Count changes that you have made, thanks to this column


POSTED: Monday, December 14, 2009

Are you a just a reader or a doer? As this year draws to a close, now is a good time to see what changes you've made as a result of reading this column. Here is a recap of tips and action steps for May through August.



1. For those with cluttered homes and workspaces, on May 11 I gave some reasons clutter accumulates.

Have you been letting go of things and keeping more memories in your heart? Passing on inherited items you don't need, use or like? Letting your goal of an uncluttered space strengthen your resolve to let go of things? Making the time to un-clutter by forsaking less important activities?

2. On May 25 I warned of an eventual day of reckoning when the accumulated clutter and disorder will have to be dealt with, possibly due to illness, death, a move, or home repair or renovation.

Are you dismantling your clutter piles bit by bit? Even daily 15-minute sessions will lead to visible results!



3. E-mail can be a blessing or a curse. On June 8 I offered a 28-point assessment to see how you're handling your e-mail. If you scored high on the assessment, you might be spending a disproportional amount of time on e-mail. If you have been handling e-mail the same way since day one, have you begun to make changes?

4. For those suffering from “;SIS”; (stuffed in-box syndrome), on June 22 I shared “;Your Computer Minute”; creator Peter Kay's observation that the No. 1 cause of e-mail overload is that people use their in-boxes as their to-do list.

My weakness is the No. 2 cause, “;shuffling,”; or looking at messages over and over without taking action.

I offered a simple system that I teach to people drowning in paperwork: “;DA RAFT,”; which works for e-mail, too.

Have you been making a DECISION and taking ACTION as you open each message? Do you REFER (forward), ACT on, FILE (drag and drop) and TOSS (delete) promptly?

5. On July 13 I shared tips from Peter Kay, readers and myself to handle e-mail more efficiently.

Have you activated spam filters? Do you send low-priority e-mail offers and newsletters directly to a spam folder to be reviewed or deleted later? Do you check messages at certain times of the day and not every time a new one arrives? Do you commit to clearing your in-box once a day?

By problem-solving e-mail inefficiencies and utilizing built-in e-mail features, you can gain more control of the useful tool that e-mail is meant to be.



6. On July 27, using “;Successful People”; as an acrostic, I listed the first 10 habits of what I feel successful people possess in regard to time management. Do you:

» Set aside time daily to think?
» Use time well?
» Change and improve yourself?
» Concentrate on solutions, not problems?
» Enjoy the process as well as the end result?
» Streamline tasks?
» Spend time investing in the lives of others?
» Follow through with good intentions?
» Understand the importance of being organized?
» Learn from mistakes and move on?

7. On Aug. 10 I shared six more habits from my “;Successful People”; acrostic. How many do you do?

» Plan long range?
» Effect positive change by daring to make decisions?
» Obtain help when needed?
» Put your heart into what you do?
» Live so as to have few regrets?
» Encourage yourself and others?

8. Successful people do well on the don'ts of life. On Aug. 24 I shared 10 things I feel successful people DON'T do. Are you making progress in your life and quest for success?

That recaps my columns from the second third of 2009. See you in two weeks for the last installment of this year's recap!

”;It's About Time,”; by professional organizer Ruth Wong, owner of Organization Plus, runs on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.