What’s the Right Tool for the Job?
When you bake, you use an oven, not a food chopper. Sending email requires one of several types of electronic devices, not a stapler. To accomplish most anything, you need the right tools.
While I’m not the person you want wielding a hammer or saw, choosing the correct tools for organizing or productivity is my expertise. In the final component of our Flexible Structure Method™ of organizing and productivity, you learn to Select Success Tools. If you’ve been following this series of articles you realize that we’ve covered six other aspects of organizing.
Whether we’re talking about your office, home or schedule, you select tools according to your current needs but with an eye toward the future. There will always be changes in your space or schedule, so as your circumstances vary, you want the ability to repurpose these tools as much as possible. There are three categories of tools that are useful in the getting organized or increasing productivity.
Supplies include anything related to physical or virtual storage. So we’re not only talking about boxes, bins, dividers and shelving but a web-based calendar or cloud solution for document management.
Within a physical space you’re looking for storage and containers that maximize space and accessibility to needed items. In the virtual world, you need hardware, software, apps and cloud solutions that help you receive, organize and maintain pertinent information related to home or office matters.
Appropriate scheduling tools are some of the most important supplies in today’s busy world. Some people are more efficient with a paper calendar and others with an electronic one. You also need to decide how you are going to track tasks. Will you keep to-do’s on a list or give them a time-slot on your calendar? There are many calendaring and planning tools available. With some trial and error, you can find what works for you.
Questions to ask: What supplies have worked in the past? Which supplies haven’t worked in the past? If something has worked, stay with it. If something hasn’t worked, it’s time for a change.
Skills are crucial in every aspect of organizing. It is often helpful to strengthen proficiency related to decision-making, deleting, decluttering, delegation, saying “no” and a variety of related areas. Because these abilities seem less tangible than measuring an area for a bookcase, we often don’t realize how important they are in increasing organization or productivity.
Here are some of the decisions necessary to organize books in an office or home:
- Which books do I keep?
- Which books do I delete? Where should I take them?
- What type of bookshelves do I need or want? Plastic, metal, wood, wicker, bamboo, etc.
- What dimensions are needed? Width, height and depth
- Are adjustable shelves important?
- How do I organize the books? Title, author or categories
- What happens if when the bookshelves are full? Do I delete books or buy another bookcase?
That’s a lot of decisions to make and within some of those questions, multiple choices are required. If decision-making is difficult for you, learning how to effectively make up your mind would be a useful skill to strengthen.
Question to ask: Which organizing or productivity skill is hardest for me? You can learn more about it from your organizing professional, reading or classes.
Support from family, friends, coach, therapist, counselor, house-cleaner, organizing or productivity professional or related personnel can increase the effectiveness of the organizing process.
Organizing is a life-skill that isn’t usually taught in high school or college. If it is taught, it is often with a “one size fits all” principle. Getting the support(s) that will help you create and maintain systems for organizing and productivity can make the difference between success and throwing your hands up in frustration.
Question to ask: What form(s) of support would be the most beneficial in achieving my organizing or productivity objective(s)? See what you can do to get that type of support.
As you Select Success Tools, keep in mind that you need to use them in conjunction with the other six components of the Flexible Structure Method™.
See some places where you need some new tools to continue your organizing or productivity journey? Which would be most helpful: supplies, skills or support? Unsure how to start? Someone from the Minding Your Matters® organizing team would be happy to collaborate with you in this process. Contact us so you can get started now!