Monday, October 22, 2012

Crazy Schedules - How Do You Keep Organized?

Crazy busy? We all get overwhelmed sometimes; it happens. But if it happens too often for you, then here are some questions to answer for yourself plus six practical suggestions so you can begin to make some changes.

Let's start down the path:
    • What will it mean when  you get more organized?
    • What IS more organized? What is "organized enough?"
    • Do you enjoy having lots on your plate? Or are you after a change?

How does it feel to say you need more time versus "I need more time because I want to spend more of it with my grandchildren" ... or on quilting, or taking care of ME, or on fun, like apple picking at this time of year.

Staying organized with our time is about knowing ourselves: what it takes to get us started, stay motivated, finish, be on time and so forth. It's about our own habits, foibles, discipline.

And mostly, it's about commitments and choices.

After answering these questions above, the next step is awareness to diagnose where your own tough spots are. My first suggestion addresses this. And then I've chosen five other suggestions for you. With some tinkering and tailoring, you can make these work in your own life.


Five Suggestions
Awareness: For the next few days, don't change anything about your schedule. Just notice and write down what happens to your time. Begin to diagnose the specific problems and answers will be easier to find. Be your own time doctor; get specific about the problems.


Create a time map: When you frequently shift between personal and business tasks during the day,  it's difficult to figure out where your time goes. Is each getting enough time? Designate business hours if you work for yourself. Put your "me" time on your map, so you know that you're taking care of yourself, first. Add in other obligations; organize and consolidate just a little bit and you'll notice a difference in your focus and energy levels as well. 

Daily AND Weekly Review. Look at the week ahead. Who is where and when? Evening commitments - enough, too many? Plan quick meals for those busy nights. Any double booking? Enough travel time? Did you work in quilting, exercise, meditation? At work, are you moving your bigger projects ahead?

Create time anchors.  At 4 p.m.. the day just flew by! Create ways to notice what time it is. Add more clocks and timers in your environment. Use appointment times to remind yourself of how much of the day has gone by. Have an office mate get you at lunchtime. Stop at 4 p.m. to wrap up the day and start transitioning your energy and focus to your personal life.

Learn to let go and invite assistance.  Stay involved in your committee but not as a leader. Teach your kids how to help with laundry or give your teens a chance to cook. Hire a virtual assistant for a few hours a month. Let go, monitor how they do, but also - let go of your own high standards. "Good enough" is a phrase to define for yourself, so you can ask involve others in your success more often.

Give yourself permission to live more simply and based on your core values. By that I mean to use and organize your time based on what's truly important to you at this stage of your life.

Take your time seriously and others will, too.

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Sue West is a Certified Organizing Coach and ADHD Specialist, as well as the author of Organize for A Fresh Start: Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life. Sue works in homes, offices and by phone. Her clients have called her "insightful, wise, inspiring" and together, they achieve results quickly.

Learn more or schedule your 1/2 hour, no charge phone consultation with Sue at 603.554.1948 or Sue@OrganizeNH.com. More about her book or sign up for her organizing blog: www.OrganizeForAFreshStart.com Advice newsletter and more about her services at  www.OrganizeNH.com. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn contacts are on both the blog and website, too! 

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