productivityYour ability to accomplish any task or goal is directly related to your ability to find what you need when you need it — and that ability is essential to any organization in order to accomplish its mission, serve its customers, minimize legal risks, and reduce overhead costs.

In other words, you need what I call a “Productive Environment” — an intentional setting in which everyone can accomplish their work and enjoy their lives.

While current economic conditions require organizations to do “more with less” and technology rushes forward, individuals are overwhelmed with “too much” — of everything — email, paper, projects, meetings, and interruptions. So what can you do to overcome these obstacles?  

The first step is eliminating physical, digital, and emotional clutter. 

Research shows that 80% of what we keep we never use, and the more we have, the less we use — either because we don’t remember we have it, or we can’t find it.  Clutter is postponed decisions®.  To eliminate the paper accumulation on desks, in drawers, file cabinets, storage rooms, off-site locations, and e-mails and electronic files on computers; every organization (and that includes families!) should address the
7 Information Management Questions:

  1. What information do we need to keep?
  2. In what form?
  3. For how long?
  4. Who is responsible for filing it?
  5. Who needs access to it?
  6. How can we find it?
  7. How is it backed up?

While offices are cluttered with paper, and our computers with electronic files, other types of clutter, such as unused office supplies and outdated equipment, also cost money and take up precious real estate.

Because most people have never been given a process for eliminating the clutter in their lives, and unless they are “born organized,” were brought up in a family where it was role-modeled, or worked with someone who taught them, they are left to their own devices — which rarely work. 

In addition, few employees are willing to take the risk of getting rid of something for fear someone else — especially the boss–might want it.  Besides, it’s boring work, and they have “real work” to do!  So, here are four simple questions to make your office a more productive environment.  

  1. Is this item helping me accomplish my work or enjoy my life?
  2. Who else might find this item valuable?
  3. What’s the worst possible thing that would happen if I didn’t have it? 
  4. If I got rid of it, and I was wrong, could I live with the results?

Here’s my challenge for you!  It’s always easy to see what other people need to do to make an office more productive, but what area in your office could be less cluttered?  Are you up to being “the champion” and make the change?  Remember Barbara’s Principle:  “If you don’t know you have it, or you can’t find it, it is of no value to you!” 


Award winning Productivity Expert, Speaker, Trainer, and Author, and known as “The Paper Tiger Lady” Barbara Hemphill helps people eliminate the physical, digital, and emotional clutter that prevents them for accomplishing their work and enjoying their lives. 

She guarantees she can help you: “find anything you file or store in 5 seconds–“

As Founder and CEO of PEI-Productive Environment Institute, Barbara helps others learn the keys to having a productive life and business by reducing stress and taming the paper and technology to increase profit. 

We are honored to have Barbara Hemphill as a new member of our team of professionals here at “Simply” Sue Speaks!, and can assure you she brings the “WOW” factor everywhere she appears!  To book Barbara for your next event, contact us here at email us at or call us at 888-766-3155.