Friday, April 29, 2011

Organizing the Creative Mind

It is so much fun to be creative. We can come up with all of these wonderful ideas - how we cant redecorate our office, how we can streamline our time management system, how we can dig a pit and have a luau party. But often creative ideas just shrivel up due to lack of nourishment.
One of the NAPO conference sessions I attended was "20 Best Practices of Organizing the Creative Mind" by Scot Belsky. One of his premise was that impacts from creativity are a product - as in an equation.
Creativity X Organization = Impact
Impact is a product - not a sum.
100 great creative ideas times no organization = 0 impact
50 great creative ideas times 2 parts organization = impact of 100
Ideas don't just happen just because they are great. There are other forces at play (hint: I'm a professional organizer).
Good ideas should be shared. This helps build in accountability. You have a good idea. Put together an execution plan. Write up action steps. These steps can be delegated or sometimes immediately taken. If you are meeting with a group, capture your action steps at the end of the meeting. Look for other resources to help you along. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Build a village around you to help you see your ideas to fruition. You may need doers and even some naysayers or realists in your group.
I am a part of a goals group. We meet monthly and we share our wins from the past month and our goals for the upcoming month. This is my accountability. This is a trusted arena where I can take my creative dreams, sound them out, and put the dreams to action.
Scott is the author of Making Ideas Happen and the founder of the Behance Network and the Action Method. Check him out for more great ideas.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time Management Systems

When you have trouble with your organization of time, you will probably also have difficulty with other types of organization. At our NAPO conference, Emily Wilska reviewed six time management systems. She has come to the conclusion that there is not one time management system that works for everyone and that often, it is a good idea to take ideas from several systems and make a system that works for you.
Very briefly I will highlight some of the "take aways" that I got from her presentation.
  • Getting Things Done (GTD)- This system can be a good one for people with ADD but is not a good system for procrastinators
  • Franklin Covey- good for people who want to take time to set goals and priorities for a balanced life but not good for people who have trouble prioritizing or with procrastination
  • The Now Habit- good for people stuck in procrastination and can be good for creative/right brain thinkers but is not good for linear thinkers or workaholics
  • Action Method- great for visual learners and creative/right brain thinkers and in many cases people with ADD but not good for procrastination or people who want a lot of structure
  • Pomodora Technique- great for linear and left brain thinkers and in some cases people with ADD but not good for people whose work consists of many small/short tasks or extensive or complex lists of tasks or for people who have trouble prioritizing
  • Do It Tomorrow - good for people who love structure and are good at estimating how long tasks take but not sot good for ADD or creative/right brain thinkers
So, I might take the goal setting section and balancing priorities from Franklin Covey, the idea of putting all committed times first on my calendar from The Now Habit, the action goals from the Action Method, and the use of a timer from the Pomodora Technique.
I like the idea of structuring my own plan and not feeling bad because I can't make a system that is out there work for me exactly. You might enjoy looking some of the plans up and seeing what would best work for you.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Zone Plan - Breakfast Room/Mud Room

This is the month I focus on my breakfast room. It is the back entrance to my home so for you it might be a mud room or any other small room in your home. I have just recently made some major changes to the look of this room. My motivation for the change was due to a shift in my life that led me to wanting to nourish myself and create more calm areas in my life. My vision was to develop an area in my home that was contemplative and peaceful. I pulled in help for re-purposing this room from Jenna Boyd of Elements of Harmony and my Feng Shui consultant -; Tami Puckett of Mindful Redesign and my organizer/re-designer -; and Michael Carpenter my artist/carpenter/faux wall designer, etc. - We brainstormed how to make this project come true and then made a plan with a time-line. The implementation is now complete.
Far from my usual zone work, most of this was done by others. One area that is mine alone is the closet where all of my china/crystal/entertainment materials are housed. I will use the remainder of this month to clear out that area and purge all items I no longer need or love. My job will then be to develop the maintenance plan.
Each zone is best revisited once a year and the steps outlined in From Vision to Victory: A Workbook For Finding a Simple Path to an Organized Home, followed. One example of how this works is the process I followed for this room. This allows you to touch everything in your home once a year and make certain that you vision for each area is still holding true.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer