I’m pleased to feature Gail Marek, a local professional organizer who teaches classes in the Twin Cities area. She teaches classes for adults and kids. One of her classes is “Organized, Smart Kids.” See her bio below for more information on upcoming classes in the metro area!
5 Steps to Getting Organized
by Gail Marek, professional organizer
It’s surprisingly simple to be better organized using five easy ideas. Know what is expected of you, whether you have a meeting with your doctor or a job to do. Learn from your experiences so that you don’t keep making the same mistakes. Set up good office support systems. Make the most of your meetings, whether with an insurance agent or your boss. Finally, pace yourself by alternating periods of work and rest.
Know what others expect of you.
What tasks and projects do you have? If you keep track of what you have to do each day and what you have on your long term To Do list, you are already a step ahead. Keep track of your deadlines and your time, whether it’s showing up for work on time, picking up your kids from school, or fixing a leaky sink. Make yourself accountable to others and set appointment times so that you keep track of your time through the day and keep planning for the next thing you have to do. Remember to allow extra time in your schedule throughout the day in case you get behind and run late.
How is your paperwork organized? Know what your finances are and where your money is. Keep your bills and important papers together and within easy reach for when you need them. You can put them in a pile or basket on the kitchen counter when you come in the house. Is it easy to find things you need? Remember to put your keys and wallet and glasses in the same place every time you walk into the house so that you can quickly retrieve them when you are ready to leave.
Learn from your experiences.
Keep track of your good and bad experiences. Look for patterns in the decisions you have made in the past and what happened because of those decisions. Once you can see the positive outcomes again and again from good decisions, you will start to make better decisions more often. Don’t get down on yourself when things don’t work out the way you want. Remember to focus on your successes and repeat those good decisions!
Set up your office support systems.
Whether you do your paperwork at the kitchen table or at a desk in your office, have adequate lighting. Good lighting over your work area and around the room makes it feel like you are working in a bright, happy place and not a dark dungeon. Keep your necessary papers within easy reach. The more often you use certain papers or files, the closer they should be to where you sit. The less you use files, the farther away you can store them.
Have a smooth flow of traffic in and around your work area. Make sure that you have an inbox and an outbox and a place to put papers that you want to file on your desk. Leave enough space on your work surface so that you can work on one thing at a time, and stay focused on that one thing until it is finished. In addition, make sure that you have a good flow of traffic around the room with enough space to walk around your desk and to be able to get to your file cabinets and book cases.
Make the most of meetings.
Get ready for meetings in advance. No matter if you are meeting you’re your boss or your insurance agent, make sure that you know what the meeting is about and what you expect to get out of the meeting so that you can be prepared. Remember that you may have questions or information to share with others, as well. You may wish to create a meeting packet, to include a notebook, pen, calculator, and have a pocket for loose leaf papers. Remember to clean out your packet and clean out your purse or wallet every day or every week.
Remember to take breaks and periods of rest when you are working or getting organized because taking breaks helps to keep your productivity high. Use short, quiet periods of time wisely to file papers, update your calendar and To Do List, clean out the dishwasher, do a load of laundry, or cut fruits and vegetables for later use. Make sure that you handle items with the highest priority first.
Keep your To Do List up-to-date and use your calendar to set deadlines. Start large tasks early. Break down larger projects into smaller sections and do one or two smaller parts each day so that you aren’t trying to finish the project at the last minute.
By following these simple rules and keeping track of the time throughout the day, you can stay on time and accomplish the tasks that are most important.
About the author
Gail Marek, a professional organizer with Organized for Success, is teaching these tips and many others in her Organize Your Office class through a 90-minute adult enrichment course near you in January and February, 2017.
In the course you will learn the basics on setting up your office from floor plan to desktop to storing and filing papers. You will learn what papers you definitely keep. You will walk away knowing how to create your own filing system and ideas to store all your papers. And you will have a plan for regular upkeep and maintenance of your new systems.
This class is for adults, whether at home or in the office. For a small additional fee, you may purchase her DVD, Organize Your Office, to take home with you to help you work step-by-step through the process of organizing your office and paperwork. Or you may purchase her office organizing DVD at www.GailMarek.com. Please check your local community education center for a class near you. Miss Marek teaches around the Twin Cities and outer surrounding suburbs. If you do not find a class in your city school district, please check another local school district in your area.
|Tues.||17-Jan||Burnsville Eagan Savage|
|Thur.||19-Jan||St. Louis Park|
|Wed.||1-Feb||Prior Lake -Savage|
|Sat.||4-Feb||St. Michaels-Albertville 9:30|
|Mon.||13-Feb||Apple Valley Rosemount Eagan|
“Organized, Smart Kids” is a 90-minute class on Thursday, March 23, where parents will learn the habits of organized kids, as well as tips and techniques to help their child be organized at home and for school. You will learn the five things that kids need to bring to school every day, good time management for yourself and your child, and how to help your kids create schedules, focus on homework, and create quiet study spaces.
This class comes highly recommended for parents of small children, as well as teenagers. Parents who came to this class made comments, including, “Very informational!” “Specific, tangible ideas to try!” To register for this class on Thursday, March 23, at 6:00, go to: