July 15, 2014
With all of the modern day gadgets out there meant to help us save time, it seems like we (as a people) should have more spare time on our hands than all of the generations before us. Why then do we struggle so for that all important “me” time? I think maybe we struggle to find extra time because we aren’t using the right tools…or maybe we are trying to use too many tools and we get confused. Or maybe we are not using any tools at all and it’s just a mess. But I think the key to having more “me” is by making time for it – and I think the best way to create time is by organizing our lives.
Use a To-Do List. One way to become more organized is by setting priorities. What things need to be done by the end of the week? Whatever the things are, make a to-do list for the week and each day pick three or four things you can complete each day, so that by the end of the week your to-do list is done. Be realistic with yourself and don’t set the expectations too high, but push yourself each day to finish what you need to so that your week at the end is successful. Re-evaluate your list often and make modifications as necessary…nobody is perfect.
Use a Calendar. Staying organized means always knowing where you need to be. I like using the calendar on my phone for keeping up with my appointments because it’s convenient (because it’s always with me). As soon as you know about an event, stop what you are doing and add it to your calendar right then. You may mean to jot it down later, but you could forget. Also, pick one type of calendar to use and make it your only one. If you try to use your phone calendar for some things, but your wall calendar or your desk calendar for others, you will get confused. It will happen, trust me. One time I was using too many different calendars, got confused, and I showed up for my hair appointment on the wrong day…totally embarrassing! (What? Hair appointments are a priority!)
Keep your stuff neat. Everything has its place…I truly believe that! I think another way we spin our wheels (and have less time for ourselves) is when we have to spend extra time looking for stuff. I know sometimes we may get in a hurry and think: I’ll put this up later. Again, later may never come and then we need stuff we can’t find because it’s in the wrong place. Get organized by throwing away papers you don’t need. I start feeling unorganized when there is a big stack of mail on the desk that needs going through. Make that part of your to-do list to go through and organize that mail. Also, have less stuff, in general. I sometimes find that clutter just gets moved from one place to another and never really gets organized. If it doesn’t have a “home”, so to speak, you probably don’t need it. If you do need it, give it a home so it’s out of your way.
With all of that said, I find that using a weekly to-do list, a calendar, and keeping my stuff neat and tidy helps me to keep my life organized. As a working mom of two school-aged children, we have a lot going on in our lives. And yet, as a working mom of two children, “me time” (okay, maybe just a little bit now and then) is also very important for my overall sanity. So, I suppose in the end, the REAL trick to having time for all of this “me time” I’ve created for myself (by being so organized) is actually TAKING it.