The chaos the holidays provide is finally over and now it is time to regain your life. A semblance of order is necessary. The New Year is a time for renewal, rejuvenation and redirection. There is no time like the present to begin the year organized.

This month particularly is National Get Organized Month and it is a perfect excuse for clearing clutter, and negating the issues of last year, and the year before that, and the year before that and the year before that.

Here are some tips and techniques to help assist your organization.

1. Procrastination – This is the number one reason why you have clutter. 92% of individuals procrastinate so you are not alone. Excuses derive from the issue takes too long to complete, is too boring or simply is ridiculous and takes time from something else. Yet, research shows that in 98% of instances when procrastination exists, the excuses for procrastinating actually take more time then the issue itself. However, to regain a sense of order, you must create urgency. Stop the excuses and begin the year with a clean slate.
2. To Do Lists Safe Guard Procrastination – You must have an ordered list. Prioritize and establish deadlines for items do not allow them to linger. And, most importantly, have one list. When complete scratch the item off to denote completion.
3. Hold yourself accountable – If you need assistance seek a mentor or coach. In reality the only person holding you back is you. Ghandi once stated, “Seek the change you want to see”.
4. Keep your desk or workspace clear – Only work on those things you need. Use the “Dart Board” or “Pebble Approach” to gain the inside track. Only have content that needs to be within reach of your area. All other materials place in a file cabinet or bankers box for storage. Your desk may only contain materials that are vital to the current project.
5. Trash – Learn to discard items. If you have not reviewed a periodical, memo or other written correspondence in over 2 months, discard it. You do not need it. If you feel it is imperative file it, but do not leave it hanging around.
6. Emails- Face it email is not diminishing. With 6.6 billion people on the Internet and over 280 million email connections, email continues to proliferate, however how you handle it counts. Review email only 3 to 4 times per day, not on a continuum. If individuals and business associates need you they will find you. Do not continually reply to emails, especially those that are sent from a group. Prioritize and review based on relevance and urgency.
7. Use a planner – Whether you decide on electronic or paper, you need a planner to begin and end your day. You do not get into an automobile without knowing where you are going why begin you day in a similar fashion.
8. Bonus – Recognize the time robbers and create routines. Organization is about understanding your flaws and doing your best to eliminate them. However, do not seek to be perfect since obstacles are always prevalent. By knowing what detains you, it is easier to find an alternate route.

2009. Drew J. Stevens. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Drew Stevens Ph.D. assists organizations to dramatically accelerate business growth. A keynote speaker, author, and workshop facilitator, Drew conducts over 50 presentations per year. He is also the author of 100 articles on sales, customer service and selling strategy and is interviewed and quoted frequently in the media, with periodicals such as Personal Selling Power and Sales and Marketing Management, The New York Times, The New York Daily News, and Chicago Tribune. His firm, Stevens Consulting Group, has attracted clients such American International Group, Hilton Hotels, AT&T, The Federal Reserve Bank, Reliv International, The New York Times, Mercy Health Plans Quicken Loans and over 500 other leading organizations. Drew operates The Split Second Selling Institute around the world and is the author of Split Second Selling, Split Second Customer Service and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible. You can reach him at through his website at or his blog