Could you give up email to get more done?

Email graphic

Ditching email can dramatically increase your productivity, if you’re brave enough to try it!

Email is part everyday of life, and it’s often hard to remember how we got by before this quick and easy method of communication became the norm.  However, over the years it has become more of a nuisance than a convenient method of personal and business contact. Our email accounts (and most of us have several of them) are often brimming with unwanted offers, notices, announcements, and cc’s that cause a sense of dread as soon as we open our inboxes. The time we spend processing all of these messages often eats into a good portion of our day, causing stress and reducing productivity.

Fed up with the time drain email has become, some business and individuals have taken the radical step of eliminating or drastically reducing the use email, and have seen their productivity skyrocket as a result.  Would your life be easier and could you get more done if you gave up email?  Curious to give it a try?  Check out this RealBusiness.com article, How I Stopped Using Email to Double My Productivity, and see if it could work for you.  If you’ve already given email the boot, or tried it, share your story in the comments below!

Sometimes the best plan is one step

Planning De-movitator posterWe’ve all heard the expression, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” but too often, we get hung up on planning the entire journey, which can be overwhelming and lead to procrastination. But setting a goal, focusing on one action, and making decisions based on the outcome (instead of trying to predict all the steps that lie ahead) can be a more effective way to get things done. For those of us who are “control enthusiasts,” not planning for every possible scenario may be scary, but ultimately it’s freeing–flexibility often leads to discoveries and opportunities we never would have found had we stuck to a pre-determined plan.  This recent Lifehack article explores a dynamic approach to planning–do you think it’s sound advice, or impractical? Sound off in the comments!

When planning for emergencies, don’t forget Fido and Fluffy!

Your pets can't prepare for emergencies themselves, so be sure to do it for them!

Your pets can’t prepare for emergencies themselves, so be sure to do it for them!

In the aftermath of devastating Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, many of the heartbreaking stories involved the pets who were left behind to fend for themselves when people were evacuated. So all of your family members are prepared for emergencies, make a plan for your pets too. Since it’s National Preparedness Month, we’d like to share this checklist from the ASPCA to help you ensure your pets’ safety, should disaster strike.

If you need assistance putting together a plan for your family, visit NAPO.net to find a professional organizer in your area who can help!

You can’t argue with science–6 proven ways to boost productivity

6 Productivity Hacks Infographic thumbnail

To see the full infographic, click the image.

A recent Lifehack article featured this cool infographic that demonstrates six scientifically proven ways to boost your productivity:

  1. The Perfect Performance Ratio
  2. Stop Multitasking
  3. Take a Power Nap!
  4. Exercise at Work
  5. Crank Those Tunes
  6. Google Baby Animals

Have you found them to be true–based on your personal unscientific experience? Let us know in the comments!

 

Streamline your back-to-school routines

Kids Getting on Schoolbus

Now that the new school year has begun, it’s the perfect time to fine-tune your morning and after-school routines. Check out this great collection of tips from NAPO’s Back-to-School Pinterest board for terrific organizing ideas for your kids and your home!

September is National Preparedness Month! Are you ready for emergencies?

Being organized is key to being prepared for emergencies--are you ready?

Being organized is key to being prepared for emergencies–are you ready?

Emergencies and disasters can strike at any time, and being prepared not only helps keep your family or business safe and secure until the crisis passes, but also helps speed recovery afterward. For the tenth year as a national coalition member, NAPO has joined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s Ready campaign to help raise public awareness about emergency preparedness.

Each September, NAPO spotlights emergency preparedness, and how professional organizers can help individuals, families, groups and businesses get organized so they can be ready in case of natural or manmade disaster. Our members will be hosting local events in their communities to help people plan and prepare for emergencies, but we’re also featuring tips and advice here on our blog to help everyone be ready, keep safe, and recover if disaster strikes.

Click the smiling face below to see what our organizing pros recommend!

The 2014 Summer’s Best Organizing Tip is (drumroll, please) . . .

 

Finalist #2 – Recibir Huéspedes en Casa (Receiving Houseguests)*, from the NACHOrganiza blog!

A little planning and organization before your houseguests arrive is key to making them feel welcome and their stay comfortable and enjoyable for everyone.

Congratulations to Nacho Eguiarte for submitting the post that our blog visitors voted as their favorite advice of the summer! As the grand prize winner, Nacho will receive a gift certificate from Monkey Bars for his choice of selected garage storage rack systems.

Thanks to everyone who submitted helpful summer organizing advice through our link parties all summer long, and to everyone who voted for their favorite tips, and to EasilyDo and MonkeyBars for donating prizes!

*Post submitted in Spanish; to translate, copy the post URL and paste it into Google Translate.

Getting your week off to a good start – what to do on Monday mornings

Woman on phone working on laptop_Ambro

For most of us, weekends are never long enough, so when Monday morning rolls around, it can take some time to get in gear and start tackling the week’s tasks.  But successful people go into their Mondays with a game plan, and by sticking to the plan, they’re able to get more done not only on Monday, but throughout the week.  A recent article lists 15 things successful people do on Monday morning; which are already part of your routine?  Do you have your own system for making your workday productive?  Sound off in the comments!

 

 

 

It’s time to vote for the Best Organizing Tips of the Summer!

NAPO members have submitted great tips all summer on everything from hosting a backyard bash to having a successful garage sale, and now it’s time to pick the Best Organizing Tips of the Summer from our topic winners.

To review the four finalist blog posts, click the images below.  The post receiving the most votes before polling closes on August 27 will be declared the winner, and the author of the post will win a gift certificate for a garage organizing product from Monkey Bars Storage!

Finalist #1 – Organizing a Backyard Bash, from The Organized Mama blog

Finalist #2 – Recibir Huéspedes en Casa (Receiving Houseguests)*, from the NACHOrganiza blog

Finalist #3 – 5 Pasos Previos a las Vacaciones (5 Easy Steps Prior to Holidays)*, from the NACHOrganiza blog

Finalist #4 - Consideraciones A Tomar Para Tener Una Venta De Cochera Exitosa” (Considerations to Have a Successful Garage Sale)*, from the NACHOrganiza blog

Finalist #4 – Consideraciones A Tomar Para Tener Una Venta De Cochera Exitosa” (Considerations to Have a Successful Garage Sale)*, from the NACHOrganiza blog

*Post submitted in Spanish; to translate, copy the post URL and paste it into Google Translate.

Good luck to our finalists!

Why did you become a professional organizer? 6 stories

At NAPO, we’re often asked how people get into professional organizing, and the answers are as varied as our members. Some decided to follow their natural talent and passion for organizing; many chose it as a second act after a successful corporate career; others wanted to start their own businesses, and professional organizing was a good fit for an entrepreneurial venture; and for some, the organizing and productivity profession chose them.  Click each image below to learn what led six of our members to organizing–maybe you’ll recognize yourself in their stories!

Christine Daves credits joining NAPO and attending its annual conference with helping her dive into professional organizing.

 

Martha Dunlap’s passion for organizing became a career when she retired from teaching middle-school English.

 

Tamara Myles shares how she stumbled into her dream career as a productivity coach.

 

Michelle Powell’s passion for organizing and corporate burnout led to life as an entrepreneur.

 

After a severe car accident left her unable to work full-time, Debra Cabral needed a new career that allowed her to work a flexible schedule at her own comfort level.

 

Muffy Kaesberg and JoEllen Salkin took a team approach to starting their organizing business.

 

If you’re curious about becoming a professional organizer, visit NAPO’s website for more information.