Monday, June 22, 2015

How to Organize a Busy Schedule

How To Organize A Busy Schedule by Robert Mizrahi of Chaos Commandos
A busy individual is often bewildered by the lack of organization when it comes to their busy schedule. They invest in a variety of hi-tech devices to organize their daily agendas, only to discover these devices can't predict interruptions or unexpected events that sideline organized schedules.

What individuals need in order to create an effective schedule is flexibility. Without a certain level of flexibility, interruptions and the unexpected can inhibit the ability to design and implement an organized schedule and an organized life.

Think of Time as a Choreographed Dance Routine

Time is one of the elements that play an immense role in organizing a busy schedule. Learning to think in "blocks" of time is one way to reshape disorganization.

If a busy schedule was a dance routine, what tempo would it be in? Waltz? Jive? Salsa? This emphasizes how individuals use their time. By creating a busy schedule in blocks of time, individuals learn the art of compartmentalization. Compartmentalizing daily activities is similar to blocking a dance routine. One step in the wrong direction and timing is off and all attempts at recouping organization fail. Choose the tempo of your busy schedule first. This helps smooth out any of the obstacles that manage to get in the way of a well-organized day.

Next, block each segment of your busy schedule. For example, one block may be relegated to one-quarter of the morning hours where your personal needs fall into a pattern. For example, shower, dress, and tend to basic duties before leaving for the office.

Prioritize to Organize

Once at your place of business, organize your thoughts in priority order for the second quarter of your day. This is perhaps the most important block of time. It's the hours when your direction needs maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Prioritize reading your email and other correspondence. While prioritizing, judge which must have immediate attention and which can wait for a day or two. Avoid cluttering your busy schedule with unnecessary communications that are not imperative in this block of time.

Before the end of the second quarter of your now organized day, focus on your direction for the next quarter. By knowing the priorities of the second block of time, the third block of time is more effective and more organized. The end of each quarter block of time is like the end of a chapter of a book. It should accomplish more with each block of time.

The ESP Way to Organize

Some individuals forget they can and do possess a certain amount of ESP. These are keenly attuned people who can predict outcomes easily. For the sake of organization, this is a gift worth more than gold.

However, there is a simple way to predict certain outcomes of your busy schedule. Listen to the little voice warning you when time is wasted. Use your sense of vision to learn to "see" things in an orderly, organized fashion. For example, learn to "speed alphabetize" what you see in front of you. There actually is a defined pattern to clutter if you can learn to see "order."

Batch Work Organizational Skills

Professional organizers understand this one significant element of how they perform their jobs. By thinking "batch work" when organizing, less time is wasted. Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Japanese manufacturers implemented "batch manufacturing" techniques. The basic premise of this was to reduce costs, eliminate waste and perfect time by improving the way workers in the Toyota auto plants handled the duties of their jobs.

These ideas soon spread to other industries and were later known as "Quality Circles." The purpose of these techniques was to improve safety conditions for workers and increase their productivity by organizing the duties of their jobs. Employees everywhere learned to "batch" their work to avoid wasting time. First, the work was organized in order of priority. Then, it was batched with similar work for final completion.

Chemists learned to use these techniques with testing results in laboratories. Business offices learned to spot wasted time more easily and individuals became acutely aware of the gaps where their time had been wasted.

Examples of How to Organize a Busy Schedule

When a busy schedule includes daily meetings, interviewing and preparing multiple reports, batch each into a block of time. Try to schedule meetings and interviews in batches. Prepare reports in batches rather than individually.

Robert Mizrahi is the owner of Chaos Commandos, a professional organizing service for New York City, and Westchester and Fairfield Counties. Learn more about their services by visiting:


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Pack and Organize Your Public Storage Unit

Man organizing his public storage unit.
Public storage units can be a great investment and an excellent way to get some of the clutter out of your home. They also come in handy when you're moving and in a variety of other situations, too. They're really great and can prove invaluable as long as you make the most out of the small space and if you've properly packed everything being stored.

A storage unit doesn't do you much good if you store things there and then can't find the correct items when you need them or can't get to what you need. It also isn't good if your stacks of boxes topple over on top of you or if your possessions become damaged.

Packing Pointers

The first step to organizing a public storage unit is properly packing everything before you store it. Using boxes prevents your items from getting dirty and makes them much easier to store. Resist the urge to wrap items in plastic bags because it promotes mildew. Boxes generally provide adequate protection, but if you want to wrap anything be sure use cloth (the exception being your breakables). All of your packing needs to be thoughtful and strategic. It sometimes helps to make lists of the items you'll be storing and what boxes they'll be going in. If you plan to insure anything while it's in storage you'll also need approximate values and a list comes in handy for this as well.

Don't use more than two box sizes. If you have a bunch of different sized boxes, it makes it a lot harder to stack them efficiently. It ends up turning into a huge puzzle, taking too long and your stacks are also more likely to be unstable and fall. Each box should be labeled on all four sides as well as on the top so you know what it contains no matter what side you see it from once it's in your unit. Be sure to label boxes as fragile that contain anything breakable and wrap your breakables in bubble wrap.

When putting items into boxes, you want to fill be sure to fill up every box all the way. Try to create a balance of heavy items with less heavy items in each box and don't pack boxes full of just heavy things. This creates nice, sturdy boxes and helps to prevent stacks from collapsing and toppling. Boxes that end up being the heaviest should be on the bottoms of stacks to create sort of a foundation for the rest of the stacks. The lightest boxes should be at the tops of stacks.

Organizing the Unit

Before you actually move your packed boxes into your unit, you should have a general plan dictating where which items will go. Make use of the shelves, if the unit has them. If you're going to be storing furniture or appliances be sure to account for how much space they'll take up. Disassemble any furniture you can and pack the parts accordingly in labeled boxes when possible. You can also store other boxes inside of furniture like wardrobes and even refrigerators to further maximize the space.

Prioritize your boxes according to their contents. Anything you don't foresee yourself needing in the near future should be placed in the back of the unit. Items you may need should be located toward the front. Don't just create stacks upon stacks of boxes either. Make sure there are aisles between your stacks so that you actually have access to all of your things. This will make it easier to move your possessions out when the time comes too.

Clean the unit thoroughly and move in wooden pallets prior to taking in any of your boxes. Pallets raise your boxes off of the ground to protect them from water damage and also prevent pests from making homes underneath them. Following these simple tips for packing and organization will ensure that your possessions are both protected and accessible - whether you need the unit for a few weeks, few months or even for a few years.

Robert Mizrahi
NYC Professional Organizing Service
Chaos Commandos