24 Oct

Chaos Taming

Chaos Taming

It sounds so charming, almost serene. People frequently ask me what it is about “organizing” that intrigues me, draws me in like a fly to a spider’s web. My parents would probably say it began at birth.  I remember one summer, we experienced a terrible storm and the electricity was lost for hours. We were all watching the dark clouds roiling in the sky, when my parents mentioned we needed to light some candles for house light and realized they had none. I promptly asked, “What kind would you like – tapered, pillar, tea?” and opened up my drawer of organized candles. In my defense, my mother owned a card store in the local mall and I had a plethora of broken merchandise which frequently became treasures to my little mind.

Over the years, I have always been drawn to organizing anything.  During my highly sociable years, it was events and people. As I matured, I added clients, projects and programs to the list. I would love to say it is a highly complex and challenging role that I play at work and for my family and friends; however, I really believe we can make a fantastic progress on #projectmanagement by just applying some logical organization to the world around us!

Follow these tips, and find yourself organized and accomplished:

  1. There is no task too large or too small that a good list will not fix. Every goal, objective, challenge or job can be broken into steps that will help you to achieve that purpose. A project at work differs very little from a home improvement project or a kid’s shoebox diorama, for that matter!My work plans look far more formalized than my Easy Note App list on my phone or the sticky notes you will find throughout my home, but they fulfill the same role and are equally useful.  Small steps equal constant progress. Constant progress results in financial, organizational and personal rewards.   (Link to easy note app – www.itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-note-+-to-do/id382828566?mt=8)
  2. Finding your group or individual strengths will make everything more organized and successful.   I cannot sing. Oh, I love to sing and motorists frequently smile as I drive by wailing and smiling with the top down on the highway. Their engines are clearly too loud to hear the quality of the sound. When putting on college campus shows, I was always assigned to the dancing ensemble – never the choral solo for a very good reason! We had others far more talented in the singing arena. However, I am your gal when you need something organized, financially examined, streamlined from a process perspective or summarized succinctly.  And my brain and body will almost refuse to waste time! Each of us has our very own personal preferences, talents, and strengths – allow your team to maximize their energy doing what they like to do and that which they are truly skilled, and you will have a happier, more successful workplace. After all, we would have never won Campus Sing if I were the soloist!
  3. The best laid plan often needs to be set aside. I have created some of the most beautiful project management charts. We are talking colors, bars, graphs, workloads and task summaries that would make Picasso smile! However, the occasional project has completely failed to follow my chart. There were days that I wondered why it strayed from the good and righteous path so clearly outlined on my wall, in the team’s 3-ring binders and in a small laminated card in everyone’s pocket.  The most effective project manager will always be able to maneuver a team or project back in the general path that was designed, but needs to never forget Plan B exists for a reason.  Plan C, too!  (If you want to see how to create a Gantt chart, grab a Guinness and watch this video –www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA67g6zaKOE

Be organized, play to your strengths, and be flexible. Now, what color sticky note should I use next?

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