Order From Chaos

Monday, December 28, 2009

I was about to post about "organizing financial documents" as part of the Personal Finance series that I promised to write. However, I remember learning about personal organization first before I organize my finance so that's the reason I want to share about this book: Order From Chaos by Liz Davenport. I read many organizing book and this is the one that I found to be the most helpful. I maybe a clean freak but I'm not a neat person by nature like Chris. Having an unclutter space was one of few things that make my dear husband happy besides food and ehem. ;)

Why Get Organized?
The average business person receives 190 pieces of information each day. The average businessperson wastes 150 hours each year looking for stuff.

On her book, Ms. Davenport list down Six-Step Plan for organizing yourself, your office, and your life. This is my very short summary from the book.
Borrow one from the library or click at the link below to buy the book from Amazon:

Step 1: Create Cockpit Office/ your working station, where only essential tools necessary to do your work; the “now,” “happening,” kinds of things, not old, or important things but not used.
I remember it took me days to clean up, sort out, and organize our working station. Now, everything we need to work is at our fingertip.

Step 2: Air Traffic Control: One system ( whether it's a journal, cellphone, google calendar, etc) that function as your radar screen for each day, which contains:
- Any appointments
- To do list
- Notes relevant to that day

Step 3: The Pending File: File of papers that requires action later, but does not need its own individual file folder. First, note the required action on the appropriate day in your system.

Step 4: Make decisions on items as they come in. Don’t put them off until later.
The first time you have a piece of paper in your hand: file or throw it away.

Step 5: Prioritize ongoingly and constantly measure the importance of tasks you prioritized for the day against the random calls, faxes, and e-mails that come in.

Step 6:
- Plan your day - means to start your day by reviewing your daily calendar for what you have to do today.,
- End your day - review your “to-do” list for that day and check off the tasks that are completed,
reschedule any tasks that are still incomplete, and have closure for your day.
- Clean off your desk at the end of the day!