In my own personal life, one theme keeps jumping up. It's organization. How can one organize his/her life so that it's more productive and less confusing?
This morning, the local CBS show had a very brief segment on the subject that started me thinking about how to put their suggestions to work for me.
1. Don't keep a bunch of different calendars. Keep only one.
I make the mistake of having three or four calendars, one for my school activities, another for writing, yet another for my artist life, and a fourth for personal events. What a mess! A few years ago I was keeping a very nice calendar of everything in my Day-Timer book. It was bright orange and made me smile every time I looked at it. Since that year, I haven't found another pretty orange book, and I've gotten away from the organization it brought into my life.
2. Create boundaries for your life and stay inside of them.
Know your limits and learn to say "no". That's a hard one because it's easy to believe you can do more than is possible. There aren't any 25 hour days or 8 day weeks although many of us need them.
3. Set goals that are long-term as well as for what you must for today and for the week.
My husband has always been good at planning his day and the week. He makes a list of what he wants to accomplish and checks items off as he does them. I've never wanted to take the time to do that which is a big mistake. I'm going to start creating my lists.
4. See the big picture. Create a map for your life and refer to it often.
As a visual person, I see this as a very helpful device. Writers create storyboards for their books. Why not a storyboard for your life?
5. Prioritize your activities to put the most important goals first.
I've always had a tendency to procrastinate and wait until the very last minute to get my most important activities accomplished. That means a frenzy to complete a book on time or get ready for an art show. Perhaps people who procrastinate need to feel the heat on their backs. Maybe that's the best way for them to accomplish their goals. I don't know. I'm going to plan now to prioritize in the future.
6. Organize your plans and put together those things that can be done together. If you are going to be in an area for a meeting, schedule other things in that same area and do them the same day.
That's a commonsense goal, and I suspect we all try to do that whenever possible.
Organization can prevent one from getting overwhelmed. It can put us in control of our lives.