Taking detailed notes can improve organization.
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When the busy season hits in the greenhouse, it is often difficult to remain calm and focused, let alone sort through important inventory and documents and account for materials that may or may not eventually come in handy. Following these five tips can help growers tend to some of the mounting disorganization.

1. Declutter your life.

“Decluttering” has become a buzzword of sorts among life coaches, business consultants and the general public. In a Forbes article titled “How to get organized,” Frances Booth breaks down what this really means. Clutter can be a physical situation when items pile up, perhaps requiring a spring cleaning, or it can be clutter in the brain spurred on by a growing to-do list. After determining what is causing the clutter, Booth writes, “See how much you can clear in a focused hour working on clearing the clutter.”

Some people argue that an overattachment to material things causes avoidable anxiety. This topic is explored in the film “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things,” in which creatives such as authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus share insights about how ditching their material possessions improved their lives.

2. Take detailed notes.

The value of writing things down in order to remember them isn’t necessarily a secret. But even this seemingly simple task can be done more efficiently. Matt McClellan, managing editor of sister publication Nursery Management, wrote an article titled “How to: Take better notes.” He writes about how, at Cornell University, an effective method of notetaking called the Cornell system was established. In the Cornell system, the notetaker separates his or her notes into two columns, one for writing the notes themselves and the other for outlining the main points covered in the notes. Then, the notetaker writes a summary of the notes at the bottom of the page. Read more about it at bit.ly/2l5GUMo

3. Get enough z’s.

When you have what feels like a million things to do, sleep itself might seem like a lofty dream. But when you get enough sleep, you will wake up feeling more alert and ready to take on multiple tasks throughout the day. In a Greenhouse Management list of 15 tips to “Make the most out of your minutes” (bit.ly/2mx5l5a), author, speaker and time management expert Jackie Gaines listed it first. “Pencil in a stopping point in your day and stick to it without fail,” she writes. “Then wind down with a book or another relaxing bedtime ritual to help you drift off to sleep.” In short: If you don’t wind down, you will stay wound up.

4. Let your figurative flowers bloom with your real ones.

“Solve problems by ‘letting a thousand flowers bloom,’” writes Peter Economy in an Inc.com article titled “9 Remarkably Effective Ways to Make Change Work for You” (on.inc.com/1qEVrGR). While greenhouse growers may find it useful to take this tip literally, in Economy’s metaphor, “flowers” are solutions created by employees, and letting them “bloom” means testing them out to see if they can help the company meet its goals. If that happens, great. If it doesn’t, Economy writes, “kill off the failures fast.” Economy’s tip was inspired, in part, by Tom Peters’ book “Thriving on Chaos.”

5. Keep the important things top of mind.

In an article for sister publication Lawn & Landscape titled “Get organized” (bit.ly/2lAWNKP), speaker, consultant and author Marty Grunder shares how he stays organized. He mentions his dry erase board and an expensive chair that keeps him comfortable. These tools are useful, but he says his family photos that sit above his desk are the most important. “I can’t help but see them several times a day,’ Grunder writes. “Every time you feel your mind wandering or you know you are wasting time, look at your family or your loved ones and say, ‘I’m stealing time from them and I need to get back to work.’”