Get Organized for Greater Creativity, Productivity and Life!

In today’s digital world of easy and rapid proliferation of anything and everything, the old rules of getting organized just aren’t as applicable. Even those for whom organization comes easily, struggle to keep up with email, filing, and to do lists and all the myriad things demanding your time and attention.If you’re struggling to get organized in this era of information overload, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the majority.

Audio Article – Get Organized for Greater Creativity:

Note: the audio articles aren’t always exactly the same as the print articles. Sometimes we edit and update the written articles, and sometimes we ad lib comments on the audio versions.

Organized Environment… Organized Mind

Many years ago, my husband, Coleman and I owned a closet organizing company as our first business together. We would go into people’s homes and install those cool drawer, shelf and hanging units that turned cluttered one-rod closets into an elegantly organized solution. Sometimes, we’d also be hired to help people organize their stuff.

A common theme was that the more order was brought to people’s environment, the more relaxed, peaceful and organized their state of mind. It became evident that there was a psychological correlation between overall emotional and mental well being and the order or clutter of their environment. Like a shower after a sweaty workout, cleaning up and organizing feels so good and relaxing overall.

When you simplify, you become more productive and happier. You open up space for your creativity to thrive.
~Brian Gardner, NoSidebar.com

Get Organized for Greater Creativity, Productivity and Life! -- In today's digital world of easy and rapid proliferation of anything and everything, the old rules of getting organized just aren't as applicable. If you're struggling to get organized in todays era of information overload, you're not alone. In fact, you're in the majority. #quotes #creative #thrive #productive

If You Think You Like and Thrive on Disorder…

First, we need to clear up a common meme promulgated especially amongst creative communities. Many creatives say they work best when things are messy. Perhaps.

Ultimately, only you know what works best for you. Just be sure to be honest with yourself. Just don’t automatically perpetuate the common memes and utterances that you’ve always said without bringing them up for examination and determination as to whether it’s really true.

Most people who say they enjoy and thrive on messes, typically love a clean and organized environment… if they don’t have to be the one to clean it! 😁

Probe your psyche for the myths you’ve been told, by yourself or others. Expose them to the light of objective inquiry and they will lose their grip on you.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

Ultimately, only you know what works best for you. Just be sure to be honest with yourself. Just don't automatically perpetuate the common memes and utterances that you've always said without bringing them up for examination and determination as to whether it's really true. #quotes #organized #creative

Turn a New Leaf

If you sketch, you love the invitation of a fresh new page in your sketchbook to create something new. If you’re a writer, the blank page beckons your ideas and lures you to pen them to life. Journal fans, brush a hand over a new blank page, and enjoy neatly scribing thoughts with favorite pens.

Most writers love writing fresh ideas more than they love editing what’s already written. Same for painters. Easier to paint something new than to frame and hang or place a new painting. It’s the same with organization. To get organized is like exercise: the process of getting organized is like the process of exercising. Most people don’t love to clean, organize or exercise. Yet everyone enjoys the results.

Getting organized is like exercising. You may not enjoy the process but the rewards are ever worth the effort.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

If you sketch, you love the invitation of a fresh new page in your sketchbook to create something new. If you're a writer, the blank page beckons your ideas and lures you to pen them to life. Journal fans, brush a hand over a new blank page, and enjoy neatly scribing thoughts with favorite pens. #quotes #effort #creative #minimalism

Out with the Old Rules… in with the Newer Faster Ways to Get Organized

In this period of proliferation, the old rules of organizing, filing and record keeping is not as relevant. Even the most obsessively organized person can find it hard to keep the old order in today’s digital age. I mean… I remember the days when we had hours to organize things. I used to TYPE our file folder labels for goodness sake! Today, I rarely keep things unless it’s absolutely necessary, such as tax or business records.

There’s such an abundance of info blasting our way each day that saving, bookmarking, filing and keeping for posterity or the ‘read someday”, is more a thing of the past. Today, it’s so easy to find what you’re looking for—or something like it—now through Google, that you no longer have to file and keep many of the things you  want to remember.

It’s the same with education. The years of memorizing facts and storing them for future retrieval, is no longer necessary for most things when everyone has a supercomputer in their palm. This leave more room in the brain for creativity, if… if we don’t clutter it with nonessentials.

“If you don’t have time to do what matters, stop doing things that don’t.”
~Courtney Carver, BeMoreWithLess.com

There's such an abundance of info blasting our way each day that saving, bookmarking, filing and keeping for posterity or the 'read someday", is more a thing of the past. Today, it's so easy to find what you're looking for—or something like it—now through Google, that you no longer have to file and keep many of the things you  want to remember. #minimalism #time #quotes

Organizing and Recipes – Just Google it

Take recipes for example. We naturally have our favorite cookbooks. Our family’s main cookbook is a 4″ spiral bound notebook full of recipes we’ve printed out to keep. However, when we’re preparing to make something that requires a recipe, or to get ideas, it’s often so much easier to just Google it. It’s faster and easier for us to Google a recipe to find our favorite—or a new favorite—than it is to thumb through our oversized binder looking for it!

Minimalism isn’t about what you own, it’s about why you own it.
~Brian Gardner, NoSidebar.com

Take recipes for example. We naturally have our favorite cookbooks. Our family's main cookbook is a 4" spiral bound notebook full of recipes we've printed out to keep. However, when we're preparing to make something that requires a recipe, or to get ideas, it's often so much easier to just Google it. It's faster and easier for us to Google a recipe to find our favorite—or a new favorite—than it is to thumb through out oversized binder looking for it! #minimalism #quotes #organization #creative

Organizing Email and the Myth of Inbox Zero

It’s the same with emails. In the first number of years of the existence of email, I created an organized filing cabinet of folders (called “mailboxes” in Mac). Each “mailbox” or master folder had corresponding subfolders where relevant. It was really easy to get everything neatly filed to “inbox zero”, by the end of each day. Until it wasn’t.

If you’ve been doing email since the beginning of email time, you’ll remember that a clear “inbox” was normal, and each email that came in was eagerly read. Today, running multiple companies, I currently have 9 email accounts. One is the oldest, where all the junk mail and online orders go. The other is reserved just for friends and family, and the others seven are all business email accounts.

So… how do I get organize it all? I don’t really. Instead I bulk file things. Remember the recipe scenario? Well, now, I find 98% or more of inbox things I’m looking for by the simple, ubiquitous and essential “search” window. If you can find 98% of what you need through the search function, then you don’t need to spend more than 2% of your time—if that—organizing!

Time Spent on Email

Remember, to get organized today is not about the neat perfection of the old. Today’s order is about accessibility. Thirty minutes a day is still 30 minutes of your time that you’ll never get back. And most people say they spend far more than 30 minutes a day on email.

Reports say that workers spend between 20-28% of their time on email, and an article in Forbes reported it as 2.5 hours a day. However, we could not find substantiating research to support these statistics. Further, the percentage of time on email at work varies by profession, work role and need, so isn’t a true indicator of productivity.

For some industries, email has replaced other work related time, such as meetings, administrate paperwork and phone calls. However, it’s safe to say that not all email is productive work time. 1)https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/the-social-economy2)https://www.forbes.com/sites/annabelacton/2017/07/13/innovators-challenge-how-to-stop-wasting-time-on-emails/#35acd8299788

You have to ask yourself whether this activity energizes or depletes you; adds value or detracts from the life you wish to live.

The clutter in your home doesn’t just make a mess, it creates distraction in your mind and stress in your life.
~Brian Gardner, NoSidebar.com

Remember, today's order is not about the neat perfection of the old. Today's order is about accessibility. Thirty minutes a day is still 30 minutes of your time that you'll never get back. You have to ask yourself whether this activity energizes or depletes you; adds value or detracts from the life you wish to live. #home #quotes #organization

Email – Batch and Bulk it – 30 minute/day max

SoI still have the original mailboxes, folders and subfolders because well, they’re already there, so there’s no point in wasting time changing any of that now. However, I rarely add new things to them.

Today, my email organizing is super simple:

INBOX – BATCHING

Daily – AM’s – 5-10 minutes:

  1. As junk mail comes in I immediately unsubscribe. And yes, junk mail still keeps coming in but this helps
  2. Bad junk mails get bulk spammed
  3. Emails that I don’t need but don’t want to unsubscribe, such as from companies I order from, get mass deleted
  4. I flag things that are important, color coded by action
  5. Emails that should be filed are filed in folders or bulk filed

GET ORGANIZED — DIGITAL FILING SIMPLIFIED

There are approx 20 folders that I definitely need to keep track of. I’m not going to count them, even for you, 😉as that would waste time for a detail that’s not essential to either of us. See how that decision was made to reduce time in an exact detail that ultimately doesn’t matter to either of us? And that process of delineation, i did take time to share because it may be something that helps you in organizing your thoughts and processes.

Anyway, back to the 20 folders. The ones I continue to keep and file to are decided based on those which might be hard to search because of various names and search terms that could be hard to recall.

Some examples include educational programs and also conferences. Some companies operate under different names. E.g, a conference might be called a seminar or workshop, and to search “conference” may not bring up what you want. However, it may bring up all kinds of other messages that contain the word somewhere in the body, but which are entirely irrelevant.

So I keep folder for content which might be hard to find when searching. Here’s an example of a handful of files I use regularly that might also be relevant to you.

  • Correspondence
  • Conferences
  • Education
  • Receipts 2018 (always updated by current year, so that our bookkeeper has one clean year’s folder)
  • Revenue 2018 (always updated by current year so that our bookkeeper has one clean year’s folder)
  • Travel

With the Receipts and Revenue folders, I no longer spend HOURS itemizing these into separate files. I—or my bookkeeper—can easily toggle by company name far faster than me creating multipLe separate folders, and him opening and closing all of those multiple folders.

With bulk filing, I no longer spend HOURS itemizing email into multiple folders. I also find it’s actually easier to find things.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

Daily – PMs – 10-20 minutes

  1. Around lunch I quickly scan through and handle anything requiring follow up actions or reading
  2. Before bed, when I’m too tired to create something new or tackle hard tasks, I scan emails that are flagged. This is typically replies and also reading for research and learning time.

GET ORGANIZED: BULK FILING and ARCHIVE FOLDERS

Once a week or so – 10 minutes

  • Inbox – whatever’s still in the inbox is dragged to “Inbox 2 – Archives”
  • Sent Mail –  drag all sent messages into a folder titled:  “Sent Mail 2 – Archives”
  • Trash – delete all trash
  • Inbox zero… for a few minutes 🙂

Then… if I need something I SEARCH IT!! It’s exceedingly rare to not find something I need when I search it.

“The first step in crafting a life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”
~Joshua Becker, BecomingMinimalist.com

“The first step in crafting a life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” ~Joshua Becker #minimalism #quotes

Looking for Things Wastes Valuable Time

In my family, I’m the most organized one, and yet I’m far from perfected in that area, especially these past few years when I’m working 12/7 on business building. I’ve written more on that in this article. For now, suffice it to say that there’s a way to maintain order, even when you don’t have time to organize, and even if it isn’t your ideal state of ultimate order.

That said, it’s a fairly regular occurrence for one or other family member to spend time looking for something they’ve misplaced. Why? Because they didn’t put it away in the first place. It’s a lesson they’ve not yet owned. They know it, they see it, they get frustrated by the frequency of needing to spend time looking for things, but the lesson of not losing them in the first place hasn’t yet been internalized.

I truly believe the white space in our life is where the magic happens.
~Brian Gardner, NoSidebar.com

In my family, I'm the most organized one, and yet I'm far from perfected in that area, especially these past few years when I'm working 12/7 on business building. I've written more on that in this article. For now, suffice it to say that there's a way to maintain order, even when you don't have time to organize, and even if it isn't your ideal state of ultimate order. #minimalism #quotes #magic

To change any habit has to be a conscious decision, followed by daily practice.

Three Steps to Changing Habits

  1. Decide and commit to it – the old way is simply no longer an option… it’s not part of you
  2. Change your mindset – get rid of all thoughts and language that keep you trapped in the old ways
  3. Do it daily – learn from those who know how to do what you’re seeking to learn

Even if you’re not naturally organized, you can absolutely adopt the habits of someone who is. And then you will become that.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

Even if you're not naturally organized, you can absolutely adopt the habits of someone who is. And then you will become that. ~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com #habits #goals #creative #quotes

The one tool above all others that we use and recommend toward organizing your goals and thus your thinking, is the iCreateDaily 90 Day Goals Journal.

The Organized Creative

If you’re amongst those who thrive on chaos, you’ll be delighted to hear that sometimes being organized takes more time than it saves. If you’re disorganized, you can waste time losing and finding things and just in general, being slowed down by stacks and piles.

“I learned that thinking about living is not the same as living.”
~Erin Loechner

If you're amongst those who thrive on chaos, you'll be delighted to hear that sometimes being organized takes more time than it saves. If you're disorganized, you can waste time losing and finding things and just in general, being slowed down by stacks and piles. #quotes #organization #living #minimalism #quotes

You can waste time by being obsessively compulsive (OCD) about being organized. If you’re innately organized down to the tiniest details, consider that—in the end—all that won’t matter a smidgen. For that matter, living in a bit of disorder won’t either. What matters most is that you’re living the life you wish to live now, today, without delay, to the extent possible.

Get organized to add quality of life, not to be obsessed or overrun by either. Do not become slave to order or disorder. Your life is not about either of those. Order is to help you live a more productive creative life. If you find yourself spending more time organizing than doing the thing you’re organizing for, then step back, assess and reassess. Planning to live, is not the same as living.

 We all have a deeper purpose and a deeper sense of self that isn’t measured against how much we do in a day.
~Leslie Davis, DharmaMama.com

Get organized to add quality of life, not to be obsessed or overrun by either. Do not become slave to order or disorder. Your life is not about either of those. Order is to help you live a more productive creative life. If you find yourself spending more time organizing than doing the thing you're organizing for, then step back, assess and reassess. Planning to live, is not the same as living. #minimalism #quotes #thrive #purpose


Hello! I’m LeAura, an autodidactic former homeschooling mom, self development advocate, entrepreneur, author, ideator, web publisher, and podcaster, passionate about helping others achieve their best possible life!

I love people, creating, and good conversations on creativity, growth, development and entrepreneurship. So co-hosting the iCreateDaily podcast along with my daughter, Devani, is one of my favorite things to do.

I’ve trained and certified in mediation, strategic intervention, marriage and family coaching as well as a fitness trainer, and participated in many courses and workshops over the years.

Today, the synergy of creating websites, articles and podcasts, brings together all my favorite things: learning, growth, creating, connecting and contributing. To share these with you is a privilege, that serves my lifelong aspiration to help others.

My personal areas of creativity are in writing, masterminding, ideation and bringing ideas to life through business and entrepreneurship.



Want to submit your photos, videos and/or article content for publication? We love to consider your contribution for publication! creators@icreatedaily.com

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