Spring into an Organized Life
Spring is around the corner, bringing with it new life and a desire for a fresh start. Something about the increased sunlight, budding trees, and daffodils popping out of the earth makes us long for more freedom to just “be” – instead of always “doing.”
Then reality hits. Our schedules are overloaded, our desks – and homes – are a mess, and we don’t have nearly enough time for family, friends, and fun.
It’s time to get organized. Cultivating an organized lifestyle reduces stress, increases productivity, and helps you take better care of yourself – from sleeping and eating better to staying fit.
Nope, we’re not going to give you 15 hot tips to overwhelm you and add to your stress. We’re just offering one pivot point that can help you be more organized every area.
Keep one calendar!
Don’t separate professional from personal – don’t rely on your head or sticky notes on the fridge. Whether it’s a self-made deadline – like cleaning out the garage, or a work-related deadline, it pays to be organized. This also applies to family time, birthdays, social outings, entertaining, or any other responsibility. Trying to juggle between multiple lists, calendars, etc. creates a hotbed for stress.
For every activity/responsibility/ commitment – from the simple to complex:
- Write it down – be it with pen and paper, on your computer, or in your phone.
- Break it into steps – and estimate how long each step will take.
- Make a list of “supplies.” (Be it storage containers for that garage cleanup or research documents for a professional project).
- Enter each step into your calendar – including a designated time to collect those supplies.
- Highlight entries to identify whether it’s a personal or professional activity. Italicize anything that is a specific appointment or has an unchangeable deadline.
Putting everything in your one and only calendar eliminates the “Oh I forgot syndrome” and frees your mind to focus on the present task instead of worrying about everything else you have to do.
The evening review
Designate 15 minutes each evening for reviewing the next day’s calendar entries and mentally prepare.
Here’s where that breaking things into steps comes in handy. For example, on Tuesday evening, you see that you have an appointment with a potential new client in the morning and you have to be at school with treats for your son’s birthday at 1:00. No panic necessary. You scheduled the research needed concerning the new client the previous Friday (it’s gathered together in a word doc) and the treats you picked up last Thursday are in the cupboard.
Now that you have one calendar – declutter it
Keeping everything on one calendar forces you to make choices.
- Is this activity critical to my professional or personal well-being?
- Am I doing this because I need to or because someone else thinks it’s important?
- Does this activity boost my career?
- Does it add zing to me personally?
- Will this activity make a difference five years down the road – or more?
- I don’t have time for A, B, and C – which one can be delegated, hired, or scratched?
Do you need to be doing everything on your list? Whether you’re a micromanaging control person or simply haven’t thought about it, it’s a pretty sure bet that something on your list can be passed on to someone else – at home or in the office, or hired out – from a lawn care company to content writing service to . . .
Some things belong to you, and it’s either unfair to the other person or robbing yourself of joy to give it away. On the other hand, some things need to be let go. Have an honest conversation with yourself. Better yet, have a trusted friend or colleague look over your calendar and point out items that need to be scratched, passed to another, or hired.
One calendar – helps you keep it all together, reducing stress and increasing your productivity. One staffing company enables you to keep your staffing needs or your job search organized, reducing stress and increasing productivity. Consider AllianceStaff – since 2006, we’ve been providing first-class search and staffing services in the Greater Milwaukee area to our business clients, and the candidates we encounter, through personal service, open communication, continuous training, and dedication to excellence. Contact us today.