It’s All About the Systems!

If you’re not happy with how your office functions, you know you could be getting more done every day, and you find yourself spending time on stuff that just isn’t that important – it may be time for an Office Makeover and setting up simple, smart systems that work.

That’s really what my 1:1 consulting work is all about – helping clients set up systems that work for them and make their life easier.  Since I recently worked with one of my Private Platinum Program clients on location, in her office, I thought I’d share with you the steps we did to make her (in her words!) office an ‘engine that can run on 8 cylinders instead of 4 or 2 because the filters are clean, efficient, and the energy flows through!’ In fact, this client was so happy with the results that she actually asked to help write this piece to make sure that the benefits got marked out appropriately from a client’s perspective.

Anese is the president of Dare To Engage, Inc., a company that provides personal and professional coaching and training to leaders and high achievers who really want to get that extra edge, take things to the next level, and live life fully engaged.

She is also the mom to two young children. Efficiency, energy and simplicity are very important in her life! In her work with clients, she is a stand for energy management and for doing all we can to set ourselves up for success. So you can imagine, that when we started talking about her office, she started to realize some holes in her own energy management. She began to identify where she was spending a lot of energy that she did not want to be spending! Then she looked at the cost of that wasted energy…not okay. Hence my flight to Chicago to spend 2 days diving into her office and helping her create systems that she would no longer have to worry about.

We made it simple, clean and fun. As many of you realize, life is busy! But once you take the time to set up some structure and systems, you can focus your energy where you want it. Here’s a bit of what we did together…as you read this, how can even these little bits of information help you? Imagine having this done to your office! What would you be able to do with an office that could run on “8 cylinders?”

Step 1: Really look at your office and ask yourself what you want your office look like AND feel like.  I had Anese send me pictures so I could go through every area of her office and find out what was working and what wasn’t.

We decided that her furniture simply wasn’t working.  Her desk had no storage and her office was filled with overflowing bookcases and 60% of the books didn’t need to be in her office.  She went furniture shopping, sent me pictures of what she found so I could help her pick out the right pieces, and she got set up with new furniture that was going to work!  What was interesting about this was that she’s been so busy running her business that it didn’t dawn on her to actually assess what was happening with her office furniture and set up. Here’s your invite…

Is it time for anything to go in your office?!

Step 2: Start going through all the stuff in your office and throw out/recycle what you don’t need and bring to other rooms in your house what belongs there. I had her do this before I worked with her so we could get more done in our time together.  She used my S.T.A.R.T. TM method of getting organized which helped her know what to keep/throw/donate/recycle and then pick the best homes for items she wanted to keep.

Step 3: Set up systems to handle the paper, your thoughts, the e-mail, and your time.

Once I got to Anese’s office it was time for the real work (I think a better word is ‘fun’!) to begin.  We set up her personalized Command Center so she would know what needed to get done every day and have a place to put paper that she needed to take care of later.

We set up an incredible filing system so she can find anything she files or stores in a matter of seconds.  Anese was amazed at how simple the system was to set up and that she no longer has to worry that what she files she’ll spend unnecessary time and energy trying to locate again!  The system is so simple all she has to do is type in a reference word and she has the file location at her fingertips!

We worked on organizational techniques to handle perfectionism, procrastination, and multi-tasking.  When you know these techniques your power of focus is incredible!

I gave her a small spiral notebook which was now going to be the home for her thoughts, to-do’s, and phone messages.  Everything in one place!

We didn’t have time to go through her e-mail inbox but in our follow-up phone sessions I’ll teach Anese the systems I use to keep my e-mail inbox cleared weekly.

In her words Anese’s results after we worked together:

  • I know where things are – so I feel like I have some space now.
  • I see that when my office is disorganized, I can end up spending a huge amount of my time looking for stuff, recreating the wheel and trying to sort through chaotic files! Completely unnecessary! Having my office organized to the level we’ve gotten it to will easily free up an extra 5 hours a week that I can use for my clients, my family and the work that really needs my attention and energy.
  • I feel like I can actually focus on the stuff I want to focus on if I sustain the systems.
  • I’m really excited to start working on some of the big projects I’ve been “putting off” because the disorganization was complicating them.
  • There’s more joy and clarity in my office. It is a matter of setting myself up for the best foundation I can so that I can be as efficient and clear as possible. When I’m done with work, I walk out and can close the door knowing that everything will be where it should be when I come back tomorrow.

You may be thinking that you don’t have the time to do this.  I’m here to tell you that you need to make the time.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  If you want to get more done, have more focus, feel better about yourself, and have more time then take the time to make the changes needed in your office.

Speaking of having more focus – we decided to make the visit incredibly productive and in addition to our work in her office, I had a private day with Anese. I received a makeover that weekend, also!  Anese spent time with me coaching me on my business and my compelling purpose for this work, and I cannot wait to set in place this year all the great ideas that we worked on!

Ever wonder what your disorganization is costing you?!  Use the Cost of Disorganization calculator – http://www.elizabethhagen.com/calculator.html to find out!

Anese 'after!

Anese 'after'!

Anese 'before'

Anese 'before'

Very happy campers!

Very happy campers!

2 Responses to It’s All About the Systems!

  1. Elizabeth,

    There is nothing like the sense of organization and order in your office. I can see by the pictures that Anese is so relieved! The results are phenomenal.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks, Natasha! Anese was a fabulous client.

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