Every year we make resolutions to make more time for family, business, and ourselves. Each year we promise we will get more organized in the new year. This is why January is National Get Organized Month.
Happily, I am ahead of the game. For the first time, I took all Christmas decorations down within days of Christmas. Yesterday, I created my 2017 file folders. That never takes too long, but in the past I have always procrastinated until well after first of the year.
It is amazing how much better I feel; prepared for a successful 2017! It really is true, getting rid of excess makes room for future. Not just in physical space, but in your mind as well. The tree is down, and makes my home seem bigger. Files for 2016 are boxed and ready for storage and new files ready for action.
Next week is busy with clients, but I am ready for busy year and look forward to more time for myself. If you are ready for a change in 2017, don’t wait. Start meeting your goals today.
Time is one of life’s most precious commodities. We never have enough for family and friends. It seems work and project deadlines are always upon us; who reading this has too vacations that are too long?
Recently a friend , not an organizing colleague but a professional in another field, was sharing an experience of working with a hoarder. “She kept me waiting for an hour, another time she was still asleep the when I arrived” he said. I explained that hoarding not only happen with collections of “stuff”, but it also can occur with time. A time hoarder is someone that is trying to “do it all, not just keep it all”.
Dicitionary.com defines Hoard as a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc. Saying “yes” to every opportunity, not being able to “edit” your schedule can make your free time disappear.
Schedule work and play activities, check the calendar before making commitments, and most importantly do not be afraid to say “no” or “not now”. You will be surprised how quickly the clutter of your minutes become pleasant organized hours.
What did you not get to today? If there is not enough time in the day, try to manage your time differently. For the next few days, keep a list of what you wanted to accomplish. Did you miss paying bills, or maybe you wanted to create a marketing piece for your business?
"Time management" Calendar
Create a block of time on your calendar for the following day dedicated for what was neglected. Oh, you are not using a calendar? Schedule your day as if a doctor schedules his patients. Your calendar should be your guide as to how the day progresses. Schedule 15 minutes for paying bills, 25 minutes for returning calls, etc.
There are free tools online available such as Outlook Express, Google or Yahoo Calendars. Others calendars may come with your computer or could be purchased, like ACT. If technology is not your friend, don’t wait to start.
Buy a simple calendar at your local office supply store. The important thing is to give this first step of time management a try. You will be surprised what will be added to tomorrow when you follow your calendar.
Great questions came from the audience at the Small Business Seminar I led this week at the West Hollywood Chamber. One participant asked “what do I do as I never have time to follow up with committee members who do not reply if they are attending meetings?” What a great question. This is something probably most of us experience.
During the “Time Management” portion of the program I shared that using a calendar correctly will help set necessary boundaries on time. Time is probably the most difficult area for us to organize since we can see or touch it like physical clutter.
As the “follow up” problem occurs before each meeting the answer is to schedule time in your calendar to make the needed calls. If an appointment is in your calendar, and the calendar is referenced throughout the day, there will be enough time for all the tasks at hand.
If you are not currently using a calendar, check out Franklin Covey for products that will fit your needs.
What were people saying about Chris’ program:
“I really enjoyed your presentation yesterday at the WeHo chamber. I have already started using some of the techniques with my paperwork and time management.” -R.H.
“I really enjoyed your presentation and focusing on organization – both mentally and physically. You motivated me to be more aware about decisions or procrastination regarding new information and records.” -J.B.
Even an organized person, that would be me, sometimes is amazed at the ease a little planning will create.I travel a few times a year.Though my home and office can boast of being free of clutter and having everything in its place I can not say the same for the amount of luggage that follows me on trips.
For an unexpected trip this week I decided I would travel light.A first.Determined to only take one small case I made a list of exactly what I would pack.Only three pants, four shirts, socks and underwear to last a week.My shoes and one blazer would all have to fit in my case.Also, the computer and Blackberry charger, vitamins and prescriptions all are now on my list…and all actually fit.
Today, old style dock kits have been replaced by convenient toiletry “wardrobes”.All items for the bath are not only visible, but always convenient by hanging on a bath hook or in the hotel closet.This is available at www.thecontainerstore.com. Always keep it stocked and packing for the next trip is a snap.
Keep your packing list in a “Travel File”.Update this list as needed and make packing easy. Now the hassle of air travel is a little more enjoyable.Well this trip packing took only 10 minutes to pack and I don’t miss the extra weight or stuff.Make the most of your next trip and create and use your list.
A change in attitude is essential for getting organized. How many times do we say “I don’t have time” or “I can’t do that.” It is possible to be more productive and have more free time if we are willing to change our attitude and behavior.
Instead of saying it’s impossible, examine what is not working and make a change. Are papers covering your desk? Create an active file system that works for you. Do you miss meetings and phone conferences? Examine your calendar and see if there is clutter in your schedule that can be eliminated.
Start this week with a “can do” attitude and see positive changes begin in your environment.