FAT – A simple system for decision making

When it comes to making decisions about where to put stuff, what to keep and how to deal with all that is coming at you – I have a very simple system to share with you to assist you on this journey… it’s called the F.A.T. System.

File it

Act on it

Toss it

I didn’t make this up – it comes from one of the leaders in my industry Barbara Hemphill - owner and creater of The Paper Tiger System.

It’s brilliant and can be applied to both paper and digital – here’s a clear defining graphic to give you a visual.


So, next time you feel paralyzed about what to do with that piece of paper or email or digital document – just ask yourself if you should FILE it, ACT on it or TOSS it?!

Want more of these great ideas and tools to integrate into your life and work and home and business?

Join me for one of two upcoming events:

1.  Adult Education Class – Time Management (click HERE to register)

2.  UCSB Extension Course – Tools and Strategies for Women in the Workplace (click HERE to register)


Quote of the week.


a beautiful success story.

As a productivity coach, my main function is to help move people towards greater efficiency.  Most of us do what we do within our ops and workflow systems because they have worked for us in the past, but it is my job to push people into unfamiliar territory when deemed necessary and help them to see alternative systems and methods that might work a bit better in their work and life.

Recently, I worked with a number of team members during a coaching day at Impulse Advanced Communications – one of my most favorite companies in Santa Barbara. During this day I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Chris Rose – the director of sales.  I have met with Chris before and know his style is geared more towards the technical way of doing things (ie: keeps ONLY digital lists and prides himself on not having a pen in his office).  His staff knows this too and when they meet with him they know to bring their own pen.  Such a cool dude he is.  :)

While I never push people to do something too far out of their box that they might resist, I rather try to build on their current systems and strengths and go from there.  After talking with Chris during our session about how he’s operating within his work and how he has lists upon lists in his favorite places (all digital), I also sensed that he wasn’t maximizing his time and it was likely due to his list system.  I got the sense that Chris would really benefit from creating a day-to-day WRITTEN to-do list.  This type of system really pushes you to the limits – leaving no place to run and hide.  It’s a kind of bare it all list, which is exactly what most people need given all that is coming at us in any given day.  Most of us function best with this kind of list and while he’s been somewhat resistant to this in the past, on this particular day he seemed more open to this line of coaching.

I left him with a plan and asked him to just TRY IT and look at his digital lists every night before he left his office and then create a hand-written list of his top 3-5 things he wanted to get done that next day.   After some chuckling and grumbing he agreed.  (being the good sport he is).

One week later, I had this email from Chris in my inbox with the picture.  I love that he actually surprised himself by making this one tweak.

YES!!!!  Great job Chris – keep up the great great work with your TWO A+ Days – LOVE IT!


From Chris:

Ok you win. “Mr. Technology I don’t know how to hold a pen” took the time at the end of each day to write just the 3 or 4 things I had to get done down on paper and it felt great, I actually got them all done.
I still use producteev for a complex system to hold all the to dos and assign to the team. And Evernote for random note taking. But you were right that having a computer system curate your day does not seem to create the same sort of buy in that doing it yourself does. Doing it on paper ensures it is always staring me in the face during the day.
Also, it is rather interesting that I can only get 3 or 4 big things done in one day. So staring at a list of 50 in an app is just ridiculous.
Thanks for the tips !  Attached is my chicken scratch for proof. ( I even rated my day at the end )
If you want to learn how to make the best list you can possibly make to get the most out of your days and weeks and year and life, then join me for my upcoming Extension Course- details CLICK HERE!


Quote of the week.


5 Things I’m loving right now.

My absolute FAVORITE new thing right now is our new JUICER!  Both Steve and I have been on a major juice kick… so much fun to make our own – greens and ginger is my favorite and SO much cheaper than buying them daily.  The kids get involved too, so it’s a family event.  So, here we go….

1.  Omega Juicer.

We got this one and yes, it’s costly and I would HIGHLY suggest getting an expensive one if you are going to do it because you really get what you pay for with this contraption.  I have owned juicers in the past and they became quickly extinct because of the awkwardness and multiple pieces and the cleaning time.  I swear this juicer is easier to put together and clean than my bullet, which I use all the time as well.  Making our own greens ‘n ginger is my fave… Steve has juiced just about everything in the kitchen he can get his hands on.  The kids get involved too, which is fun…

And who can beat a green juicing sidekick as cute as this guy?  BONUS!!  :)


2.  Office Voyeur Series.

I’m really loving the new series I started on my blog called The Office Voyeur.  If you haven’t seen it you can check out the last couple here and here.  If you have a great office or an office you have recently redone or just want me to come in and snoop around and make you famous, then email me at sara@radiantorganizing.com and we’ll make it happen!

3.  My upcoming classes.

I have shared with you the opportunity I have to teach at UCSB Extension, right?  If not, click HERE for the link and join me!  It’s a one-day workshop format on October 11th and this class is going to be so much fun!  I already have some fabulous women registered… space is limited so email me with any questions and/or sign up and register.  I’m also teaching another adult education course this fall on September 20th – Time Management – register and details here!

4.  The Carpenter.

I just finished a fabulous book – highly recommend to everyone – it was called The Carpenter and it was a great read that helped remind me of my purpose and bigger picture in business, family and life.  Check it out!


5.  My guys.

Zack had a rodeo date with his bestie Sydney.  This picture just melts my heart.


Ben started 1st grade with a bit of swagger.  Can’t believe he’s in 1st grade!