With Hurricane Florence headed toward PEI almost 4 years ago, it was difficult to stay focused, but during my meditation that morning I read Isaiah 54:10: “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Keeping that in mind, we’re focusing on one of the principles we teach: “Control the things you can control, so you can cope with what you can’t!” That’s a great message for Workspace Wednesday too!

Do you ignore the clutter in your office because you have “more important things to do?”

Do you often feel stressed at the end of the day because you didn’t accomplish what you intended to?

Do you read books such as “Getting Things Done” or The Magic of Tidying Up” but don’t do anything with what you read?

Do you read the hurricane preparedness bulletin and think about putting your kit together, but never do it?

Did you answer “Yes” to even one of these questions? If so, you’re decreasing your productivity and increasing your stress. That’s not just me talking because I’m an organizing and productivity specialist. It’s a fact, supported by study after study over the course of many years!

Why is clutter such a problem? The reasons are endless, but in truth, the reason doesn’t really matter. In the four decades I’ve been in this industry, I’ve never met anyone who can’t reduce the clutter in their office if they choose to. Clutter is postponed decisions®, but making a decision isn’t enough, you have to have a way to implement the decision you make.

A client who is in the network marketing business told me, “I spend two days a week in my office, shuffling papers, trying to figure out what is the most important thing I should do.”

I invited her to set aside four hours to set up a SYSTEM (Saving You Space Time Energy Money)™ she could use to make decisions and implement them.

Today she said, “I only need one day a week in the office now to do my administrative work.”

The lesson we can take from this is powerful and very applicable to the situation we faced as we prepared for Hurricane Florence in 2018. We were under mandatory evacuation, wondering what would be left when we returned after a potential Category 5 hurricane. Add to this the stress people experienced as they carefully chose their most important possessions to pack and take with them. Much of this stress could be avoided if a SYSTEM were put in place beforehand.

Have one safe place for important documents instead of hunting for birth certificates, passports, insurance documents and family photos. Make them easy to grab and go!

Hurricanes are not uncommon and the preparations are going to be the same for all of them. Whether this is in your workplace or your home it is important to have a system in place before an emergency strikes. Create a system for having batteries, candles and other essentials on hand. Keep the weather radio charged.

Knowing what to do is only half the battle. Take the time to create the systems your household needs for an emergency such as this. Make that decision today and please follow through. Control what you can control, so you can cope with the things you can't. Your life could depend on it.

Author's Bio: 

In 1978, Barbara took out a $7 ad in a New York City newspaper to advertise her professional organizer business. For 20 years, she focused her business on organizing paper and physical clutter for home offices and organizations. Then the Internet Age came about, and she utilized her principles and expertise to help clients with digital clutter.

Over the past 40+ years Barbara has helped 1000's of companies, and became an icon and top expert in the industry. She has been featured on national media platforms such as Good Morning America, The Today Show and CNN Nightly News. She has also been showcased in publications including USA Today, New York Times, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple and Guideposts.

Barbara and her team teach business owners a 9-step system to go from overwhelmed to optimized. Step 1 is a free Assessment that can be found at https://productiveenvironment.com/pe-gameplan