Classy Breakfast


Organization Skills in a Changing World

5 steps towards becoming better organized

A Deer Oaks Presentation

Presenter: Drew Cannon, LCSW

Morning Exercise

Organization Types

• Time Management

• Project Management

• People Management

• Process Management

• Data Management

• Personal Management

• Family Management

Current Situation

• Tight deadlines

• Uncertain environment – continuous change

• High expectations – much at stake

• Problem solving - collaboration, creativity and compromise

• Flexibility to constantly re-work solutions – back to square 1

• Competition, faster pace- interrupts normal life routine

• Personal Commitments (work, family, community) moved to back burner, but still must be addressed

• Physical and emotional capacity taken to upper limit




Stressors At Work

– Key Job Responsibilities – daily grind or wash

– Change & Uncertainty

– New and changing Organization

– More with Less (time famine)

– New/added Responsibilities

– New Leadership

– Political environment

– Technology

– Anxiety/Fear/Fatigue

So…what can I do?

Understand law of

Responsibility and Control.


Focus on What You Can Control

Control No Control













Control Quadrant


Letting Go – A Skill

Mastery is taking action on things you can control

Spinning Your Wheels is trying to affect things beyond your control. Spending time reacting. Never feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Giving up is not taking action on things you could control. Acting helpless. Feeling like a victim.

Letting Go is not trying to influence things beyond your control. Not feeling guilty or resentful.


Shifting to Empowering Beliefs

• Reframing/Perspective Tools:

 Microscope

 Wide-Angle Lens

 Always, Always?

 Experiment


1. Piles of paper stacked up on your desk.

2. Binders in disarray on your bookcase.

3. You can no longer see your floor.

4. Unable to find important files.

5. Your desk is covered with notes, memos and documents.

6. More than fifty "old" emails in your Inbox.

Roadblocks to Organizing

• Embedded mind sets

• Analysis Paralysis-reworking same issues

• New generations (X,Y and Z)-Paradigm gap

• Interference of “urgent” problems

• Meetings for meetings sake

• Time Famine

• Herding cats-getting everyone together on the same page

• Lack of strong respected leadership

Getting Organized is progressive

• Poor organization can cost you more than just time.

• It can also cost you…

– Money

– Freedom

– Energy

– Credibility

– Respect of your colleagues

– Career advancement potential

What Has Poor Organization Cost You?

• Overall organizational success.

• Time

• Missed deadlines, thus reputation

• Personal career success

• Chaos and more stress

1. Write Things Down!

• Start by making a Master Project List of all the tasks you need to accomplish.

• Be sure to include:

– Calls you need to return

– Emails to reply

– Meetings you need to schedule

– Projects you have to undertake

– Services you need to provide

– Reports you have to complete

• Be as thorough as possible.

Stop Relying on Memory

• Write your Master List down in a place where you can find it.

• Memory lists are unreliable – do not rely on them.

• Buy a planner – paper or electronic – and use it.

• Avoid relying on post-it notes as reminders

– they can be as unreliable as memory lists.

2. Prioritize!

• Prioritizing puts your power to choose into action.

• Effective managers accept that they cannot possibly do everything there is to be done.

• To be effective, you have to consciously choose:

– what to do now

– what to do later

– what not to do at all, and

– what to stop doing.

Priority equated to juggling 5 balls

The five balls represent:

- Work

- Family

- Friends

- Self Care (health/psych)

- Leisure Activities

Which are crystal?


Which ball can be dropped without marring, scratching, or breaking?

What damage have you noticed when fragile balls are


Apply the 80/20 rule

• Pareto's 80/20 Rule is an excellent tool to help you manage effectively.

• Explanation: Of the things you do during your day, only 20 percent really matter.

• Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results.

• Identify and focus on the 20 percent that counts.

How 80/20 works

• Focus 80 percent of your time and energy on the

20 percent of your work that is really important.

• Don't just "work smart“; work smart on the right things.

• If something in your schedule has to slip, or is not going to get done, make sure it is not part of that

20 percent.

Try the Grading Scale

• A – Assign A's to projects and tasks that are very important or valuable or that need to be completed right away because of an impending deadline.

• B – Assign B's to projects and tasks that should be done, but that are not as important, valuable, or urgent as the A’s.

Grades Continued

• C – Assign C's to projects and tasks that you may want to do at some future time, but that are not important or valuable enough for you to spend your time on right now.

• D – Assign D's to projects and tasks that you are not planning to do. They are not worth your time and energy.

Urgent vs. Important

• Focus on the A's and assign individual priority rank values to the top 5 – 10 items on your list.

• Consider both the short-term urgency and long-term importance when assigning priorities to your projects and tasks.

• Remember: Important things are not always urgent and urgent things are not always important!

3. Avoid Too Much Urgency

• A common problem people face while trying to set priorities is that they often label too many tasks as


• They run from crisis to crisis, constantly putting out fires.

• Too much urgency is itself a sign of poor organization.

• Do not sacrifice important long-term projects by focusing all of your attention on the urgent ones.

Avoid Management by Crisis

• Management by crisis means that you allow unexpected events, interruptions, problems, or emergencies to determine your priorities and actions.

• If you spend more of your time putting out fires than doing your job, you are managing by crisis.

• When crisis management becomes the routine, it can lead to “Urgency Addiction.” (Stephen Covey)

Effective Time Management

• Block time for projects, tasks, walk-ins, emergencies

• Set time for the task

• Protect the time

• Be consistent so others will honor your block of time

• Consider time for commute

• Time for self

4. Practice Effective Filing

• Develop a systematic way of organizing your existing files.

• Ask yourself several crucial questions:

– Do I need to save it?

– If yes, for how long?

– Do I use it regularly?

– How hard is it to replace?

– How important is it?

– What would happen if I don’t have it?

– How often do I need to purge my files?

5. Take Time to Plan

• Imagine that you and your friends are going on a two-week long hiking/ camping/whitewater rafting trip to the wilderness.

• Would you do any planning?

• Planning allows you to identify all of your projects and tasks and gain a much better understanding of what it will really take to complete them.


No Excuses…

• Avoid excuses and rationalizations for poor planning.

• Planning is an organizational skill that can be learned.

• Learn to plan effectively and consistently.

• Savor the benefits of being organized.

Your feedback on this Seminar/In-service will be greatly appreciated.


Take Care of Yourself

• Developing Personal Health Habits

• Plan Time today

• Immediate Ways to Handle Stress (breathing, stretching, imagery)

• Long-Term/Lifestyle Methods to Handle Stress


Self-improving Strategies


Audit your pressures & make an action plan

Learn to say ‘No’ sometimes

Manage your time - prioritise

Get organised - clear away clutter

Manage your thinking

Develop self awareness


Monitor your work/life balance

Maintain physical health