This Year I'm Going To Get Organized!

This year I’m going to get organized!

Getting organized is one of the leading New Years resolutions and for good reason.  To survive in todays fast-paced world we must know what we have and how to find it quickly.  Unfortunately, our good intentions can be quickly overwhelmed when we ask ourselves, "Where do I begin?"  

 A good plan makes the difference between getting it done and good intentions.  Studies show that 5 minutes of planning will save you one hour of implementation time.  A simple way to begin is by using SMART goals.  S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

Specific Target specific projects that you can accomplish rather than a vague resolution.  Instead of setting getting organized as your goal, commit to something concrete like building a filing system for all of your household paper.

 Measurable Set goals that can be measured.  You can easily tell if all of the paper lying about your house is in a filing system you trust. 

 Attainable Narrow your focus on projects that can be successfully achieved.  Organization has a tendency to take on a life of its own and success breeds success.  Perhaps your first goal should be organizing the paper on your desktop or the kitchen counter.

Realistic Identify what can truly be accomplished within a reasonable time frame.  Always hold yourself accountable to accomplishing just the next step.  You might choose to outline what your new home filing system will look like as a first step.  What 4 8 categories are needed?  Will they be color-coded?  What type of files do you prefer?

 Timely Set a deadline for yourself.  When we commit to specific times we multiply our ability to achieve results.  Can you successfully have your file system outlined by tomorrow or do you really need two weeks?  Plan out realistic timeframes to complete tasks, because completed tasks become completed projects.

 A resolution sounds like I will lose weight.  A SMART goal is I will lose 5 pounds by March 15 by exercising three times a week and not eating between meals.  Write it down and review your progress often.  This year you really can get organized.

Barbara J. Bergeron is an organizing consultant, trainer and productivity coach. She is president of SOS Organizational Services in Chester Springs, PA specializing in personal productivity training to businesses and individuals. Featured in newspapers across the country, she is frequently quoted as an expert on simplifying “how people get things done.”

Barbara has appeared on both television and radio. Her client list includes Fortune 500 companies as well as home-based businesses. Her on-site organizing and productivity-training seminars provide business teams and individuals the tools necessary to master the organizational demands of today’s fast paced world.

She is a board of director and Golden Circle member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO); past president and 5-year board member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of NAPO; and member of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization.