When I speak on how to organize your home and office I teach attendees how to use the 'Elizabeth Circle'. The 'Elizabeth Circle' is a tool to use to help you stay focused. Let's say you're going to organize your desk drawer and you take everything out (like I teach!). As you are sorting through items you find a child's scissors that belongs in your daughter's bedroom. So, thinking you are doing a good thing you take the scissors and go put it away in her desk in her bedroom. But, while you're in her room you start organizing her desk and of course, time gets away and by the time you get back to your desk drawer you have no more time to organize what you had really wanted to get done. Hence, the 'Elizabeth Circle'. Draw an imaginary circle around your feet while you are organizing and you MAY NOT leave the circle until you are done organizing that area. This helps you stay focused on one area at a time.
Recently I realized that the 'Elizabeth Circle' was actually a safety tool, too! I received an e-mail from a workshop attendee who shared that after my workshop she decided to organize the winter coat closet in the basement. She took every coat out like I told her and laid them on the bed. She also had laid a lamp on the bed. Then she left the 'Elizabeth Circle' to go into town to get some groceries. While she was gone the weight of the coats pressed down on the lamp switch and turned the lamp on. When she got back a few hours later her basement was filled with smoke. Needless to say she wished she had stayed in the 'circle'!
The 'Elizabeth Circle' is a must to use when organizing but also to use in your office every day with your business. How often do you get distracted and:
- Just check e-mail for a minute
- Check in on Facebook
- Return just one phone call
- Go and grab a snack
- Get the mail
- Throw in one load of laundry
Before you know it 30 minutes or more have passed and again you wonder 'where your day went'. It's time for the 'Business Elizabeth Circle'!
Not only do you draw an
imaginary line around your body when you are tempted to go and quick do a
task but you set a timer for 20 minutes and make yourself stay put and finish what you are doing. THEN you can go and do a quick task.