There are uncountable hours lost each year
in the workplace
because of disorganization.
But people mix up cleaning with organizing.
Being clean is a visual thing, but being organized is
being able to find things
when you need them
~ Julie Mahan
How we choose to spend out time says a great deal about who we are. We often find ourselves doing well in one area of our lives, while another is severely lacking. This is the second installment of a two-part series about getting past the bondage of being disorganized and finding the balanced pathway to the life you really want to be living. We started this journey with
1. Writing things down. Write down all the things, dates, times and people you need to keep track of.
2. Keep all of your notes in one place. This will save you wasted time trying to re-locate something you know you left on your desk, in the car, on the coffee table, wherever!
3. Stay healthy. You cannot enjoy the life you long for very well from your sickbed. Your health must be one of your priorities.
Let’s press on…
4. Record your every thought.
You may find yourself driving when an incredibly good idea comes to you or you might recall something that you really need to write down. No need to cause a traffic accident as you try to write the idea while getting to the side of the road before the idea escapes. Pull off to the side of the road and use a small hand held tape recorder which you now have stashed in your glove-box or seat divider. This is an amazing tool to carry around with you, to record your thoughts, or your parking space number, or even a quick note to yourself about someone you need to remember for later reference. Perhaps even a number on a billboard for something you need to have done. You can now use your handy-dandy recorder to be your second set of eyes and ears. Keep an extra set of batteries as well.
5. Send future signals to yourself.
No there is no new time machine. When you are at the office and you want to remember to do something when you get back home, call ahead to your answering machine and leave yourself a message. As soon as you get home you can listen to your message and remember exactly what you wanted to do. Or, log it into your smart-phone as an appointment that will pop up shortly after you arrive at your destination.
6. Have confidence in yourself.
If you keep telling yourself that you have a bad memory, you will probably continue to have a bad memory. It is important to have a motivated, “I CAN remember” positive attitude.
7. Free email reminders.
There are many good and free e-mail reminder services available. You can type in what you want to remember, such as a welcome party, anniversary or other special event, and you will receive an e-mail reminder when the date is approaching. This is a terrific way to jog your memory by using some of the tools you already spend time with.
8. Use sticky notes.
Those wonderful, little sticky notes are the next best thing since sliced bread! They are amazing as memory helpers. If you want to remember something prior to leaving your home, just mark it down on a Post-It Note and stick it to the inside of the door to the garage or on your bathroom mirror. The bright, neon colors will be great to catch your eye as you are leaving.
If you need to make an urgent call first thing in the morning? Leave a Post-It Note on your telephone. Personally, I use them as reminders for the days I plan to make and take my lunch with me.
9. Make liberal use of timers and alarms.
Take advantage of alarm clocks and timers throughout your day. Have to take the clothes out of the dryer by 12 noon? Set your alarm clock to remind you. Want to leave for the business dinner by 7 p.m. on your day off? Set your timer to beep a few minutes before it is time for you to start getting ready.
Use timers when you are working on the internet to curb and monitor your wandering time and turn it into productive time.
10. Visual memory joggers.
Visual reminders will help you remember and stay focused. Use visual reminders for remembering your goals. If your goal is to take a trip to a Ireland in a few years, keep a magazine photograph of Ireland on top of your desk. If your goal is to lose 30 lbs. in six months, find a picture or ornament that will help remind you of this goal each day.
And, finally: Say Good-bye to Clutter
Now that you are beginning to develop a good system to remember all of your tasks, the next big step will be ditch the clutter. Clutter diminishes your smile, dampens your spirit, and as such, should not be tolerated. It takes some determination and hard work to de-clutter and stay organized.
Many people say that one of their favorite things to do when stressed out is to clean! I find that almost impossible to imagine, but that just me. Cleaning gives order and some purpose to your life, even if you can only accomplish little chunks at a time.
And, don’t get confused. We are not just talking about moving around clutter from one place to another. We are talking about de-cluttering every room of your home. Say good-bye to the dust, say good-bye to the junk – say hello to room to breathe and move and flourish! Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Like almost everything else we talk about here, it starts with writing. Start out by drawing up a list of what you absolutely want done. Think about those leaning “towers of Pisa” papers in your den, then move slowly into your family room. See any piles of old pictures just crying out to be placed in a photo album, or saved to your hard drive? Write that one down.
How about those piles of clothes sitting in the bottom of your child’s closet just waiting for a adult’s touch. Write that one down, too!
By now, you see a list of very workable, one-at-a-time chores that can be assigned throughout a busy day. The idea is to get started and work your way around. By the end of the day, the week, the two weeks, you will have a beautiful, uncluttered home as your reward!
Don’t get too discouraged if your attempt to enlist your family’s help runs off-track. Just add them to your list of items that will require some attitude adjustments and then save that chore for next time. We can only hope!
But, if you are really honest with yourself about this, you really do not want a second pair of meddling hands anyway> Many chores are best left to only one pair of hands.
That way you can be sure that the chores will be done correctly, and to your design the first time.
You can only get to the balanced life you want by pursuing the things you really want. You can only pursue the new things wholeheartedly, when you let go of some of the old.
“You cannot travel into your shiny new future, carrying to your shabby luggage of the past.” ~ martina