They say that to get something done you should always ask the busiest person – somehow they have figured out how to keep all of the plates spinning at once! Well, as a professional plate spinner I have to be honest and let you know that all of the big things always get done – it is the small things that start to pile up! Also, what we need to do for our work, our family and a cast of others usually gets done before we do what we should for ourselves.
In an effort to take charge of our day to day I present Take Charge Tuesdays! This is the day to share some tips I have picked up along the way that really do make things a bit easier – more importantly they work just as well if you fall off the wagon and then try to resume the good behavior. Another important factor for these tips is return on investment – imagine if we could have even a percentage back on the books, systems, products and time that we have invested to become organized that never panned out.
I look for options that function as a personal assistant, that keep me on track in ways that I can truly fit into my schedule. Also, it’s key to be able to break tasks down into doable (one of my favorite made up words!) blocks of time. If you need a whole day, or three hours, it might not get done whereas most of us can fit in fifteen minute to half hour tasks. Interestingly some of the magic of breaking down tasks for over achievers is that we habitually try to do everything at once, and try to do it all perfectly, using up the necessary free time that has to be in a day to renew body and soul. We need tasks that can motivate us from doing nothing while protecting us from doing too much. No wonder why finding things that truly work is so hard!!
One of the best home care/maintenance/holiday preparedness systems I have come across is http://www.flylady.net/ . I first was introduced to the “old school” version of this system when our second child was born. I desperately needed to find a way to keep up with “chores” while still feeling that I had time to be a good mom and have time for other interests, socializing and consulting work. I have always been a believer that the answer to all things can be found in books – hence the volume of tomes in our home (which ironically often have to be decluttered!). Get Your Act Together by Pam Young and Peggy Jones was a gift to me, these woman shared their own path to disorganization in such an honestly refreshing way that you knew these were folks who had walked the walk. Back in the day the system was kept in a file box on index cards that you referred to each day for tasks as well as reminders to build in some rest and fun. While I wasn’t always the most consistent follower, I can truly say that that system developed some very good habits for me that remain to this day. The online version emails you reminders of daily tasks and the site is chock full of ways to organize just about every situation you could come across from daily upkeep to holidays to car maintenance. The one truly stress free organized holiday season I had was the one I followed flylady to a tee. Others since then may not have been organized to the letter, but I certainly have retained some of the short cuts that not only save time but provide peace of mind.
Flylady has many resources on line and on Amazon.com that provide advice for many areas in lives that need decluttering including our perhaps not so healthy lifestyles. Some of these may provide insight or incentive to motivate you to take action.
Will this be the magic system for you? Who knows, but isn’t it worth a try to see if there isn’t some benefit you can reap from a system already in place? I for one am not a fan of reinventing the wheel. Do you need to purchase anything? Absolutely not, although there are many products offered on the site there is nothing that you cannot do with what you have on hand or after a quick trip to Target or Staples. Is this only for women – are you kidding?? Perhaps the site title and the logo seem directed at a target market that you don’t see yourself in – who cares if it works????
Take charge today – just remember to do it in fifteen minute intervals!!