Does Your PDA Make You Organized

In a word, no. Clients often ask me if electronic is better than paper, or if they should use a PDA (like a Palm Pilot or Blackberry) to manage their schedules, handle e-mail and such. The best advice is that it doesn't matter what you use if you don't have productive habits. Buying a piano doesn't make you a pianist and buying a new electronic gizmo will not make you organized.That's the biggest problem with many of the time management and organization solutions being offered out there.

Nothing is going to improve your productivity if you don't develop new behaviors to replace ineffective ones.If you aren't getting the results you want, instead of reaching for the latest software or device to fix the problem, take time to think about out why things aren't working and create new habits to replace the old.Perhaps you want to remember to stop 15 minutes before the end of the day to clear off your desk. Deciding to do so is easy. Remembering to do so is harder. Creating new habits is one thing and sustaining them is another, so use these tips to make the new habits stick.

  • Attach a new habit to an old habit -- put a reminder note on your toothbrush (for new morning habits) or attach a note to your car keys.
  • Use your computer to set reminder alarms.
  • Use a special wristwatch or another electronic device that quietly vibrates for a few seconds at time you designate.

  • Use big, obnoxiously-colored sticky notes in unexpected places, like in the middle of a white wall or on your desk phone cradle. A word of caution. If your office is very cluttered chances are you won't see the sticky notes. You need a fairly crisp environment to make this one work.
  • Only try to change one habit at a time and do the new behavior for at least 21 days before taking on another.

    More than that is overwhelming and you are less likely to succeed.

.Mary Kutheis (kooth-ice) works with individuals, organizations, and businesses who want to be better organized in the workplace so they can be more focused, productive, and profitable.

Through seminars and one-on-one work, Mary delivers real-life solutions to people who are buried in paper and e-mail and overwhelmed by "to do" lists. Visit for free tips, articles and other workplace productivity resources.

By: Mary Kutheis

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