Get moving to increase work productivity

How often does this happen to you:  You’re sitting at your desk working on an important project. You’re focused and making good progress, but all of a sudden, you “hit a wall.” Your thoughts start to wander (“I could go for a cookie right about now”) and you’re overcome with the desire to check your e-mail.  You have a deadline, so you can’t afford to waste time, but your concentration is fading fast.  How can you get back on track?  Take a 5-minute break to get up and move. Simple exercises help get your blood flowing to deliver an extra shot of oxygen to your hard-working brain cells so you can power through to finish your task.  The next time you feel a slump coming on, try these stretches for a quick productivity pick-me-up!

Simple stretches can boost productivity and help you power through your daily work.

 

Garage storage options that really work

It’s mid-summer and you’ve probably been using your garage more than usual. Now that you’ve put it through its paces, is the way it’s organized working for you?  If  getting to the items you need involves moving things around or digging through piles, putting a system in place will not only keep your garage tidy, but it will also protect your tools and toys so you can use them for years to come. Whether your garage needs basic organizing or a complete makeover, these articles feature advice from NAPO professional organizers that will keep all your tools and toys organized and easy to access so you can spend your time enjoying them rather than looking for them!

Garage Storage for Kids' Gear

Garage Storage: Keep Kids’ Gear in Check

Storing Sports Gear in the Garage

Garage Sports Gear Storage

Lawn & garden tool storage from HGTVRemodels.com

Organize Lawn & Garden Tools in the Garage

Barry Izsak_Get gar-ranged_Costco Connection

Get ‘gar-ranged’

Summer Organizing Tips Contest – Topic 3: Planning for a quick getaway

Family embarking on day trip

Heading to the beach, a weekend camping trip in the mountains, taking in a baseball game,  a day at an amusement park, a road trip to visit family or friends–just getting away for the day or two is one of the joys of summer. While it would be great to be able to just jump in the car and go, even short trips are much better when you’re organized. We’ve asked NAPO Professional Organizers to share their tips for successful day trips and long weekends; click the smiley face below to see their expert advice!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite post; the one with the most votes gets a prize, and moves on to the grand prize round to determine the summer’s best organizing advice! Click on the link below to see the entries, and then click on the heart icon in the upper right corner of  the thumbnail of your choice to vote!

The best tip for organizing for hosting houseguests is . . .

 

We have a winner for the second Summer Organizing Tips Contest topic!  Visitors to NAPO’s Get Organized Blog voted the post, “Recibir Huéspedes en Casa (Receiving Houseguests),” , provided by Nacho Eguiarte of NACHOrganiza as the one with the best advice for organizing for hosting houseguests.   Making guests comfortable in their “home away from home” is possible when you do a little advance planning and anticipate their needs.

Click the image below to read the winning post (it was submitted in Spanish; to translate, copy the post link and paste into Google Translate):

Plan ahead to create a warm, inviting environment for houseguests.

 

Congratulations, Nacho — you’ll receive your prize soon, and your winning tip will be eligible for the Best Organizing Tip of the Summer vote next month!

Stay tuned for our next topic–voting starts July 28!

3 surprising keys to boosting productivity

Image credit: iStock

The Week recently published an article titled, “6 things the most productive people do every day,” featuring tips from Tim Ferris, author of the bestseller, The Four-Hour Workweek. While half of the tips are expected–have a routine, define goals the night before, eliminate distractions–the other three may seem surprising:

  1. Manage your mood: If your day gets off to a calm start,  it’s easier to focus and get things done.  But when demands are the first things we experience — returning calls, responding to e-mails, etc. — you spend the whole day reacting.
  2. Don’t check e-mail in the morning:  This flies right in the face of the “have a routine” tip, and most of us can’t imagine starting our days without checking e-mail.  But think about it: When you see an e-mail that you feel compelled to respond to, you’re devoting your best hours to someone else’s goals, instead of yours–again, reacting.
  3. Before you try to do it faster, ask whether it should be done at all:  Many of us regularly feel overwhelmed because we have so many things we need to get done each day, but do we really? Tim Ferris offers a simple but radical solution–the vast majority of things that people do quickly should not be done at all.  Wow.

What do you think?  Do you find you get more done when you’re able to start the day relaxed?  On those rare days that you don’t check e-mail first thing (maybe during the weekend) are you more productive? Are there things you do out of habit that you may not have to do at all?  Are these tips totally unrealistic?  Sound off in the comments!

Pros aren’t the only ones with great organizing ideas

Anyone can have a great organizing idea–HGTV asked some of its viewers to share their best tips for maintaining order in their homes, and their advice isn’t half bad! Click the image below to see what they do that works.

Amateur organizers–got any organizing tips that may give the pros a run for the money? Share them in the comments!

What’s your closet clutter personality?

In the Wall Street Journal article, The Psychology of Clutter, psychologists suggest that the way a person’s closets are organized (or disorganized) can provide clues about his or her emotional health. Which category best describes your closet personality, and your thoughts and feelings about your stuff?

Source: wsj.com/Illustration by Jean Tuttle

 

 

Summer Organizing Tips Contest – Topic 2: Hosting Houseguests

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Summer is a natural time for families and friends to get together, which often means hosting overnight houseguests. Whether they’re staying for a weekend or a while, preparing for their visit not only makes your guests more comfortable, but it allows you to enjoy their stay as well. We’ve asked NAPO’s organizing professionals for their best advice for playing host to overnight guests–from menu planning to accommodations to activities–so click the smiley face below to check out what they recommend!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite post; the one with the most votes gets a prize, and moves on to the grand prize round to determine the summer’s best organizing advice! Click on the link below to see the entries, and then click on the heart icon in the upper right corner of one of  the thumbnail of your choice to vote!

 

The Best Tip for Throwing a Backyard Bash is . . .

We have a winner for the first Summer Organizing Tips Contest topic!  Jessica Litman, “The Organized Mama” provided the best advice for throwing a backyard bash, as voted by visitors to NAPO’s Get Organized Blog.  With so many party details to manage, she recommends creating a planning sheet, as shown below, to help organize everything from the menu to the back-up plan in case it rains.

Click the image below to read her winning post:

“Organizing a Backyard Bash” from The Organized Mama blog

Congratulations, Jessica — you’ll receive your prize in the mail soon, and your winning tip will be eligible for the Best Organizing Tip of the Summer vote next month!

Stay tuned for our next topic–voting starts July 14!

Fear not the judgment of an organized person

Dirty Dishes by Sink - Mike Watson Images via Getty ImagesThis recent Huffington Post article may ease the minds of those whose hearts fill with dread when an organized person visits their home–apparently re-arranging your kitchen may not be the first thing on their minds.

What An Organized Person Thinks When They Enter Your Home

If you don’t consider yourself organized, does this make you feel better?  If you are highly organized (or a professional organizer), does the article ring true?  Wherever you fall on the organizing spectrum, we’d love to hear your comments!