Do you struggle with getting things done? Do routine tasks seem cumbersome to complete? Creating “systems or processes” can turn repetitive or routine tasks into automatic, efficient operations. The National Association of Professional Organizers, Southeast Michigan Chapter (NAPO-MI) wants to share some techniques for creating smooth running systems.
1. Identify a routine or repetitive activity that is cumbersome or not functioning as efficiently as it should be. Household activities such as cleaning the house or doing laundry are prime activities that lend themselves to established systems or processes.
2. Outline the current process for completing the activity including each step of the process, who performs the step and how and when it is performed. Start by delineating the beginning and end points of the process and then all the steps in between.
3. Review the current process to identify how steps can be performed differently, combined or eliminated. Some processes may be performed best at a different time of the day or day of the week. Consider the supplies, tools or products needed to carry out the activity. Think of all the ways that the process can be performed more efficiently.
4. Determine if the “right” person is performing all or parts of the activity. There may be a person with a better skill set, physical ability, interest or that have more time to perform the activity. Do not overlook delegating all or parts of the activity where it may be beneficial.
5. Consider asking the advice of friends or others on how they accomplish the activity. You may be enlightened by the advice you receive.
6. Make changes to the process as identified in steps 3 and 4 above.
7. Implement the new or revised process.
8. When the process is no longer running as anticipated, it is time to revisit it again.
A system becomes effective if it is utilized regularly or becomes “habit”. This typically requires performing the new process for at least 21 days or until it takes no effort to complete it. Only then can a system be re-evaluated for improvements. Completing routine or repetitive activities efficiently is easier than you think! For more organizing tips, visit http://www.napomichigan.com/.
Article submitted by Chapter member and Associate Member Director, Mary Lynn Badr.