Ready. Set. Goal!

How organizing and productivity go hand in hand.

By Ellen Faye

Clear your space 

Less is more: When you have too much stuff, you can’t find what’s important. Less is easier to handle. People keep things to make themselves feel better. It actually makes them feel worse.

A place for everything: The greatest benefit of having a place for everything is NOT that you know where to find something when you need it (though that is lovely), it’s so you have a place to put things so they are not cluttering up your physical and emotional space.

Start with a clean slate: When you start fresh, it’s much easier to make decisions. Start working each day with a clear desk, start cooking dinner with a clean kitchen, start figuring out what you need for your fall wardrobe by organizing your closet. Having old stuff makes everything harder.

Take time to plan 

Goals and intentions: What matters in your work and life? Take a few minutes and consider what goals you have for how you wish to live. Say yes to what supports you and no to everything else. 

Weekly planning: Start your week by refreshing your to-do list. Prioritize your tasks into categories: Critical – must be done today, Hot – must be done this week, and Sooner and Later – because if it doesn’t need to be done this week, you can delay it to sooner or later.

Plan today’s work: Start each day with five minutes focused on determining your most important work for the day. Write it down on a sticky note and place it in your workspace so you can refer to it frequently. This will keep you from going off task and help you recenter after interruptions.

The most important thing to remember, in both organizing and productivity, is that if everything is important, nothing is important.


Ellen Faye is an ICF-certified coach, productivity leadership coach, professional organizer and entrepreneur who has had her own organizing and productivity company since 2001. Ellen is a NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) past national president and the NAPO 2019 Founder’s Award recipient.

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