Category Archives: Office Organizing

Essentialism, please

I have read and then re-read the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Greg says the definition of essentialism is less but better. I love that! He also talks about how the word priority was singular for 500 years until we pluralized it in the early 1900’s. He says, Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow, we would now be able to have multiple ‘first’ things.

I think that is fascinating. How can we have multiple first things? Kind of silly.

I am the creator of the Clear the Desk Movement.  I adapted this term from the phrase ‘clear the decks’. To ‘clear the decks’ means to prepare for a particular event or goal by dealing with anything beforehand that might hinder progress.

Having too many ‘first’ things hinders progress.

I decided to take my Clear the Desk Movement philosophy to my office workroom closet. It was very organized but full of lots of ‘first things’. In fact, bins and bins and bins, nicely labeled, but too full.  It was time to change. It took me awhile and lots of decisions but I got rid of all the bins in the lower section of the photograph and now my closet is free of what is not essential.

This feels amazing.

I took my Clear the Desk Movement philosophy to my business as well. Of all my services and product offerings which was the most essential to my prospects, clients. and to me.  I had many ‘first’ things I offer. This took a lot of soul searching. I discovered that helping my audiences and clients get unstuck and stop feeling lost is my priority and essential to my business.

Greg says, When we don’t purposefully and deliberately choose where to focus our energies and time, other people – our bosses, our colleagues, our clients, and even our families – will chose for us, and before long we’ll have lost sight of everything that is meaningful and important.

What is essential to you? I mean really essential?

Maybe you don’t know. This is a very common feeling. I talk to so many people who feel lost.

This Saturday it will be the start of the second half of the year. Yes, we all ask, where did the time go?

Think of how much more excited you would be to enter the second half of 2017 with excitement if you were clear on your goals and clear on what is essential in your life.

If you want to go farther faster with knowing what is essential in your life and what you dream of accomplishing then join me in my DESIRE Personal Empowerment Program.

If you desire to achieve what you want and need, let’s find out if you and I are a right fit. Find out more about the DESIRE program below and let’s start making things happen for you!

 

We are almost halfway through 2017. How is it going for you?!

It may be time to take stock of your life and career. If things aren’t going so well – or everything stays the same and you find life lacking some luster –  is it time for a new way to look and do things?

I have started a new program and am seeing great results. The DESIRE Personal Empowerment Program changes – well, it changes everything.

This is a personal 1:1 program with me for 90 days and only women who are truly ready for amazing results are accepted.

This is for you if you are ready to take stock of where you are, what makes your heart sing, and take the first steps to brighten up your life.

This is for you if you are ready to detox obstacles and energy suckers that are getting in your way and you want a fresh start.

This is for you if you want to set healthy new habits to support your fresh start and set achievable goals based on the vision you have for your life.

Is this you? E-mail me at Elizabeth@ElizabethHagen.com  or call me at 605-310-5764 and we will set up a time to find out.  If you are not where you want to be now is your time – it really is!

 

Systems save the day – even at the gym!

There are many reasons I love going to my Kosama gym. Too many to list, really! One of the biggest is that I am told exactly what to do and for how long and for how many times. By the way, AMRAP stands for ‘as many reps as possible’.

For years I worked out at a gym on my own and I never really pushed myself.  At Kosama I am pushed farther than I ever think I can go. 1)The trainers are great motivators. 2) The training is very clear.  The training is really a system, if you think about it.

I think it’s fascinating how much easier everything is with systems. When I was a mom of 5 kids systems saved my life.

  • Menu planning on Sunday
  • Grocery shopping on Monday
  • Laundry three times a week and put away that day
  • Get ready for the next day the night before
  • All important papers we need at our fingertips are in the Family Binder
  • Every 3 months do a freezer meal day
  • One calendar along with a white board on a cupboard door to list out the day’s events
  • and more!

In business systems save my day:

  • Write Wednesday Wisdom every Tuesday
  • On Monday schedule the posts for my Clear the Desk Movement
  • Update QuickBooks every day
  • Reach out to 3 prospects every day
  • Schedule administration time, marketing time program development time, etc.
  • and more!

For me, life and business is easier and I experience less stress when my systems are in place and I know what I have scheduled for me to do that day. Just like at Kosama, I know exactly what to do.

Do you use systems in your life? How do they save you?!

If not, what system should you start with?!

 

 

Is the tools?

When I first started working out at my Kosama gym, almost 6 years ago, I was terrified.

Would I look dumb? Am I able to do what the trainer asks? Do I have the right form?

But, the biggest fear was the time I walked in and saw the kickboxing bags. I wanted to walk right out. The bags looked absolutely menacing.
I’m glad I stayed. I thought I was afraid of the bag but what I was afraid of was in knowing how to use it. The trainer walked us through the 4 punching and the 2 kicking moves slowly and with detail. The class started and I was actually kickboxing. I could hardly believe it!

Another tool I’m fearful of is my Neat Receipts scanner. From what I’ve heard it is amazing but I don’t take the time to learn it. I’m kind of scared of it! That is just plain silly.

In both cases it’s not the tool’s issue. It’s mine. 

How about you? Are there some tools in your life (exercise equipment, fancy TV, food processor, leaf blower, etc.) that you aren’t using because you think it’s the tool but the reality is it’s you? It’s you learning how to use it properly.

It’s easy for us to make it the tool’s fault so we don’t feel bad for having bought it in the first place. Maybe it’s time to take out the manual and learn how to use it!

My next step is to start using my Neat Receipts.

What’s your next step?!

Post-It Notes, really?!

30post-it-notes-planning

 

Have you ever planned what you wanted to do that day only to find at the end of the day you did everything BUT what you had planned?

I was visiting my amazing friend, Theresa Rose, in Minneapolis. She showed me a unique way to know what you want to do each day and stay on track. Very unique. Using Post-It Notes!

She has a home office and in her office is a fireplace with 5 tiles at the top. She takes unique colored post-it-notes and labels them: Marketing, Sales, Network, Social Media, Admin, Book, etc. She then looks at her calendar to see if she has a speaking event that week. If she does, she puts a ‘Job’ Post-It Note on the day’s tile. Then she takes her other Post-It Notes of tasks she wants to accomplish that week and puts them in the ‘am’ or ‘pm’ spot on her tiles.

She can just glance at the tile to know what she needs to do. Genius!

So, of course, with her blessing, I did what she did! I used the cupboard theresa-computerabove my desk and there are 6 doors. Perfect. One for each day Monday through Saturday.

Now I know exactly what to do every day.

Theresa also has a very cool way to make sure she does what she says she’s going to do. She puts a bright-colored Post-It Note on her computer that says, “Back On Track”!

Do you need a new way to look at your week? If so, give the post-it-note thing a try!

There are people and then there are PEOPLE

I met my friend, Kris, at Starbucks recently. I was outside when she pulled up and she parked in front of the store next to Starbucks. I remembered from previous visits that there were BIG signs saying only patrons of that store could park in those spots.

I walked over to Kris to tell her about this policy. We both looked at the huge sign in the window right in front of her car. We then looked at each and were both thinking the same thing – probably a good idea to move the car.

I noticed where she parked there were two men visiting and when she walked by they said starbucks-parking(2)something to her. I didn’t think anything of it.

After we got our drinks we were deep in conversation. All of a sudden, a man appeared by our table and put two Starbuck gift cards down.

We both were shocked and asked him, “Why?”
He was the owner of the adjacent store and was one of the men who talked to Kris as she walked by.

He was so appreciative he gave us gift cards! There are people and there are PEOPLE. Right?!

The adjacent store is a liquor store. I told Kris, “I don’t drink, but since he was so nice I may just start so I can purchase something!” No, I’m not going to but, wow, that was a surprise.

I believe that every day we get chances to be one of those PEOPLE. How often do we deliver? I’m not talking about purchasing gift cards. I’m talking about noticing nice actions and showing appreciation.

It’s hard to notice when your mind and schedule is full. And, for many, they are full to the brim.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot and I’ve been wanting to give back more to those on my list and those I meet when speaking, thus, the Clear the Desk Movement was born!

group-cover-photo

I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘clear the decks.’ Do you know what it really means? Clear the decks means to prepare for a particular event or goal by dealing with anything beforehand that might hinder progress.

I found that fascinating.

What about your desk as opposed to a deck? Are you more ready to prepare for a goal by having a clear desk? What about a clear mind? A clear schedule? A clearness about who you want to hang around with and who you don’t?

My Clear the Desk Movement is all about being part of a community where we are ready to stop chasing squirrels and focus on what is important in our life and in our work.

Clear the Desk is a mindset philosophy that will not only organize your space and time, but get you clear on what matters most and go after that!

My movement is free to you! Yes, it is a gift.

All you have to do to join is go to the Clear the Deck Movement private Facebook group welcomeand ask to join. You may already be a member as I changed a previous group to the new Clear the Desk Movement.

When you become a member in this movement you will receive a free gift that will make you fearless!  Also,  I have a theme each day to help you move forward to clearing the desk, your mind, your schedule, your files, and clearing negative people out of your life.

To join go to this page and if you see a +Join Group button click on it and I will approve you as soon as possible. If you see a Joined button you are already a member. Read through the description and, if it seems like a fit to you, please stay a member. If not, simply unjoin the group.

It’s that simple. Especially if you want to be one of those PEOPLE and having such clarity in your life you see every moment when you can make someone else feel appreciated.

See you in the Movement!

Tickle your way to productivity

I was thinking about my systems in my office that keep me sane and productive. Sane being the most important!

What makes me crazy is trying to get a lot of different things done at one time (which never works) and realizing later that nothing got done.

Sierra Exif JPEG

The system that keeps me most on track and helps me to get things done on time is my Tickler File. This is an age-old system and it never fails me.

The Tickler File is 31 folders for each day of the month and 12 more folders for each month.

If I want to make sure I get a project done by the 12th, I put my notes for that project in the 10th. On the 10th I pull out my notes and get to work knowing I’ve got plenty of time to get it done.

If it’s something that needs to be done in a future month I put it in that month’s folder and it’s there to remind me when I need it.

I hope this sounds really simple; because it is.

I think that we complicate things way too much now days. We have all of these great electronic devices and apps but do we really use them?

It may be time to go back and make things simple.

A few years ago I wrote an article on how to use the Tickler File System with Action folders. You can access the article here.

What will you tickle today!?

Want to set up the Tickler File System in your office?

tickler-file-systemYou can Google ‘Tickler File’ and find one online or you can get my complete Tickler File System here. My system includes a CD on “How to Get Rid of Your Paper Piles…Once and for All!”

Priceless!

Speakers – are you ready to get organized?

office worktable file system close up CC file systemTwo organizing systems have changed my life as a speaker.  One is my office workroom table where I put together speaking packets, handout packets, etc.  I got all the parts from IKEA and I’m in love!

The other system is a filing system that hangs over the door and is from Clever Container. I got the file folders from Hobby Lobby.  All the materials that go into a speaking packet are in the folders and 1, 2, 3 and my speaking packet is ready to go!

You know…time is money.  Start saving time with great systems!

ElizabethHagen.com  •  605-310-5764  •  Elizabeth@ElizabethHagen.com

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