How long have you been a Productivity Consultant/Professional Organizer and what inspired you to start?
I have had my business for over 15 years. In my prior professional life I was a CPA. I did not really enjoy that work, and decided to start my own business using the skills I was good at and enjoyed doing. More Time For You originally offered personal services such as errand running, bookkeeping, and organizing. Over time, I abandoned the other services as I found the professional organizing side and eventually the productivity side of the business to be the most rewarding – personally and financially.
What is your specialty area or focus in your business?
I work with high performing individuals who don’t have the time or don’t know how to create organization systems for their homes or offices. I also work with small businesses that need to create systems to run their operations more efficiently for greater productivity. That can include paper and time management systems.
Have you always been organized or did you have to learn it?
I am the product of a mother who never had a junk drawer and believed in a home for everything. She was not anal, but kept our home simple without a lot of excess stuff. As a child we would often tease her for throwing away some of our “precious mementos”, but looking back, most of the stuff she got rid of was not very meaningful anyway. She was a party planner and taught me a lot about running a business and the importance of having a good system for everything.
Is there anything you find yourself doing repeatedly that gets in the way of your organization?
I often have to quiet that small voice that is afraid to take on a new challenge. When I first started learning the social media frontier, I thought I would never understand it. I thought, “I can’t do this,” ”This will take so much time.” A part of me was afraid to jump in and try it. With the help of a few classes, a consultant friend, and trial and error, I overcame that nagging negative voice. I now have a pretty good understanding of the available tools and how to use them. It’s a great feeling to push the negative voice away and overcome a challenge.
What’s a simple activity that consistently makes you or your clients better organized?
Practicing the “2 minute pick up”. Before leaving any room of your home, spend 2 minutes picking up any items you’ve taken out or trash you need to get rid of. Spending a few minutes now, makes clean up much easier than if you let it collect.
Have you ever been surprised that something you expected would make you organized, didn’t – or vice versa?
I thought all the tools (smartphones, software, etc.) that have evolved to make us manage our time better would make people more efficient. However, I find most people don’t take the time to learn a tool or the tool they choose is not right for their personality. They end up abandoning the tool too quickly and go back to their old ways of writing things on random scraps of paper with no system. When I got my iPhone I thought I would never abandon my paper calendar. I liked writing down my appointments and seeing my week at a glance. I tried using the calendar that came with the phone, but the sync did not work well, and I could not find a display I liked. Eventually I found CalenGoo and app that displays my calendar in a format I LOVE and even works offline. I’ve now abandoned my paper calendar completely and would never go back.
What is the most common organizing challenge people have?
I think most people look at a cluttered desk, room, or office and see a mess. They become overwhelmed and don’t want to look at it. They ignore it by either closing the door and forgetting about it or by trying to work around the clutter. People often don’t realize that once they start to sort the items into like piles or get rid of the obvious trash, the clean up can be quicker than they thought. My expertise is to see the pattern of like items that can be put together in an organized system.
Are there any books on organizing or productivity that you would recommend?
I am a big fan of Peter Walsh books for home organization. I also like the book Organizing Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin. On the time management and productivity side, I’m a big fan of David Allen. His Getting Things Done system is one where everyone can learn something. I also recommend Michael Linenberger’s Total Workday Control.
Anything else you would like to add?
Being organized can really make a huge difference in all aspects of your life and I have seen clients achieve greater happiness and productivity by taking the first steps to getting organized. It leads to clearer thinking, greater creativity, and a huge reduction in stress. Our world continues to move at increased speeds and keeping up with things definitely requires an investment in and practice of good systems.
How can our readers get in touch with you?
I can be reached through my website at http://www.moretimeforyou.net or you can like my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/moretimeforyou