Have you spent the better part of an hour looking for a document? Of course, we always seem unable to find that important document at just the worst moment (like when the board chair asks for it or three hours before the big grant proposal is due). For some of us, losing an important document is just an occasional occurrence, while for others it happens every day. According to Forbes, the average worker uses 150 hours each year searching for lost information. Since this is the average, it means a large percentage of our coworkers spend significantly more than 150 hours each year looking for lost documents.
You know the telltale signs of a colleague or board member who isn’t organized: voicemails and emails go unanswered; paper documents pile up and get lost; their computer desktop is filled with hastily saved files, while reports, books, and professional journals are scattered everywhere. In short, their computers, their desks, and their offices are just messy.
When nonprofits are unorganized, their missions suffers. Every hour we spend looking a document, is an hour we aren’t writing a grant proposal, soliciting a donor, or recruiting a new board member. Every email or voicemail we don’t return in a timely manner, damages our organization’s reputation – as well as our own professional reputation.
Regardless of where you fall on the organized to disorganized spectrum, this episode is designed to help all of us become just a bit more organized. Our extended conversation with professional organizer Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton shares lots of insight on keeping our computers, our desks, and our offices organized.
Our guest Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton had a dream: to make the world a more organized, better place. Chris started Organizing Maniacs, professional organizing company in 2007, and her Ashburn, Virginia based organizing company has grown to eight professional organizers and specializes in both home and corporate organizing projects.
(7:19) How to encourage someone to get organized if they are resistant to change
(12:45) How to tame the paper tiger in your office
(13:26) How you can cut the paperwork on your desk in half
(19:20) Why time-blocking is important for your productivity
(24:28) Why you should have really descriptive terminology when saving a file
(26:15) The importance of creating a naming structure for your digital files
(32:40) How to keep those shared spaces organized (like office supply closets, storage rooms, and break rooms).
(35:20) The value of a label maker and organizing boxes
(40:20) How to help people emotionally let go of outdated printing materials cluttering your office
Cris’ Company: www.organizingmaniacs.com
The planner pad that Cris uses can be found at www.plannerpads.com
The online scheduling app that Dolph uses is at www.calendly.com
Cris on Facebook: www.facebook.com/organizingmaniacs
Cris on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/organizemaniacs