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Office Space Planning: Where to Start

Most business owners spend a LOT of time in the office. Office spaces that are easy to navigate, designed strategically, and well set up increase the chances of worker collaboration, productivity, and business success. Below are four tips to enhance office planning and setup.

  1. Strategize. Figure out where things will go, what the budget is, and who key decision makers are. Ask yourself what’s working, what tasks are difficult and why, and which tasks are most frequent. Then build your office space around these constraints and considerations. Strapped for space? Consider smaller work areas. Need more storage? Use wall space to increase storage options. Does your business scan a lot of documents? Place the scanner in an accessible area to make frequent scanning easier.

  2. Collaborate. To increase the likelihood of success and cooperation among workers, create spaces that enable people to communicate effectively. Open spaces work if there is sufficient storage and workspace.    Where possible, consider open desk areas instead of cubicles, soothing colors instead of jarring colors, and ergonomic chairs or standing desks to make it easier to work for long periods.

  3. Ascertain. Determine which tasks are the most important and most frequent and build your office space around them.  Have a lot of paperwork? Ensure there is enough space to catalog it all for easy use and retrieval. Use a lot of plans that are difficult to see on a computer screen? Ensure sufficient flat space is available to work on these. Deal with a lot of email? Have sufficient online storage and backup processes in place. Use a lot of supplies? Build in storage options to keep these tucked away but easy to get to.

  4. Reduce. Nothing is more distracting or difficult to work in than an office space filled with unused and unwanted items. Spaces that are cumbersome, overfull, and difficult to navigate detract from worker success. Don’t have a use for something? Don’t like something? Don’t have room for something? Sell it, donate it or otherwise remove it from the space.

Lisa Mark, C.P.O. is a productivity expert and Certified Professional Organizer. Contact Lisa if you would like to find out if she is a good fit for your organizing or productivity needs.

How to Make Virtual Organizing Work for You

Virtual organizing is done via a remote work session between organizer and client. Communication is generally via video conference platforms like Skype or Zoom and may occasionally be done via phone as well. 

With virtual organizing, clients get the same teaching, guidance, and support of a hands-on organizing appointment. Virtual organizing also enables clients to access organizers outside of their geographical area, which may increase the availability of organizing services in a busy market. Finally, because virtual organizing appointments are generally shorter than hands-on appointments, it may be possible to obtain a virtual organizing appointment sooner than a hands-on organizing appointment.

During virtual organizing, the organizer provides the guidance and support necessary to accomplish the organizing project while the client puts the plan into action. Virtual organizing is less about doing the hands-on work and more about using the organizer’s experience, education and knowledge to help the client implement the organizing systems. During COVID, virtual organizing services have skyrocketed.

To determine whether virtual organizing is right for you, ask yourself the following questions.

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How To Choose the Right Organizer or Productivity Consultant: Part 3 – Personality

Lisa Mark, C.P.O. Coaching a Client

In last month’s blog post, we discussed how to ensure your productivity consultant has the right qualifications. This month’s blog post addresses what personality traits to look for when hiring a productivity consultant.

  • Identify her problem-solving skills. A good productivity consultant not only has strong problem-solving skills but also can explain why she’s doing what she’s doing. She can see the big picture without losing sight of the details. She’ll be able to identify your goals, create a plan of action, and then work with you to get to where you want to be.
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How To Choose The Right Organizer or Productivity Consultant: Part 1 – Client Goals

You’ve made the decision to move forward with a professional organizer and productivity consultant. Below are my top three tips to ensure that the odds of success are as high as possible when working with a productivity professional.

1. Determine your Level of Involvement

Decide how involved you, as the client, would like to be. Client involvement spans the spectrum from involved at every step of the way to only participating as needed. The level of involvement depends on the client’s wishes, and organizers who know what they’re doing can work with clients at all levels of participation.

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3 Ways To Streamline Processes

A process is a series of repetitive activities or linked tasks which occur in a specific order and end when a service or product is provided to a client. Streamlining processes makes things simpler and more efficient and leads to improvement in operations. The benefits to streamlining processes include minimizing costs, diminishing or eliminating lost time, and reducing wasted resources. Streamlining can also lead to increased engagement, efficiency, and communication.

To streamline processes, start by doing the following:

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How Changing Your Office Layout Can Increase Productivity

By Kristie Santana

Kristie Santana is a life coach, coaching educator, and author who has been in the coaching field for 15 years. Her latest project, Life Coach Path, aims to help educate and empower students to find coach training and start thriving coaching practices of their own.


Workspace design can arguably date back to the Roman era, but we know that when the first office building of the British Empire was constructed in 1726 in London, the architect had to design meeting rooms and spaces that could hold massive amounts of paperwork. Workplaces were very much about functionality and practicality, with little thought given to the employee. 

Fast forward nearly 300 years, and the pendulum has swung the other way. Global conglomerates like Google believe the workspace emanates an ‘energy’ and must be designed meticulously to support the mental health of their employees. At their New York headquarters, every employee is within 150 feet of an indoor restaurant, cafeteria or lounge. They firmly believe in ‘collision spaces’ where employees are encouraged to chat, dine, and drum up inspiration. 

Now, you may not be able to install a full-service restaurant in your office, but making a few changes could help increase office productivity and promote mental wellness.

Light it Up

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17 Apps for Tracking Time

When bringing tech into my business, I try to select tools that will enhance my productivity. Below are tips for choosing a time tracking app, along with options for time tracking apps that should lead to increased productivity.

When choosing a new app:

Use the KISS method. Kiss stands for ‘Keep It Simple, Sweetie.’ Ease of use is paramount with any new software. If I can’t determine how to use something within, say, the first 5 minutes, I’m not going to use it at all. So, bring in tech that is transparent, fun, easy to use, and keeps things simple for you and your team.

It’s not a bug…It’s a Feature! The more bells and whistles the software offers, the more difficult it can be to use. When possible, choose fewer, stronger features, rather than a whole host of ‘hey, that looks fun!’ Apps with fewer features enable ease of use, better streamlining, and a shorter (and flatter) learning curve. Definitely get what you need, but consider limiting extras.

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Easy Ways to Save Time

Home office organized by Lisa Mark, C.P.O.

Time Blocking

Identifying time-wasters is the first step to maximizing productivity. When thinking of daily tasks, ask if there is a way to clump, or group together, tasks that are similar. This strategy for doing similar things at one time is called time blocking.

From ToDoist.com: Time Blocking is a time management method that has you divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task, or group of similar tasks. Similar tasks may include:

  • Processing email
  • Scheduling client appointments
  • Attending meetings
  • Returning phone calls

Try using time blocking and see if it works for you.

Searching for Supplies

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The Best Productivity Apps

Last month, we discussed How to Choose a Productivity App and how apps, like anything else, are only beneficial when they move us closer to our goals. Below are some of my favorites.

I’m an app minimalist. I limit apps and use only what I need to work effectively. For email, tasks, and calendar management, I like the G-suite apps. They are global (can be reached from anywhere), are easy to integrate, and the updates are (usually) seamless. I set up G-mail to integrate with Outlook so emails appear in both. I can better see the individual emails on Outlook, but I also enjoy the Google thread function for organizing and retrieval. Although I have multiple email addresses, all emails are set up to go into the same inbox. This means I only need to check one place to find everything.

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