Smart Simplicity Hides the "Hard"

Smart Simplicity Hides the "Hard"
With all of the tasks of the three-ring circus of life, we're forced to be professional jugglers. See how one woman took it upon herself to teach you how to be the organized and stress-free star of the show.



We all can't be Wonder Woman‚ but we can be a wonder of a woman with a couple tweaks to our professional lifestyle. And Jane Schulte, local author of Work Smart, Not Hard! and executive vice president and COO of PRISM Title and Closing Services, offers her organizational secrets to help you find simplicity and effectiveness in your work ethic.


Put Your Life on the PEND System


The PEND (Putting an End to Needless Distraction) System serves as Schulte's No. 1 recommendation from Work Smart, Not Hard!. Composed of only a filing box, numbered file folders and a little dedication, anybody can implement this tool. The folders are numbered from one to 31 for each day of the month, and an additional folder (No. 32) or multiple folders (labeled by month) serve as filing folders for items that do not apply to the month at hand.


Once the system is set, you just file documents away in the date on which you need to take care of them. For example, if you receive a baby shower invitation, put the invitation in the folder a week before the date so that you will remember to purchase a present, Schulte says. Once you have the gift, file the invitation for the day of the shower so that you will have all of the directions and information in a readily accessible spot.



"It's a place to house things instead of cluttering your desk," Schulte says. So whether it's a baby shower invitation or a bill to be paid, filing your documents in the PEND System allows you to clear your desk (and your mind) of the "to dos" of the future.


Watch a webcast about the PEND system below.


Learn to Delegate


You don't have to do everything yourself. In fact, you shouldn't even try. "Just because something landed on your plate doesn't mean you personally have to handle it," Schulte says. "Delegating is elevating. It leverages your time, makes you more successful while teaching others."


And while Schulte is a self-named "control freak," she recognizes that she only can be in control of herself, and sometimes she has to let go of some control to better herself and others. "I can't just be a one-woman show as I was earlier in my career because I can't grow under that mindset," Schulte says.


Communicate Effectively


In the 21st century, many first impressions come from the common communication method of e-mail. Because of the myriad e-mails each of us sends in our lives, especially for our work, Schulte holds e-mail communication as a top priority for professional women.


"Business is won and lost through e-mail," Schulte says, so you need to develop the right "e-mail body language" to communicate effectively. While you may never meet your recipients in person, you can make your electronic relationships mean something by acknowledging, validating and communicating emotion, Schulte says.


To ensure that you are making the right impression, pretend that your e-mail is being written as a formal letter, Schulte says. Include a greeting, an opening, a body, a closing and a signature. "People can come off wrong by not using a greeting and a closing," Schulte says. Be sure to proofread your e-mail before hitting the send button. A misspelled word can give the wrong impression – and spell check isn't Wonder Woman either!


Also, when you receive an e-mail, respond immediately. If you do not have all of the information requested, let the person know that you have received the e-mail and are taking the necessary measures to obtain the information so that the sender is not waiting for a reply and letting the imagination determine why you have not responded.


For more tips on how you can work smarter instead of harder, you can consult Schulte's book (in paperback or ebook form), available on her Web site or


Click here or the play button to learn more about Schulte's PEND System.



Photographer: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Model: Jane Schulte
Makeup: Trina Paul, Saks Fifth Avenue
Location: The McAlpin

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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