a schedule.

Once you get into a routine, you will find that adhering to your self-administered rules will keep you on the path to productivity, rather than wandering aimlessly from one duty to another until you’ve completely forgotten your main objective.

 

5. Become a Master of Organization—

Much time is wasted trying to find poorly organized files, receipts and paperwork, making it crucial that you implement a system of organization.

Figure out a filing system that works for you, and don’t forget to keep backup copies of all data off-site as well as on-site in case of emergency.

A cluttered environment can make your mind feel cluttered, so don’t underestimate the power of an organized and clear desk or office to help with organization.

Keeping a paper book-style daily planner in plain sight can also help remind you of important goals and meetings while allowing you to avoid potentially distracting technological reminders.

 

Time management is easily attainable once you decide to implement a plan and follow the new schedule you’ve set in place for yourself. Use the tips above to create a distraction-free and organized environment, accomplish everything on your daily list, promote productivity and increase profits.

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Super Storage for Small Spaces: 8 Unique Organization Ideas

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Organizing a small space can encourage creativity, as it can be hard to function in a messy environment, forcing the crowded to figure out unique storage solutions. When your home is very small, you quickly realize everything has to have a place, and every square foot must be utilized to the maximum potential.

Recently, the tiny house trend has been making the news, as people tired of struggling to pay mortgages on full-sized homes decide to downsize in a big way. By building miniature homes with minimal supplies, homeowners pay as they build, ending construction with no monthly mortgage hanging over their heads.

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The trade-off for the financial freedom of the small house movement, of course, is loss of space, but by creatively using every storage option available, owners of tiny homes have proven that humans can live comfortably in a much smaller area than previously imagined. Studio apartment occupants have used storage tricks for small spaces for years, but mini-homes have taken it to the extreme, inspiring many to live simpler lives.

Whether you live in a studio apartment or a large, spacious home, organization is always important. Clutter is the enemy of productivity, and nobody wants to live in a chaotic setting where they can’t find the things they want when necessary.

To spark your organizational creativity, listed below are 8 of the most efficient and original ideas being used today for keeping small places feeling roomier and well-ordered.

 

1. Unclutter to Organize—

The first step to creating more space in any home is to eliminate anything not often used or needed.

This can be difficult, forcing people to make tough choices when it seems safe to keep things “just in case,” but will be worth it when the organization job is automatically easier. Because guess what? When you have less of everything to organize, organizing everything is less work.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start small by clearing out the garage, or even only a closet at a time: You don’t have to take on the whole house at once.

If you haven’t used it in a year or don’t absolutely need it, consider donating your pointlessly stored goods to a local thrift store or charity. This will make you feel good inside, knowing your unused belongings may help another, and take away the feeling that you’re throwing your belongings away.

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2. Find the Right Furniture—

If you have large, overstuffed furniture, or more than you need for your family, consider selling or donating what you don’t use to automatically open up your home.

Consider sleek, compact designs for chairs and couches, and don’t buy a large kitchen table if you don’t need it. Pay attention to arrangement and allow rooms to flow when placing furniture, rather than blocking walkways and sightlines.

When buying furniture, always find pieces that combine function with fashion, especially if this involves hidden storage.

For example, buy a coffee table with multiple levels to add additional places for books or magazines, or substitute it with a trunk or ottoman that opens to offer storage inside.

Find an entertainment center with cabinets built in, rather than settling for a one-purpose television stand.

Consider side tables that combine light and shelving, benches with seats that lift to reveal storage, and rolling carts for extra kitchen counter space.

 

3. Sleep Sleekly—

Murphy beds are built into the wall to be pulled down for sleep and pushed back up during daytime, and have long been a staple of the bedroom size-impaired.

Bunk beds are commonly used to sleep multiple kids in one room, and a loft bed (i.e. bunk beds minus the bottom bed) can open up an extra play zone or a desk/computer area for anyone.

Also consider downsizing full, queen and king-sized beds to twin-sized for single sleepers whenever possible. A large bed is a luxury, but when space is an issue, sometimes a smaller bed can create extra room you’ll appreciate more.

 

4. Repurposed Spaces—

Sometimes when a home is built, there may be “dead” or closed-off areas not being utilized that can be opened up and given new life.

An example of this might be the area underneath a staircase, which can often be opened up or rebuilt to create a closet, mudroom with coat hangers, an office area, or even a place for a pet to hang out.

Closets can also be converted into secret work stations by removing the hanging bar and installing a shelf to serve as a laptop desk and office, allowing one to simply close the door to hide the paper clutter when desired. These converted closets also make great crafting or utility rooms.

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5. Look Upward—

Installing wall-mounted shelving and cabinets in closets, bedrooms, above toilets, and onto garage walls are all examples of using the non-floor parts of a home to keep things neat.

Mounting a flat screen on a wall can completely eliminate a bulky entertainment center or television stand, and tall, narrow bookshelves can create vertical storage floor-to-ceiling without taking up too much valuable ground.

Pots and pans can be hung from walls or the ceiling in kitchens, rather than filling up limited cabinet capacity, microwaves can be mounted to save counter space, and door-hanging organizers can open up a crowded pantry.

In the garage, multi-levels of shelving can be pushed to the sides to create places for storage totes to sit neatly, and bikes can be hung for floor space.

 

6. Table Tricks—

One of the largest space-eaters in any kitchen is the table—if you have room for one. Because of this, many small home-dwellers will opt to extend a counter or build a slender shelf into the wall to pull bar stools up to for meals, rather than dine at a traditional table.

A table that folds up can be mounted to the wall to be lowered for use and raised back up to clear the way when not needed.

A small table with wheels can also be rolled out and then pushed to the side for extra counter space when not in use.

 

7. Below the Bed—

The area under most beds is a dusty, disorganized mess, which wastes what could be an excellent place to keep not-often-used items, such as out-of-season clothing, extra blankets, or exercise equipment stored close to the edges for easy reach.

Long, clear plastic storage totes with rollers underneath are available specifically for this purpose, and bags sold using vacuumed air removal to flatten them will store clothes beautifully in tight, flat spots such as this.

Buying a bed frame with pull-out drawers built in underneath the mattress is also an excellent way to make use of the square footage the bed was already going to take up.

 

8. Get Creative—

Just because something was made for a certain purpose doesn’t mean you can’t use it in a new way.

If you have a lot of make-up, hair products, jewelry or other bathroom or bedroom small item clutter, it’s okay to hang a shoe rack to contain it all. Feel free to buy one to use for shoe organization, while you’re at it.

Some have solved the small item clutter issue by installing a narrow shelf all the way around a room to give little knickknacks, candles and other decorative items a place to shine without eating up counter and table space.

The areas on top of kitchen and bathroom cabinets that often go unused can also be utilized with attractive baskets or bins filled with whatever you’d like.

You can also screw hooks underneath kitchen cabinets to create useful coffee mug hanging areas for more storage, and use robe or jacket hangers on walls and door backs whenever possible.

 

Remember, the sky’s the limit when it comes to figuring out how to make more room in your life and create order. Hopefully some of the interesting and innovative ideas listed above for increasing storage in small spaces has inspired you to find new ways to organize and clear the clutter from your home, no matter what the size of your living space.