When trying to figure out how to get organized at home or at the office, sometimes all you need is a little competition to spice things up. If your family or company has hit an organizational rut, check out our top five craziest ways to get those organizational juices flowing.
5. Kitchen Timer Contest
This is great for families, but can be used in the office as well (just make sure you don’t have any potential client meetings scheduled during the contest!). Set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes. In front of the kitchen timer, place a prize that will be valued by everyone – maybe a certificate for 2 hours of uninterrupted television watching at home, or that really cool stapler everyone keeps stealing at the office.
Go! Everyone has exactly 15 minutes to clean and organize their respective area. That might be their bedroom or cubicle, the company break room, or anywhere else that needs some organizational TLC. Ding! When the timer goes off, everyone assesses each other’s work, and votes on who is the resident master of how to get organized, fast. The winner walks away with the Mercedes Benz of staplers, or a two-episode Homeland marathon. And the best part? Everyone’s a winner because everyone just became more organized in the process!
4. App Attack
Schedule a presentation time at the office – an hour or two should suffice, depending on the size of your company. Before you meet, challenge everyone on your staff to find hidden lifehacks in the software your company uses most. Sure, everyone knows how to process payments and enter CRM info. But who can find a way to automatically update hidden fields, or create categories for customer’s favorite holidays? Encourage your staff to get creative and have everyone vote on the winning how-to presentation! You’ll be learning how to get organized while building company morale.
3. Sudden Death Organization
If hoarding is a problem, either in your closets or on your desk, schedule a Sudden Death-style elimination event. Using a timer (the one on your phone is fine, but isn’t a kitchen timer so much more fun?), give participants 30 seconds to select a small portion of the offending items to keep.
If, for example, your desk is cluttered with 50 things, you’d be allowed to keep 10 of those things – and only have 30 seconds to decide which ten! This is a great way to help people decide what they really need and use, and what’s just sitting there collecting “just in case” dust. The most important part is to make sure they donate or throw out everything they don’t pick!
2. Re-learn Your ABCs
Hold an ABC refresher course at home or at the office. For an entire day, whenever a decision needs to be made, narrow long lists into manageable possibilities by only allowing yourself to compare two things at a time.
For example, if you need to decide between hiring companies A, B, C or D to design your new website, you would begin by choosing between company A and company B. If these two were you only options, and you had to decide right now, who would it be? The winner of that run gets pitted against company C; the winner of that round, company D. In this way, decision-making becomes streamlined, efficient, and quickly cuts to the truth about what you do or don’t want.
1. Say What You Mean Day
Nothing can bring organizational (and communication) issues to light faster than telling the truth. Now this lifehack is not for the faint of heart, and should only be attempted within a group of people that already operate on a foundation of trust and mutual respect.
That being said, being able to finally tell your co-worker “Your emails are really unclear to me, and I have to spend a lot of time trying to decode what it is you want me to do,” can be liberating for both parties involved, and can enhance the overall organization of your company. Similarly, being able to tell your boss “I feel like we’re taking on too many projects and the quality of all of them is suffering” can be tough to hear, but super beneficial to everyone in the long run.
Have you tried any of these lifehack experiments? What was the result?