It’s a new year and with it comes resolutions on everything from quitting smoking to losing weight to spending more time with family and friends.

Cynthia Kyriazis has sage advice when it comes to one particular resolution, however, namely the resolution to become more organized.

“It’s not just about clearing your desk,” she writes. “It’s about clearing your mind for more important things.”

Kyriazis, a well-known productivity strategist, coach and trainer with Productivity Partners Inc., is just one of many life coaches worldwide who see organizing your thinking as a path to improving your life, from the big decisions — career, marriage, parenthood, homeownership, retirement — right down to picking the proper tie to match your New Year’s Eve dinner jacket.


Mind over matter

Margaret Moore, life coach and co-author of “Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life,” echoes Kyriazis’s point about an organized mind in an article appearing on CNN online.

“An organized mind enables full engagement in a health-giving style of life,” she writes. “The connection between disorganized minds and unhealthy habits is compelling. It’s an epidemic. I don’t know anyone whose mind isn’t frenzied, distracted or divided by multitasking a good deal of the time.”

Moore writes that the first step is to tame the negative emotional frenzy that can make it difficult to think things through. Once any worry, anger, sadness or irritation is out of the way, the ability to focus your attention is restored and organization can be much more easily achieved.

She also recommends that you address one task at a time, find a private space, turn off your iPhone (to help improve focus and concentration) and take breaks.

“The kind of organization I’m talking about is not about decluttering your office or home or purchasing the latest app to organize to-dos and projects,” she writes. “I’m talking about the mind’s ability to attain a higher order of order — a calm, wise, positive, strategic perspective — and the skills it takes to get there in small or large domains of life, including health and well-being.”

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Develop skills

Job Interview & Career Guide offers anyone looking for a job or hoping to advance his or her career the following list of skills that can help overall organization and, in turn, lead to a much happier and more fulfilling work experience:

  • Attention to detail
  • Multitasking
  • Analysis
  • Communications
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Interpersonal
  • Working on a team

For more detail on these items, visit

Linear? Or global?

Nicky Lamarco, a communication and writing coach based in Berwick, Maine, offers tips on better organizational skills in an article appearing on, a site that brings life coaches in touch with anyone who wants to improve basic life skills.

Lamarco suggests you step back and take a look at what systems, structures or patterns are already in place and then decide whether to make modifications to what’s already there or start from scratch.

Once you’ve made a list of everything that needs to be organized at that point, consider an organizational plan. Lamarco notes that organizers typically fall into one of two categories: linear or global. Linear organizers oftentimes arrange items, for example, in numerical or alphabetical order. Global organizers typically go for something a bit more abstract, such as organizing by color or frequency of use.

Organizational products — storage boxes, folders, labels, cabinets, etc. — will help once you’ve determined what needs to be organized and how to organize it.

Finally, Lamarco suggests a plan to manage the time you spend organizing. One tip she offers is to start organizing the small stuff. Once the small stuff is out of the way, Lamarco writes, you can feel more confident that you’ll complete the job.

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First things first

Rick Suttle of Demand Media offers advice on organization from a business perspective in an article posted to Chron, the website for The Houston Chronicle.

“People need organizational skills at work to be more productive,” Suttle writes. “Workers who know where to find notes or certain resources can save time. Therefore, they tend to get more done.”

When starting a new job, you should determine what supplies you need and how to access them as easily as possible. Items that you use routinely should be kept on your desk, while items used less often should be stored in a drawer.

Suttle reminds anyone who uses a computer at work to ensure files are in easy-access folders and are backed up routinely.

As with Lamarco, Suttle encourages anyone who wants to be more organized to consider how he or she spends time.

“Employees need time management organizational skills to keep track of meetings, appointments, tasks and deadlines,” he writes. “Time management skills will also help you avoid the last-minute rush to complete tasks, eliminating potential stress in the process.”

Prioritization can help with time management, as well, dedicating oneself to completing the most important tasks first.

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