How many times have you heard someone say, “There is just not enough time?” How often have you made similar remarks as you tried to meet one more deadline?
We all know there is no such thing as more time. We have exactly twenty-four hours in each day and no one can give us more. What we must do has to be done in those hours or left for another day. Perhaps it is what we do with that time that needs evaluating.
Do you find yourself constantly reshuffling unending stacks of papers looking for something? Do you often miss appointments and have to reschedule them? Do you realize that after you care for your loved ones and yourself, there is no time or energy left for any project? Do the thoughts of organizing overwhelm you?
I have a few simple solutions for you to enhance your organizing skills and make you feel good about your accomplishments. Let’s look at five areas you may need to organize to make better use of the time you have.
At the end of the list, I will give you a sure-fire tip on how you can make this happen in your home.
#1. Identify your personal time-robbers. Take a few minutes and think through your day. What is it that seems to tie you down and keep you from the task at hand? In looking at my own schedule, I discovered the appeal of a new sales flyer or magazine kept me mesmerized for way too long. This realization did not mean I would never, ever look at a sales flyer again (oh, heaven forbid such a thing!) It did mean I had to make a conscious decision to deal with the flyer immediately. If I were to lay it down for later, it would add to my “stacks of stuff.” I could allow myself a certain amount of time for reading magazines and flyers or I could toss the lesser important ones into the waiting trash bin.
#2. Keep a daily to-do list. Regardless of how careful you are with this list, there will be inevitable interruptions; allow for those. Each night list tasks for the next day in order of their importance. It is extremely necessary to keep this list short and do-able. Be practical but precise. Are there items on that list you could get help with? Call and make an appointment for someone to be at your home at a certain time to help you with your work.
#3. Calendar everything. DO NOT keep scraps of paper around to write notes on when someone calls; they are too easily lost. Put a large calendar by the phone, perhaps on the wall. Thumbtack a string to the wall with a pencil attached and you are good to go. Not only is this a good place for dates, it’s a great place to put reminders of shopping needs. If you are going shopping on Monday, use Monday’s space to list items that come to mind during the day.
#4. Get rid of clutter. Very important: START SMALL. Do not tackle an entire room at once. Find one table or shelf or small cabinet and start there. Get a trash bag ready and toss what is not needed. As you sort, take time to return items to their proper place. This is the value of starting small; you do not need to make another stack somewhere else.
#5. Do it now. Begin a new tradition: as much as possible, tend to menial tasks immediately. For example, set aside five or ten minutes a day to deal with the mail. Get your trash can handy and work through each item: bills to bill drawer, magazines in magazine rack, letters read and put into file to be answered, etc.
Well, did reading these five tips make you tired already? I can almost hear you, “she has to be kidding? I don’t have time now to get my work done and now she’s added five more things to my list!” You did say that, didn’t you? I would have, too.
Here’s the promised final tip: do not tackle the entire list at once. Carefully read through the helps again and choose one – only one – you will work on this week. Try this for a week and you will feel less stressed and more productive. When you are comfortable with one change, move to another. You can do it, I promise.
Trusting you enjoy all God’s blessings as you learn to wisely use the precious time He has given each of us.