Great interview on how to easily change habits

leo babautaThis weekend I watched a video interview with Zen Habits' Leo Babauta as entertainment while baking. I admire everything this guy writes on his incredibly minimal blog and it was nice to finally put a face to the name.

Friends, this is one of the more refreshing voices on the internet. He is as pleasant to listen to as he is to read. Click here to watch the interview on how to adopt good habits.

Only have a minute? Listen to 13:00 - 14:23 to learn to use "habit sprints."

What good habit would you most like to implement in life or in the next few days? Tell me here.

 

Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. SheKacy Paide works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

IKEA Hack: The Decoupage Office Chair

chair kacyA beautiful office chair is hard to find (for under $1000), which is why I absolutely adore this IKEA hack.

Using spray paint, decoupage glue, and cool fabric, create your own bespoke piece of chair art

(for under $50).

Get directions from the Little Green Notebook blog.

 

Office Organizing ExKacy Paidepert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

Say this out loud before getting out of your chair

At some point in an organizing project, I pause and make a list of all of the outstanding projects that remain.  The items are usually accompanied by little square checkboxes.  Checking these off becomes the goal of our remaining time together.  The side effect of this cure is that many clients tend to start bouncing from task to task.  We may be designating categories for wall file pockets when locating the label maker sends them over to organize the supply drawers.  Or, we may be clearing off a space in front of the computer screen when unearthing that unpaid bill sends them off to sort every bill in the office.

This is when I politely say, "Lets finish this first."  It's these four little words that immediately straighten our path.

Clients often tell me they have trouble getting started.  What I've come to notice is that the real culprit isn't getting started on an organizing project, but rather, finishing the one that has been started.  When eight projects are started and none are finished, it gives the illusion of nothing being started.  Let completion be your goal.  

Which is the best project to complete first?  The one you are working on in this moment.  If you're in the middle of compiling today's to-do list, finish that before checking email.  If you just threw some receipts on your desk, sort and file those before pulling every paper out of your tote bag.

"Let's finish this first" is all it takes for my clients to sit back down and give that almost-done task the last five minutes it needs.  Next time you find yourself a little over-motivated, say it out loud.  It's what you'd here from me if I were sitting right next to you.

Do you have trouble finishing what's in front of you?  Have you ever been frustrated at how much time you spend organizing, only to look at an office full of half-started projects?  Do you have ideas for staying focused while working or organizing?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

How To Organize By Setting Incredibly Short Deadlines

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Hourglass
Hourglass

What an “aha moment” it was to read this in Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Workweek. This is called Parkinson’s law and explains how and why modern workers take eight hours each day to complete work that can (usually) be done in a fraction of that time.  It also explains why it can take you a year to tackle a file drawer when you make it a new year’s resolution.

What if you gave yourself some ridiculous goals, such as:

- 5 minutes to take everything out of your office that you do not love or find useful

- 20 minutes to tackle a shelf in your supply closet

- 30 minutes to speed through one file drawer

- 1 week to sort and file every pile in your office

Would you be more focused?  Would you discover that tasks like these are never as difficult as they seem?  Would you do whatever it took to meet your deadline?  Is there even a chance that your quality of work might be better when working under pressure?

What project in your office can you complete by this time next week?  Aim big.  Cleaning out your pencil cup does not count.  What project can you complete in the next two minutes?  Cleaning out your pencil cup does count.  Please share thoughts in the comments!

This Might Upset Book Lovers

I got rid of my only bookshelf. There, I said it. I didn't get rid of all my books, but I did get rid of my one and only bookshelf. I'm going to tell you why and I'm going to tell you how. I'm also going to share with you what I kept and why. The Why: When I told my friend about this she said, "Why? Books are wonderful!" My new bookshelf-independent lifestyle isn't a commentary on books per se, but rather a reflection on living only with things that are indeed wonderful. My answer to her: "Well, the books I donated weren't that wonderful." I get it - I know countless folks who would rather go without indoor plumbing than go without books. I'm not saying that's wrong, I'm just not one of those people. Ever since buying a Kindle last year, I actually read more than ever. I'm a slow reader, so reading a book twice has little appeal. During this process, I learned something about myself: books to me have always been resources or decoration. When a resource though hasn't been referred to in years and the decoration just blends into the background with time, what good is it? I've also come to realize that I value empty space above most objects.

The How: Last Sunday I came home from a weekend on the Chesapeake Bay with friends and family. I was un-showered and hungry, but all I could do was make a beeline to the bookcase. Once I make up my mind to get rid of something it has to happen immediately - even before food and personal hygiene! I was literally obsessed with the idea. Friends, this was NOT easy. Here's the breakdown:

1. I started my own organizing project like I do all others - with the low-hanging fruit. I took from the shelf the books that I knew I didn't want to keep. These were the easy decisions, and there weren't as many of those as I expected.

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2. Realizing that in order to make this happen, every book must come down, I took every book down. A semblance of piles formed. A box appeared. Delusional aspirations of only keeping what would fit in one box surfaced. I blame that more on the hunger than the quest for minimalism.

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3. Better, smarter piles began to take shape. The four piles you see below are the books I kept: - Books to keep on shelf in living room. These include some sentimental gifts (yes, I do keep some of those!), 3 organizing books, an Estonian travel guide I'll actually use, coffee table books that I actually look at & my favorite book ever, "Illusions" by Richard Bach. - Bali and Indonesia books to store with boxed Bali memorabilia. (I studied abroad there in 2000 - um, yeah, great decision!) Don't shed any tears; I have plenty of teak furniture and Indonesian art that are much bolder reminders of my time spent there. - Feng Shui books to store with Feng Shui notebooks. In my early twenties I took 5 feng shui courses. I used to do feng shui consultations. Since I don't do this now, the books don't need to be front and center in my life.

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4. I bagged up the books to donate. These included great books that I read that I'll never read again, freebies from networking events, Feng Shui books that were too basic (I kept the rare & advanced ones), and even an autographed book that wasn't worth keeping just because it was autographed.

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5. Here's how I displayed the keepers!

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With an empty corner where there once was a tall sexy designer bookcase, I do feel much lighter. I have no regrets. Looking at my books now, I know that each one is special and truly chosen by the person I am today. The smaller collection feels rich, curated, and meaningful. Decide for yourself what collection of yours no longer has the value it once did. For me it was books. For you it might be clothing, decorations, art, or furniture. Whatever it is, do whatever it takes to feel lighter, because it's a wonderful feeling that money can't buy.

Do you have a collection that's weighing you down? Have you ever let go of a collection? How do you feel about books? Do you think I'm nuts for doing this?! Do you think you're ready to look at your things with a new set of eyes now? I want to hear your thoughts. Please share!

What The Year Of The Snake Has To Do With Your Office

One of the most significant changes in your office this year:

  1. Happened on February 10th, 2013
  2. Can easily go completely unnoticed
  3. Has the power to improve your wealth, focus, and even health without sorting a single file
What the year of the snake has to do with your home office
What the year of the snake has to do with your home office

Did you know that the energy in our homes and offices rearranges itself with each Chinese New Year?  The year of the Snake started on February 10th. The most vital energy in every space, be it an office, house, building, or room, has just moved to the ­­Northeast of your office, home, or any other room.  It’s easy to take advantage of this shift, but you have to activate this area though to invite the energy in.  The energy that just took residence in the Northeast of your office can be thought of as a wild card of cosmic goodies.  Here are some easy ways to unleash it:

- Hang a crystal in the Northeast to disperse the light throughout the room- Keep blinds open in Northeast-facing windows - Use motion: move your fan, fountain, or stereo to the Northeast - Use heat: move your space heater, candles, or night light to the Northeast - Use life: place a healthy plant here and keep it healthy! - Declare this area of all areas, your clutter free zone. - Replace an old photo in the Northeast with one you love. - If your office door faces the Northeast of your home or building, simply watch the abundance that pours in this year!

Just like you, your environment is constantly evolving. Any feng shui book will tell you where your money or love corner is, but to some extent, these relocate too from year to year.  Feng shui reveals how the energy of a space, much like nature’s cycles, are never still.  There are countless layers to this tradition, and many classically trained experts agree this annual cycle of energy is the most powerful to harness, as it brings a freshness to a space that is effortlessly renewed with the passage of time.

7 DAY INSPIRED OFFICE CHALLENGE

Choose one or ten ways to enhance the Northeast of your office.  One is actually enough. 

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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

Pile Your Way To An Organized Office

You want to know where I spend most of my time when working with clients?  Sitting on the floor turning piles into files.  Here's a chance to see a paper mess through an organizer's eyes.  The pictures here illustrate a classic sequence of events for me.  In this case we were organizing scattered bank statements. If you're at a loss as to where to start your organizing project, start with financial docs.  They tend to be some of the easiest docs to sort, as the dates and accounts pretty much self-sort with minimal creative attention.  However, you can apply this simple piling to filing example on a document stash of any sort.  Organizing really can be as simple as this:

Step 1: Get it all out in the open if it isn't already, gathering papers from all corners of the office or house.

Step 2: Using nothing but stickies and a sharpie pen, line up the piles on the floor. Here we sorted by account, chronologically within each pile.

Step 3:  Place each pile in a folder!  Label with the year and account name or account number.

7 Day Inspired Office Challenge

In order to go from paper chaos to elegantly organized files, you have to get through the in-between phase.  Use your floor space to create piles that will each turn into files once complete.  This takes only a few simple tools: stickies, marker, clean file folders, and white labels.  Start with your most basic categories, such as banking, paid bills or household files.

12 Most Inspiring Tips For an Organized Office

Imagine being able to find what you need when you need it. Imagine having an office you are proud to show off. Imagine having plenty of clear space where you can spread out and work, think, and create. An organized office provides a backbone to any thriving business. Why then is it so hard to keep order? All too often, people with the best of intentions sort and toss for hours, only for the piles to return with a vengeance. The tips here allow for some wiggle room, letting you create a functional workspace that is uniquely yours. Here are twelve fresh ideas that you can start implementing today:

1. Know your goals (aside from having an organized office)

I have all new clients make a list of ten things they’ll do once they’re organized. People never get organized just for the sake of having pretty folders. They organize so that they can spend more time with their family, delegate more, workout again, and more. It is an eye opening exercise that you should do before touching a single sheet of paper.

2. Group like with like

Let this be your mantra. If I had to explain how to organize an office in just four words, this would be it. Group anything from statements and receipts to writing utensils and paperclips. It’s awfully hard to create files when you’re not looking at complete categories. This should be a very straightforward step. Don’t get caught up in where these things will go. That will come to you once you see everything in one snapshot.

3. Purge anything that is not useful or beautiful

How do you know what to toss and what to keep? It really is this simple. Anything else in your office will just be in the way. This also applies to office supplies. Many people overbuy or recycle tattered folders one too many times. The more beautiful the space, the more you (and others) will respect it.

4. Be held accountable

Share your immediate goals with a friend, not a family member. Have him or her check-in on you at the end of the day or week. Personally, this is how I move mountains and get things done.

Read the rest of my article on 12Most.com!

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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.