Book Review: Home Office Rules of Thumb

There is something energizing about the fresh start of setting resolutions, both personal and professional. In this spirit, I hungrily purchased the recently published Home Office Rules of Thumb, A Handy Guide to Organizing Your Time, Information and Workspace by Lorie Marrero. Lorie is the creator of The Clutter Diet book and online program, and I have long been a fan of Lorie’s practical but comprehensive approach to reducing the clutter (and accompanying stress) in our fast-paced lives.

Home Office Rules of Thumb really does create a structured roadmap for getting your workspace and information ready for the New Year. My time is my most precious and limited asset and I know that in order to achieve my 2013 goals, I need to be wiser about how I plan my year, and then organize my days. Lorie’s book has a great workbook to write out specific actionable tasks and decisions.  There are many great tips, but here are a few of the “aha’s” I walked away with:

  • There is no one perfect organizing system. Each owner needs to find what works for him and his business. Some business owners feel more comfortable with paper files. Others are passionate about the latest tech tool and want to be as paperless as possible. Most of us are somewhere in between. Think through your work flow and use those tools that fit.
  • It is all about decisions. Every “input” whether it be an email, a phone message, a social media post or a newsletter requires a decision. Do you respond, trash, file or refer? Doing nothing just creates a pile of “indecision” that can quickly bury important items. My goal is to quickly make a decision, and then move on.
  • Have one place to capture ideas, tasks and appointments. With so many inputs, it is critical to have one place to capture ideas (Lorie is a big fan of Evernote), one list for tasks or to do’s, and one calendar (that is with you at all times). This simple practice helps you catch all those balls, rather than feeling they are scattered everywhere.
  • Make your office your central control center. I like to have my one page business plan on the wall so I can always have the long view. I use stand up files on my desktop for active projects. And for the daily tasks and events, I have my weekly planner alongside my work area.

What organizing books or resources have helped you in getting more out of your office? Share in the comments section below.

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