C thing on the other side of the
yoleuraancut p clutter, chaos or mess that they
want.” That thing might be
a promotion, raise or
To help people
Professional organizer finds reach that place, she
suggests they tackle
light at the end of the clutter tasks in regard to how
close they “dance to
the company’s revenue
By Stephanie E. Ponder line.” That means doing
the task that will make
Do you ever have workdays when the business money
you feel like a hamster that’s first—even if it’s the
constantly running on a wheel most time consuming.
and not getting anywhere? Another tip she en-And your only motivation is courages everyone to try
the hope that someday you’ll put a dent in the is to stay away from
paperwork and have time for your family and e-mail for the first hour
yourself—but that day never comes? of the day. Instead, that
Here to break that cycle is Julie RUBBERBALL time should be used to
Morgenstern, professional organizer and author tackle the most critical and
of the book Making Work Work: New meaningful project. Putting
Strategies for Surviving and Thriving at the off e-mail has two purposes:
Office, which comes out this month. The book using the same skills as First, a person will be energized
is filled with “grab-and-go” techniques that can when I was a director,” by a sense of accomplishment from working
be implemented in 15 minutes to a couple of she explains from her on the bigger project. Second, the person has
hours. “The implementation doesn’t take long, home in New York City. started the day in control of work, not under
but being willing or courageous enough to do it Organizing, like direct- the control of e-mail. “If the rest of the day
can take a week or two,” says Morgenstern. ing, means juggling point of goes crazy, you’re covered,” she adds.
For example, learning to delegate is view between the big picture and the details. Along with these and many other tips,
one of the most helpful and one of the hard- Morgenstern’s new career paid off: the book features a self-assessment quiz to
est behaviors to learn. People are afraid Over the years her clients have included Ameri- determine the obstacles to work performance
of someone else messing up or of being can Express, Lifetime Television and Time and contains real-life anecdotes, sidebars for
proven replaceable. What they don’t see is Warner Inc. Additionally, she has shared her managers and nine competencies, or skill
that delegating tasks such as memo writing or advice on NPR and PBS and in publications sets, essential for surviving in today’s hectic
scheduling frees up time to tend to more such as O, Fast Company and The Wall work environment.
important projects. Street Journal. The goal of adopting these techniques,
Morgenstern found her way into orga- Although Morgenstern has worked across says Morgenstern, “is for people to feel really
nizing by accident in 1989. Until that time all industries and age groups, she’s found a satisfied and in control at work. The result for
she was a theater director, but after a divorce similarity in her clients. “The people who call the individual is that it boosts your value,
she realized she co uldn’t raise me are suddenly clear on where they want to increases job security and offers increased
her daughter while working go,” she tells The Connection. “They see some- satisfaction in your personal life.” C
Although she imagined
that being a professional Organizing tips from Julie
organizer would be a practical, perhaps even boring,
thing to do, Morgenstern
soon found out that it had
its share of similarities
“I discovered that
the business can be creative and that I was
THE COSTCO CONNECTION
Marking Work Work, by Julie Morgenstern,
is available in most Costco warehouses.
To help get work under control and place saves a minimum of one hour a day.
have more time for your personal life, Crunch your container.
professional organizer Julie Morgenstern By shortening your workday by 30 minutes you’ll
offers the following tips. eliminate all the little time wasters—dilly-dallying,
Fortify your work-life balance. chit-chatting, procrastinating, perfecting tasks—
Mastering your work-life balance improves currently in your day.
your workplace performance by boosting your Beware of multitasking.
energy, increasing mental acuity, fueling your Once thought to increase productivity, multitask-creativity, giving you perspective and patience. ing has since been discovered to do the exact
Capture all your to-dos in one place. opposite. By training yourself to concentrate on
Many people rely on their memory, or hap- one task at a time, you get more done, in less
hazardly scribble to-dos in a variety of places, time, and the quality of work will increase.
which results in lost opportunities and mis- Reprinted with permission from Making Work
guided efforts. Capturing your to-dos in one Work from Simon & Schuster.