Staying organized means staying on top of all the things that need your attention. If you find yourself going crazy these days juggling a job, family time, taking care of the household, seeing friends and keeping up hobbies - these seven useful yet simple ways can help you create more time to do all those things, to help organize your life and keep your sanity!
1. Keep your lists and thoughts in one place - whether it is your PDA, cell/mobile phone, filofax or a small notebook. This is an important first step to being organized. Use it to note down ideas, appointments and things to do instead of trying to remember them in your head and then forgetting them later on. Also having it in one place means that you don't have to rummage through your bag, desk or car to find your notes!
2. Limit your time on the phone - establish a time limit for each telephone call and tell your caller. This is especially important if you work from home - it is easy to lose one hour or more chatting to a friend! When it's a social call, tell the caller that you are happy to hear from them but have about 5 minutes before you have to go. That way your caller will get to the point quickly and you save yourself the stress of trying to find a subtle way to end the telephone call. If you do wish to continue the conversation, offer to return the call at a more convenient time later. This one sounds meticulous but is a major time saver.
3. Use waiting time efficiently - the next time you are waiting for an appointment with the doctor, for your kids outside school or for your dinner to cook, use the time to catch up on reading a magazine, looking back over your notes (as per #1 above), giving a quick call back to your friend (as per #2 above) or looking over your mail (#5 below).
4. Combine multiple errands into one trip - save time, energy and gas by doing all your errands in one trip. If you need to pick up the dry-cleaning and return a library book before you go food shopping - collect everything you need (receipt, book, shopping list) before you step out of the house. Before bed the night before or during breakfast that day, refer to your notes (#1 above) and take the time to make a detailed list of errands while planning out your route and be sure to highlight each stop along the way so you do not have to backtrack and waste extra time and effort.
5. Deal with it only once - daily visits from the mailman means you have to stay diligent in keeping paperwork and junk mail at bay. Handle each letter and each piece of paper only once. Read it and decide whether you need to file it, redirect it to someone else or make a note of it as an appointment and then toss it. Do not just add it to a never-ending pile on your desk thinking that you will get to it eventually. It will either be forgotten or too late by the time you read it again!
6. Make more space - go through your entire file system periodically and weed out any old or unnecessary files to free up space in your filing system.
7. Do it Now! Do not procrastinate. If you do, this will only stress you out when you think about that unappealing “to do" item on your list. Don't waste time by over-thinking that “to do" list right out of proportion or by chatting with a friend longer than you should be (#2 above). Start by tackling the largest or most disliked job first, dividing it up into manageable tasks. When it is done, be sure to make an appointment to reward yourself and it will feel that much sweeter!
Use these 7 ways everyday to keep yourself organized and reclaim the time lost from searching, waiting, procrastinating and extra time driving. Who says you can't create time?
Sage Hankson provides a proven system to organize your home, your life and your family. If you enjoyed this article and want more information on our philosophy of organization, organization routines and organization storage, visit us at http://www.organizeknowhow.com for practical ideas and know-how about home and life organization.