The following was taken from an article for physicians, written by Dr. Francine Gaillour, Creative Strategies in Physician Leadership:Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE, Founder & Executive Director
“I am about to share with you a success secret so amazing and yet so simple that you won’t believe me when I say it will have significant impact in your life and business. Are you ready?
Here it is: GET RID OF THE CLUTTER!
I'll share my own experience with de-cluttering. I am not a naturally neat and organized person. Because I have so many ideas in the “in-progress” stage, I tend to keep multiple unfinished pet projects in various documents, post-in-notes and opened-books on my desk, on my book shelves, and in my computer files. In order to keep the idea and project “active” I want it visible. Hence, I have a lot of “stuff” all over the place. Because I hate detailed work, I also procrastinate on my filing, and won’t let my assistant touch my files because it would create work for me to help her out.
About two years ago my state of constant creativity and clutter began to choke me. Not only were the files and books an eye-sore, but the ideas and projects that I refused to let go of were creating a serious energy log-jam. In my reluctance to let go of “stuff”, I realized I was diluting my creative energy and therefore short-changing the key projects that I had a real passion for. The Solution: Organized De-cluttering.
The solution was a serious de-junking of the paper and a re-prioritizing of my focus. It amazed me to see that I chose to keep only those “things” and activities that truly reflected my passion and where I wanted to go with my professional and personal life. And the result was not only a cleaner office . . . but an immediate and significant boost in my business!
Fortunately, I had help with my paper and organizational challenges from an expert: Kathy Paauw, an organization and productivity consultant and coach whom I met through my professional coach training.
One of Kathy’s areas of expertise is in working with medical professionals. As the spouse of a physician and the daughter of a dentist and a nurse, Kathy has a personal understanding of some of the unique challenges facing medical professionals on a daily basis. She also works with professionals from a variety of non-medical fields, including educational, legal, high tech, research, manufacturing, advertising, marketing & public relations, pharmaceutical, financial planning, non-profit, and a variety of small businesses."
"Last Fall I had an opportunity to work with Kathy Paauw to organize both my home and work offices. At the time, I had so many stacks of papers in my work office I wasn't exactly sure as to what was what. I was quite embarrassed whenever anyone entered my office. At home, things were worse. I always intended to get organized "soon." There were so many piles and mounds of paper that the office door was permanently closed. When I needed to add to the mess, I was in and out of there as quickly as I could be. Locating a document was an excruciatingly frustrating and time-consuming ordeal.Beth A. McDaniel, Attorney at Law
Kathy did wonders. We did in two days what would have taken me years on my own. My home and work files were converted to the Paper Tiger system. Now, I can find any document in seconds. It feels great to quickly find a document for a client. Additionally, filing is quick and -- as strange as it sounds -- fun.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my consultation with Kathy involved much more than implementing the Paper Tiger. Not only did Kathy clean out and organize all of my desk drawers, she also helped create tickler systems for those items that didn't quite belong in a file. Now, at the end of the day, every paper has its place. It is wonderful.
Additionally, Kathy has worked with me and given me great resources to help me organize my time. She has reminded me how I need to make time and schedule those things that are most important to me. In other words, I can control my schedule instead of allowing my schedule to control me. My time with Kathy has been one of the best investments I have ever made. I wholeheartedly recommend Kathy to anyone who wants help to organize and simplify in order to more fully enjoy relationships and interests."
"Thanks for the efforts and insights you generated for me in our coaching work. Please always consider me a strong reference."Dan Kent, MD , Managed Care Executive
"Just getting started with the Paper Tiger makes me feel lighter. I feel more hopeful. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and my chest. As a person who remembers where I put something the first time I set it down, I've been afraid to file papers away. That fear has paralyzed me for about two years -- no filing done -- or at least very little. The Paper Tiger is so awesome and I see such great possibilities -- I am so very excited! I feel secure and trustful filing things away with The Paper Tiger because now I know I can find them again. There is hope. The light at the end of the tunnel is sunshine coming in where my piles blocked the lights. Thank you so much for this wonderful program."Marian Sjostrom, Sedona, AZ
"My Paper Tiger files and tickler file system are working great. I love both, and they are so easy to use. Your system has allowed me so much extra time to focus on other important things. It is wonderful! It's almost too easy...I feel like I should be working harder to find what I need. Thanks, Kathy, for teaching me how to manage paper and information more efficiently and effectively."Steven Mattos, Professional Coach
The Pyramus Group, San Jose, CA
"Kathy, I can't thank you enough for all your help with getting us up and started on the Paper Tiger. I probably was the one dragging my feet about doing all my files this way. However, I am loving the organization of it all. I have been an alphabet filer forever and definitely didn't see myself jumping into hyper-speed with the paradigm shift. But I love it and it is easier to find things. I love the key words function and use it all the time.Bonnie Avolio, Highlands Community Church
This summer I will be organizing my boss's library and illustration files. I can hardly wait to get them done. It will be such a help to him after the process is finished. Again, thanks for all your help. This software is extremely user friendly and I haven't run into any problems. The software and your ideas are being put to use here as we work "smarter," not harder."
"Kathy, thank you for your help. Today my assistant and I finished up 5 days of working with the Paper Tiger software. We reorganized two offices and files left by three past executive directors from the last 10 years. Dated materials were removed and treasures of ideas and support were discovered. My new assistant of three months now has the ability to find items and be a support. We have laughed together because we could see the rainbow on the other side is this paper mound. Thanks again!”N.L., Executive Director of a non-profit agency
Kathy, I've used Paper Tiger over the years and am evangelistic about its value. In May of 1995, I was in a serious accident when a drunk driver hit me while I was riding my bicycle. My skull was fractured and I suffered brain injuries in the area of the brain that affects executive functioning. As a result, I experienced panic reactions when interrupted, when there was clutter, or when my ability to focus was broken. During the next 6.5 years, my very survival depended on having a high degree of order around me. I'm telling you this because I am living proof that the organizing and time management principles you provide really work. Thanks!Floyd Green , Cornerstone Wealth Management
"Kathy, the Paper Tiger is amazing!!!! There is not one sheet of paper without a home in my office. All my CD-ROMS are numbered and filed away and all my software manuals are filed. This has been so painless. The more I do, the more I want to do. The possibilities are endless! This is the difference between making things look organized and BEING organized. Thanks again!"Karen Mielke, MD, Missoula, MT
"Kathy Paauw spent a day with me last week and we installed an organizing program called the "Paper Tiger." It is awesome. It's a management system that tracks all our files and archives, and I am already seeing how much this is going to increase the efficiency of this office, free me up, and provide a foundation for GROWTH of our company. I am so happy! Today I handled a couple of quick filing actions and it was so EASY!! I found the files immediately - no browsing through the drawer trying to locate the file. It feels great!"Fran Fisher, President
Academy for Coach Training, a division of LYV Enterprises
"In the past I had trouble finding things. Kathy, since you implemented The Paper Tiger for our office, I have saved a lot of time. Now I can retrieve important documents instantly!"Wendy Morgan, Executive Assistant to the CEO
"Yesterday, just six hours after I'd bitten the bullet and 'filed my piles' with The Paper Tiger, an email arrived from our favorite "seat-of-the-pants" manager, asking several supervisors for some reports that he'd never shown any interest in. And by the way, they were needed for an important meeting TODAY. So I went to Reference 9, where the documents had just been stored, put copies of the (formerly 'lost') documents on the manager's desk, and told the appreciative supervisors they would not have to look for the documents because the Tiger and I had answered the alarm."Carey Giudici, Sr. Public Relations Specialist
Seattle City Light
"I want to tell you how much I appreciate your hard work, patience, and professionalism over this past year. The groundbreaking work you have done has helped immeasurably. I wish you much success in your consulting business, and will mention your name to anyone looking for an outstanding Professional Organizer."Mickey Eisenberg, MD, Director of Emergency Medicine
University of Washington