Something that I really struggle with is being organized. Trying to find a way to do what I need to do and what I want to do is not easy. I would say it is like being on a balance beam or tight wire, but it is really more like trying to cross the grand canyon on a spider’s web. So what tools have I tried successfully? What has been a dismal failure? Or does it matter, am I just doomed to live in chaos?
Here’s what I think.
My favorite and most successful tool is a list. Having a list to refer to helps to keep me focused, and the wonderful feeling of scratching off some dreaded task increases my energy and makes me want to scratch some more! One trick I use too is to make lists as specific as possible. I don’t “clean the kitchen”, I “rinse dishes, load dishwasher, run dishwasher, wipe down counters…” You get the idea I am sure. I find that I personally like my list on the computer. There is an up and a down to that strategy. The upside is that I get to sit down for a minute, maybe take a very short break to reward myself. The downside is that the short break can easily become a long break. Right now I am using a program called Astrid. Any word processing program would do the job, but I want color and fun and a list that is interesting!
Next is a good calendar. I find that I do better with two. I have one, a white board type that I see regularly because it hangs on my bedroom door. I keep track of appointments, pay days, time spent in service, when and how much certain automatic drafts from my account are going to be. Then I just bought a book type calendar with each month spread across two pages. I keep that one on my dining room table. It combines the two, part list so I can see how busy I am on those days and then a place to put appointments, etc. So why three list/calendars? Out of sight, out of mind. This gives me three rooms that have something in front of me to say, “get crackin’ lady!” All I need now is one that is easy to use, chock full of features, pretty and will post to Facebook when I need to do something, but I guess you can’t have everything.
The last tool I have not done, but I think I am going to do it very soon. Studies show that goals that are written down are more likely to get accomplished. My list and my calendars are a form of this, but I think it might be nice to have a contract of sorts with myself. You may have heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals, I think that is what I want to try to add to my tool box.
I started out saying what has been dismal failures. I think it really is unfair to call anything a dismal failure because, well the truth being, I would have to own up to being the one that has failed. I try and try and still I just get overwhelmed or bored and just give up. So if you are struggling just don’t give up. Eventually we are both likely to find the right combination of tools to help us get organized!