Chris Simiriglia, M.S. is a Professional Organizer, E-coach and Chief Operating Officer for a non-profit organization. Her website, organize-more-stress-less, is a labor of love allowing Chris to share her knowledge and experience with anyone interested in getting unstuck and moving forward!
Five Organizing Fixes
There are hundreds, even thousands, of good ideas to help us manage our time, get and stay organized, and reduce stress. Below are five that I think offer a lot of “bang for the buck”.
1. Use One Calendar.
I can’t stress this enough. There are only 24 hours in a day. You can only allocate a block of time once. Keep business, family, and other items on one calendar. If you consolidate calendars, you’ll never have the feeling like you’re supposed to be in two places at once again.
Also, the only way you will ever find time to do the things that you never seem have time to do is to schedule them in. Schedule in an hour for exercise… schedule in time catch up on your reading… schedule in your grocery shopping. If it is in your calendar, you’ll do it without guilt or worry.
2. Make the most of idle time.
We throw away a lot of time in our day in many ways: waiting for appointments, standing in long lines, commuting, etc. Use that time wisely, doing something you love. Read while in line. Knit in the waiting room. Listen to “books on tape” during your commute. You’ll be amazed at how productive those precious moments can be. Plan ahead and always have something with you to do.
3. Keep receipts.
Keep an expanding file with appropriately labeled sections where you can file all of your receipts. Have a space in your wallet where you put receipts. When your wallet is full, transfer the receipts to the correct section of the expanding file. The process should take less than 5 minutes but it will add hours to your life, especially around tax time. Or better yet, ditch the paper all together and learn how to go paperless.
4. Use a “to do” list.
I write down everything. If I don’t write it down, it doesn’t get done. Keep a list and take control of your day/week/month/year. I start with a huge list of everything I need or want to get done in the week. I then take those tasks and fit them in to my operating schedule for the week. Each day ends up containing a subset of tasks from the larger “to do” list that is manageable for that particular day. On most days, I get a lot done, and have a great feeling of satisfaction.
5. Toss it (into the recycling bin, of course).
Go through your paper… all of your paper. If you’ve read the magazine, pass it on. If you’ve looked through the catalog, recycle it. If you haven’t had time to look through the magazine or catalog, put it in your bag and look at it while in line at the grocery store. Recycle your newspapers every week, and have a place to keep them in the interim. Immediately put all junk mail in the recycling… you didn’t ask for it, you don’t need it, don’t waste your time reading it.