Project Bins

It seems I am always working on multiple projects. Currently I am working on three presentations, updating my web page, and updating my social media. I also continuously snag ideas for future blogs, future workshops, future newsletters, and future presentations. My business plan is also an ongoing project.

I also belong to several organizations where I am actively working on projects.

A couple of years ago, after continual frustration with the stacks of paper that were sitting around on and beside my desk due to these multiple active projects, I came across the idea of project bins.

I currently have two project bins. One bin is for projects concerning my business, Time Space Organization. The other bin is for any committee work. When I was writing my book, From Vision to Victory, I had a third project bin dedicated just to the writing process.

Each project is in a labeled folder or notebook. When I am working on that project, I grab my bin and pull out what I need. When my project time is finished, I slide everything back into that folder or notebook and drop it back into the bin. The bins sit behind closed doors in the cabinet that faces my desk. I do not have to look at the project material except when I have it out for work. I find that this keeps my mind clear for whatever I am working on currently. These bins have greatly reduced my stress because the projects are not always in my face yelling at me.

This month I am organizing in my office zone and I will review these bins. I will get rid of any material that is no longer relevant and just generally tidy up the folders. I am very pleased with this simple way of organizing all of my projects and keeping them hidden away until I need them.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Clutter – Don’t Fight It – Go with the Flow

Look around your home. Where are your hot spots – those places where clutter builds up over and over again? You have a plan in place but the next thing you know, you’re right back where you started. Typically these places tend to be near the door, on the kitchen counter, by the bedside, on the dining room table, or on your desk.

Once you locate your hot spots, take a look at what has accumulated.
Much of the time, most of the stuff is paper. If you dump all the mail in one spot (or two) instead of taking it to that nice center you set up in your office, admit that the system is not working for you at this time. So just go with the flow. Set up a basket right there – right where the paper is accumulating. Put a trash can there, too. When you are ready to sort papers, you know right where they will be. At this point, the only sort you might do is remove and trash the junk mail.
If your night stand is really a nightmare – overflowing with magazines, books, catalogues, hand cream, tissues, your phone, and more – contain it. Put a basket by the bed for all reading material. When the basket overflows – clear out all items over 2 months old and start again. Put a small basket or have an end table with a drawer to hold the hand cream, tissues, phone, glasses, and the like. This will keep you from groping under the bed for your glasses and phone in the morning.
If you have the habit of doing your nails or working crossword puzzles while sitting on the couch, use and end table with a drawer or basket to hold the items you tend to just leave dumped on or by the couch.
Keep these three rules in mind.
  1. Keep an eye on these hot spots and when baskets or containers are overflowing and there is too much stuff lying nearby, use this as your cue to take time and clear it out again.
  2. Let the whole family in on what is going on and why.
  3. Keep the system as easy as possible.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Who me? ADHD?

Information about women with ADD/ADHD have fascinated me in my later years. I suspect that I have ADD but have not been officially diagnosed. ADHD is a condition that may develop in early years but continue into adulthood and often gets worse in post menopausal women.

As women get older and take on more responsibilities, they tend to get overwhelmed with day-to-day events. ADHD makes it difficult to focus and control behavior. ADHD people are often bright but can be challenged by simple tasks. They might be very creative with the big ideas but terrible with the details of follow through. They may work on many projects but complete few. They wonder what is wrong with them and often develop poor self esteem.

So what can women with ADHD or suspected ADHD do?

  1. Develop time management skills.
  • Set schedules for the day – decide what 3 things they would like to accomplish for the day and block out times to do them
  • Learn to question themselves about projects – “I have 3 big projects I want to finish. What should I do myself and what should I delegate or hire out? Should I landscape my yard and paint my deck, or hire someone else to do it?”
  • Use a timer – decide ahead of time how long they will devote to a task – set the timer for that amount of time and then quit when the timer goes off – reward themselves for what they have accomplished

      2. Set up systems for they way they function.

  • Determine their learning style and utilize their learning strengths
  • If they are a piler instead of a filer, accept that and set up piling systems
  • Use labels for files, containers, shelves
  • Put things where they would look for them – not where they think they “ought” to go

      3. Accept themselves and be proud.

  • Focus on their strengths and accomplishments – not their failures
  • Learn that perfection is rare and that “good enough” is a better goal
  • Speak up for themselves and their accomplishments
  • Take care of themselves physically and walk tall and proud

Criteria for a formal diagnosis are determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders from the American Psychiatric Association. If women don’t want a formal diagnosis at their later age, they might want to work with a counselor, life coach, or professional organizer to learn some coping skills.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer