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Blog: Simplify Your Life
What's Your Personal Organizing Style?

Anyone who tells you that there is only one right way to organize is wrong -- there are as many organizing styles as there are people on the planet. The trick is to discover your own personal organizing style and make use of those tools that complement your strengths and bolster your weaknesses. Here are a few tips for making the most of your own personal preferences...

Create The Right Kind Of Storage

The game hide-and-seek is a perfect metaphor for the way that people like to store their belongings. "Hiders" can't stand to see anything sitting out -- the desk or countertop must be clear of all clutter before they can concentrate. If you fall into this category, look for opaque and enclosed storage solutions -- solid-sided storage tubs, drawer systems, cabinets with doors (just be sure to label containers so you know what's inside without having to open them!) Subdividing your storage spaces and files into smaller sections will also help keep your hiding places organized.

"Seekers," on the other hand, tend to panic when things aren't right at their fingertips. They are afraid that if they can't see it, they will forget about it (and if it's a to-do, fail to take care of it in time). You can get rid of the piles by using open storage tools -- clear plastic containers and stacking cubbies, file crates instead of drawers, shelves instead of closed cabinets. Just be careful about having too much stuff out all the time or you might get overwhelmed -- see if you're comfortable putting things that you rarely use in closed storage, out of the way.

Understand Your Work Style

"Chunkers" like to commit a lengthy period of time to one project -- they really know how to focus, and may not look up from their work all day long. My husband is one of these, and he gets very cranky when you break his concentration. The challenge for chunkers is to avoid outside interruptions -- it's okay to let your calls go to voice mail, shut your office door, and let your colleagues know that you will be unavailable for a few hours. Just be sure to maintain a little balance in your day -- schedule stretch breaks, make time to return calls, and don't forget to eat lunch!

"Bursters" are the exact opposite -- they get bored working on the same task for hours on end, and prefer to spend a little time on this project and a little time on that one, hopping back and forth as the mood strikes. A lot of people think that multi-tasking is a one-way ticket to hell, but bursters can be unbelievably productive -- if they set some boundaries around their time. Try to limit the number of tasks you're working on so you can actually finish all of them on schedule -- and make sure you spend your day on high-priority, high-payoff items rather than time-wasters.  

Tackle Your To-Do's

Do you prefer to start your work day with something simple or a challenge? "Breezers" find that knocking off a few quick tasks in the morning gives them the forward momentum and sense of accomplishment they need to last the whole day. If you find yourself procrastinating on bigger to-do's, break that difficult job down into several smaller, easier steps.

"Stumpers" prefer to cross the hardest item off their list first, so the rest of the day is a snap. But you may find yourself surrounded by "crises" because a lot of small fires started while you were focused on the big picture. Be sure to build in regular admin time for keeping those mundane items under control, so they don't turn into a problem.

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posted on: 1/26/2010 11:30:00 AM by Ramona Creel
category: General Organizing Tips

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Simplify Your Life

by Ramona Creel

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About Ramona:

I have been a Professional Organizer for more than 10 years, I am a NAPO Golden Circle member, and I was the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. I have worked one-on-one with scores of clients and have trained dozens of newbie organizers as they got started in the industry. I provide both hands-on and virtual coaching to help clients improve their organizing skills and simplify their lives. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.RamonaCreel.com, and I challenge you to find one new idea that you can put into practice in your life, to help you become better organized, starting TODAY! I am passionate about coaching folks toward a more balanced, productive, and enjoyable life -- and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you!

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