Donna Stellhorn

Donna Stellhorn

opening the door for YOU to wealth, health and love


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Clutter Clearing

I entered my client's office and quickly surveyed the scene. Ben had a large wood desk facing the door. Piles of papers, letters, emails and files spilled out of in-boxes, stacks of contracts, proposals and orders towered to the right and left of his keyboard, and more files leaned against the computer monitor. The room had no windows, and each wall was filled with pictures of fighter jets, awards and decorations for military service.  There was one exception; a large painting directly behind him of two children playing in a park.

Standing behind the desk, shaking my hand, he said, “I must confess, my wife put me up to this. I don’t really think much of this Feng Shui stuff. I really don’t know how this will help.”

“Really?”, I said, “because this office says to me that you make lightning fast decisions many times a day. You are saddled with a load of responsibilities that is a mile long but you never fail to come in under deadline. You have an assistant but you don’t trust him or her to handle their job. Your day is a constant series of phone calls and paperwork that you handle at 90 miles per hour and what you really want to do at this point in your life is play.”

He stood there transfixed as I spoke, his eyes wide, his mouth hanging slightly open. The phone rang and he picked it up, “I can’t take any calls right now, I am having Feng Shui done on my office.”

The current state of your office describes your work style and situation. If you want more productivity, more orders, more clients, and more leisure time, then consider your office decor and the amount of clutter therein.

The essence of productivity is to be able to lay your hands on what you need to confidently take action in a timely manner. To feel more productive, there has to be at least some clear space on your desk. If the desk is piled to the ceiling with paper then we are never finished and we don’t feel productive. A clean spot on the desk helps up focus on one task at a time. Ben’s fighter jet décor said he liked to speed through work, but the constant, never shrinking pile on his desk was getting to him; like flying but if you never reach your destination eventually you will run out of gas.

To attract more orders and more clients you need a system that is easy to use and readily available. Ben’s military training gave him the ability to handle emergencies, but with the clutter problem and no real file system, even an order from a client became an emergency. That he was a decorated military officer also said that he was both responsible and effective at taking action. Deadlines with clients were always met, but at a stress level that was taxing his energy and eating up his free time.

Just like Ben, your company needs a system that works for your particular business. If there is equipment, software, or tools you need to create a system, then invest the time in it. It will help you attract more orders, and give you happy clients.

Ben also wanted free time, represented by the incongruent picture of children playing in the park sandbox. Free time can be created by delegating. As a fighter pilot, Ben is alone in the cockpit but he still must rely on the ground team. Ben’s ground team, his assistant in this case, was under- utilized.

As you go through your daily tasks, ask yourself, “Is this something that someone else can do?” Delegate simple tasks first, then as you feel confident that those are being done well, you can add responsibilities. I wouldn’t ask Ben to relinquish the control of his plane (business) but the assistant could immediately lighten Ben’s load through filing and sorting.

If you can’t afford an assistant yet, consider all the services offered to businesses that can streamline your operation; parcel pick up, postage online, telephone answering services, professional organizers, etc. It’s impossible to fly a plane safely without a ground crew and it’s impossible to grow a business if you give yourself no down time.

In short, consider the following:

Keep at least a small portion of your desk clear. Move projects into that area while you are working on them, and then clear the space again before you get up from the desk. This will increase productivity.

Visualize a good system for your daily business activities. Acquire the tools, software and systems that will make business easy to run and you will attract more orders/clients.

And finally, delegate. Do the things that only you can do; making the sales call, giving the lecture, writing the ad copy, leading the training meeting, etc., but delegate the rest. And use the free time to rest, play and refuel.

An inviting though very orange office

Personal Organizing

Clutter Clearing and Personal Organizing consultations are done in person. Donna will give you simple and effective changes you can make that specifically apply to your goals.  

donna@donnastellhorn.com or 949-940-5697