Avoiding the Ruts
Q: I don’t know how I keep
ending up in the same rut, but I do. I
am so busy with family and work that I don’t have time to organize myself and
end up with clutter everywhere. Consequently,
I am always losing phone numbers, notes, clothes, etc. and spend a lot of time
looking for them.
frustration of sorting through clutter, losing time and things certainly puts
more stress into your already busy life. The image of the absent-minded professor may be OK for some people, but
most of us don’t want the confusion or expenditure of time and effort that
accompanies that image. It’s hard to
know what comes first, the stress or the clutter. Typically they are interrelated.
might consider trying a few of the following time management techniques to
simplify your life and get more control over your time:
1. Get in
the habit of using an appointment book that has space for notes.
2. Centralize! Take those scraps of paper with notes
and phone numbers and immediately put them into your appointment
book. Better yet, skip the extra
step of jotting notes on scraps of paper and put the information directly
into your book.
that habits take time to change. It
takes 52 times to make a behavior a habit. Give yourself at least six weeks to use your centralized
appointment book-memo system; then evaluate its effectiveness.
4. One big
time-robber is cluttered clothes closets. Keep only clothing that fits, looks good and compliments your
lifestyle in your primary closet. Don’t waste time sorting through an overstuffed closet. By investing a few hours into closet
organization, you may save yourself a lot of aggravation each morning.
5. Use a
“To Do” list to get things out of your head and onto paper. Make room for creative thinking by
cleaning the clutter out of your memory bank.
6. Use a
“To Do” list to recognize your accomplishments as you complete tasks. Also use your “To Do” list to prioritize
your tasks. Eliminate the
unnecessary ones (usually about 10 percent). Delegate what you can and complete the
7. A good rule of thumb is to try to
simplify tasks, chores, and your environment. Keep your organizational system streamlined. You don’t need fancy books and complicated
systems. Some people do find, however,
that investing money into a high-quality appointment book motivates them to use
it. The bottom line is whatever method
you choose, use it regularly so it becomes and effortless, positive habit.