Our daily routine has made it difficult to stay organized on a regular basis. 25 years ago, life just breezed along. I remember how life seemed so simple and how much we enjoyed spending time with the children on weekends. We used to spend family time crabbing for our dinner. Life just seemed to flow along without stress and chaos.
Well, that isn’t the way that things are today. Technology has made it more difficult to keep up with everything that is happening. We feel the need to be “connected” 24 hours a day. The term instant messaging took control of our lives. There is the constant need to immediately respond to everyone and everything that is happening. I have to say that it is very frustrating to me (and quite honestly, rude) to work with someone who is constantly checking email and texting on their phone. As a Professional Organizer, I know that there are things that you can do to help you organize your day so that you don’t have to feel the need to be “connected” constantly.
First – Relieve your anxiety. Know exactly what you “have” to do every day. What needs to be done in order for you to: be accountable to your job and family; what appointments do you have scheduled; what paperwork needs to be completed; which bills need to be paid. You get the idea. Knowing exactly what you need to get done is crucial to ensuring that you keep your day organized.
Second – Schedule a time to disconnect yourself from your cell phone, tablet and computer for a while every day. Continually checking all of your electronic gadgets actually causes stress – which doesn’t help keep you organized. It actually causes disorganization because it is a distraction from what you really need to be attending to. Turn off all of your alarms, dings, bells and whistles that tell you that you have incoming mail too. Talk about distracting!!
Third – Develop a system for handling every part of your home and office. Have a process to handle your incoming and outgoing mail. Schedule out what day (and even the time of the day) that you do specific tasks. I remember growing up – my mom had a schedule for every part of the household duties. It seemed really mundane at the time, even boring. But I know that having a day assigned to your regular routines will help you get organized and stay organized.
Fourth – I don’t typically recommend multi-tasking, however, if you work in a home office there are a few things that you can do while you are working in your office. Some of these things are: laundry, cooking dinner in a crock pot, and running the dishwasher. I only recommend that you do these types of activities because they don’t require your continual attention. You can accomplish a goal and walk away – and back to your real focus. Multi-tasking in most areas is simply said – distraction. It is important to stay focused on reaching your daily goals.
Fifth – End your day! Don’t allow your work schedule to continue into the evening hours. Taking time every day to spend time with family, exercise, reading – anything besides work – is healthy and necessary. This can be hard to do at first, trust me! But taking time to relax and enjoy your life will increase your daily productivity. This habit will also help keep you organized every day by staying focused on what really has to be done. To your success!
Linda Clevenger, Organization Direct