Work Life Organization

In This Issue

Sarah's Update

Personal Inventory - You have more than you know!


I recently spent a Saturday going through every single room in my home and taking stock of what I had. This supports my personal goals of simple living and to minimize my belongings so I can be what I call 'locationally' independent in a few years.

It is truly amazing how many items even a small apartment can hold! I have over 250 items alone in my tiny kitchen. The good news is that I can confidently say that I have a full four-season, professional wardrobe with less than 150 items.

One of the keys staying on my journey of simple living is the 'One In - One Out' rule. This rule really helps with impulse shopping. I force myself to imagine what I would let go before I buy something new. If you give this a try, please email me and let me know how it goes!

Organization Tips

Data Vs. Information

Information Funnel

True confessions time here at Work Life Organization. I love data! Unfortunately a lot of data that I gather that with the intention of using someday for my clients takes up physcial and electronic space. So recently I had to come to terms with the difference between Data and Information.

Data suffers from the 'Someday Maybe' Syndrome, where we hold on to things thinking that we may use them someday. Unfortunately more often than not, we never use these pieces of data and they start to overwhelm us.

Information however is powerful and can be used immediately. While Data can overwhelm you, Information gives you the power to act. Fortunately by understanding the difference between data and information, you can distill data into information or easily let go of any data that doesn't meet your needs for a current project.

Examples of Overwhelming Data

  • Magazine Articles
  • Email Threads
  • Newsletters (yes, even this one)
  • Meeting notes
  • Anything on a post-it note or scrap of paper
  • Notices and Flyers for upcoming events

Useful Information

  • Is time sensitive
  • Is relevant to a current project
  • Is concise
  • Is something you can act on right now

Handling the Someday Maybe Syndrome

  • Pay attention to the sources of data that you tend to gather. Can you get them online?
  • Remember that any data you keep will become obsolete very quickly. Why not use the most current data available?
  • It is much faster to research information for a project online than in a pile on your desk.

How to Turn Data into Information

  • Only keep items related to current projects for this month and next.
  • Date each item so you know how current it is.
  • Highlight key points in any article you do keep for easy skimming.
  • Capture action items and commitments from meeting notes and let go of the rest.

If you have any questions about the difference between Data and Information, please do not hesitate to contact me

About Sarah

Sarah Kirkish

Sarah Kirkish is a Certified Life Coach and Professional Organizer with over 18 years of corporate project management experience. She understands the needs of both business and technical professionals with her background in engineering and business. Sarah brings a straightforward approach to hold her clients accountable, keep them focused and guide them to measurable success towards their personal goals.

I conduct organizational coaching by phone or in person. My goal is to help busy professionals simplify their lives from the inside out. The solution is usually somewhere in between, let's find it together!
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