Resources



STOP Papers in Their Tracks

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in blog | 0 comments

STOP Papers in Their Tracks

Do you know that you can decrease and in some cases stop papers from entering your home?  Yes, it will take a little effort on your part. But a little effort will go a long way. Even if you throw out junk mail without opening it, you are still using up a minute of you time and those minutes add up.  Here are two sources that can assist you in eliminating unwanted mail:

Eliminate Unwanted Mail

Here are two sources that can assist you in eliminating unwanted mail:

Reduce Other Mail

There are additional steps that you can take to reduce certain types of mail.

  • Evaluate the magazines that you subscribe to. One weekly and one or two monthly magazines are the maximum most people have time to read. Keep those magazines that you read and discontinue the others. Remember, you can always buy a single issue of a magazine that has an important article in it. If you find it difficult to read the newspaper every day, subscribe to the Friday – Sunday papers or better yet, just the Sunday edition.
  • Don’t be tempted to sign up for store credit cards at each store that offers you a % discount for the first purchase you make with the card.  Not only will you receive mail from the store, but you will also be placed on additional mailing lists.

Manage Current Papers

Now it is time to decide what to do with the papers that you still have in addition to papers from other sources, such as work or school. First, it is important to designate a landing spot for these papers. Once you have landing location, you may find it helpful to set up pre-file sort options.  These are action folders to help you be more efficient in your use of time when you are ready to actually do something with the papers.  Some suggestions for action categories include:

  • To Pay
  • To File
  • To Read
  • To Do
  • To Call
  • To Delegate
  • To Attend
  • To Enter (into the computer, your planner, etc.)
  • To Buy
  • To Write
  • To Copy
  • To Discuss

I recommend setting up three to six of these action folders.  Do not place them in traditional in/out bins.  Items get lost in those, never to be found again!  Instead, place them in a sorter that keeps the folders in a vertical position (found in most office stores).  Then designate a time in your schedule to take action on these papers.  If you do not make time to act on the papers, all you have is organized papers that never get processed and this leads to bills that are late and parties you didn’t get to attend.

If you have taken the steps mentioned in this article, congratulations!  You are now on your way to becoming more organized with your papers.  

A 3×3 Plan to Prepare for Disaster In Your Professional Life

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in blog | 0 comments

A 3×3 Plan to Prepare for Disaster In Your Professional Life

When you hear the word “preparedness” you probably think of saving your possessions from a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disasters. This is definitely very important! You can find out more about how to get ready for a home catastrophe in my article Hurricanes, Tornadoes, & Fires, Oh My! Get prepared & organized for any disaster!

This article prepares you for a calamity in your professional life. Disasters can happen whether you work for yourself out of a home office or if you have a corner office in a large company-owned building. There are different levels of readiness depending on the impact of the disaster and your dedication to your professional life.

Let’s discuss the minimal level of readiness for a variety of situations.

Computer Loss. Computers (and other electronic gadgets) can be stolen, left behind, fall, burn in a fire, drown, infected, or simply die. PROTECTION is your best defense. 

  • A $20 laptop lock will keep your computer safe when you’re working in a public place. 
  • Virus protection is crucial to prevent an infection on your computer.
  • Consistent data backup is critical. Depending on the importance of your data, you may consider an external hard-drive and/or an off-site location. 

If you hear any weird noises or notice anything out of the ordinary, contact a professional. The last thing you want is the “blue screen of death,” especially if you haven’t backed-up recently. Years ago I ignored such warnings and lost everything. I hadn’t backed-up in four months and the data was totally unrecoverable. I’ll never make that mistake again!

Incapacitation. We don’t like to think about it, but it’s possible to be in the hospital for an extended period of time without the ability to speak or type, or the energy to work. Here are some tips to ensure that you’re prepared:

  • Establish an easy-to-locate communication plan. Whether you work for a company or for yourself, there are people who will need to be notified that you are out of commission for a while. You may not be able to make these calls. You need to identify someone who will communicate your absence and make sure they know who to contact. 
  • Create a map. What happens in your absence? What tasks still need to be completed and who will be responsible for them? What tasks can be deferred? 
  • Select adequate insurance. If you’re unable to work for a period of time, how will the bills be paid? Do you have disability insurance or will savings cover your personal bills? While we’re talking about insurance, how’s your health insurance? Will you have to pay many of your medical expenses out-of-pocket? 

Physical Damage. Lightning strikes and fries some of your electrical equipment. The roof of your office caves in due to heavy snow. Now there are roof parts mixed in with printer parts. Not to mention water damage. You total your car and can’t get to client locations. 

floodPhysical loss can often be the most difficult because it’s visual until it’s repaired or replaced. There are steps you can take to minimize physical damage. 

  • Know alternative ways to complete high impact tasks. Is there a virtual assistant who can complete critical tasks on a short-term basis? Are there equipped office spaces that can be rented by the day?
  • Keep appropriate supplies. If your locale has frequent storms that knock power out for any period of time, you may want to get a generator. Yes, I know you might be able to pick up your laptop and go to the nearest coffee shop…except if it’s a wide-spread outage that lasts multiple days. 
  • Obtain sufficient insurance. If your location is subject to tornadoes or floods, your insurance coverage will be different from people who live in areas that don’t usually experience such weather. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by what you need to do to prepare for a disaster, remember that the most important part of establishing a readiness plan is having a functional one in which everyone on the staff (even if you are a staff of one!) has the ability to access important information.

If you’re not sure where to start, contact us. Minding Your Matters will be happy to help you create a disaster plan for your business. It will certainly be easier than organizing everything after adversity.

Organize the Influx of Information

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in blog | 0 comments

Organize the Influx of Information

Information everywhere with not a single space to spare!

One of the most common questions I hear in regards to home organizing is “What do I do with all these papers?” While I wish I had a simple three step answer, I don’t. But I do have solutions for managing the different phases of dealing with papers.

In this article, we’ll deal with the first phase which is the influx of information.  (more…)

Five More Causes of Disorganization and How to Lessen Their Impact

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in blog | 0 comments

Five More Causes of Disorganization and How to Lessen Their Impact

As we discussed last month in Five Causes of Disorganization and  How to Counteract Them, there are many different causes of disorganization. Guess what? It’s possible to experience more than one source at a time. 🙂

There are two factors of disorganization that are more temporary than others. One is transitions, such as a move, job change, marriage, divorce, separation, birth or other similar life changes. The other is life crises. These include but are not limited to death, job loss, health emergency, protracted family challenges, or major accident. (more…)

Five Causes of Disorganization and How to Counteract Them

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in blog | 0 comments

Five Causes of Disorganization and How to Counteract Them

There are many reasons for disorganization. Sometimes understanding the reason can help increase your ability to get and stay organized.

Chronic disorganization (CD), as defined by the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), describes a person with a past history of disorganization which has not improved with self-help efforts, that negatively impacts the person’s quality of life and that is not expected to change in the future. In order for a person to be classified as CD, the person must meet all of those criteria.

People affected by CD may be impacted by one of more of the following factors. (more…)

Battle Plans for the Paper Piles

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in blog | 0 comments

Battle Plans for the Paper Piles

Piles of papers on your desk, kitchen island, floor, every possible horizontal surface? Does the constant influx of papers lead to overwhelm? Whether at home or at the office, most people have a never ending battle with papers. Ready to win the paper pile battle?
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3 Steps to Disaster Prep: Fast Access to Your Medical Information

Posted by on Aug 28, 2016 in blog | 0 comments

3 Steps to Disaster Prep: Fast Access to Your Medical Information

You get a bad infection and the doctor wants to know if you are allergic to any types of medicines. You cut your skin with a sharp instrument and the nurse wants to know your blood type. You are listed as next of kin for a relative who is unconscious from a car accident and the medical personnel need to know about past medical history. You keep switching doctors due to changes in your health insurance plan. As an independent young adult, the doctor asks for your immunization records, do you know the last time you had a tetanus shot?

Having organized, easily accessible medical records can be the difference between life and death. Sounds dramatic, but it can be true. So let’s look at some of the ways you can organize your medical data. First consider the following: (more…)

Filing Basics that Make a Difference

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in blog | 0 comments

Filing Basics that Make a Difference

You know that there are some papers that you need to keep. You may even have some of those papers but be unsure where they are located. Let’s start preparing to house these papers in a way that make them easy to file and retrieve.

Let’s talk about how to prepare the file storage. Below are some questions to ask. Please don’t skip this important step as answering these questions can make a difference as to whether or not you will set up and maintain your home files. (more…)

A Chance to Start Anew

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in blog | 0 comments

A Chance to Start Anew

At the start of the calendar year, you were excited about your goals and ready to tackle so many projects. But by a few months in, things may have changed. How are you doing with your goals and intentions for the year?

We hope you’ve accomplished at least one. But if you have not, don’t be so hard on yourself. Change and progress take time. (more…)

A 3×3 Plan to Prepare for Disaster In Your Professional Life

Posted by on May 25, 2016 in blog | 0 comments

A 3×3 Plan to Prepare for Disaster In Your Professional Life

When you hear the word “preparedness” you probably think of saving your possessions from a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster. This is definitely very important! You can find out more about how to get ready for a home catastrophe in my article Hurricanes, Tornadoes, & Fires, Oh My! (Get prepared & organized for any disaster!).

This article prepares you for a calamity in your professional life. Disasters can happen whether you work for yourself out of a home office or if you have a corner office in a large company-owned building. There are different levels of readiness depending on the impact of the disaster and your dedication to your professional life. (more…)