Need some gift ideas for your friends and family? Helen shares her favorite organizing gifts on this segment of Kansas City Live. http://www.OrganizedByHelen.com 816-872-7182 Advertisements
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My name is Helen and I am a committed list maker. I love making lists. Can you relate?
My lists help me juggle multiple ventures and responsibilities. The frustrating aspect is that my to-do list becomes so long that it begins to seriously overwhelm me. Why not figure out another way to organize my to do list so it is more focused and doesn’t make me want to crawl back in bed?
With that question in mind, I decided to try something new. I implemented a post-it note to-do list that is separated into three categories:
I made a page for each category and then used a post-it note for each task I needed to complete. Each note is placed on the corresponding sheet of paper based on the 3 categories of urgency. Here is what mine looks like right now:
Tasks that need to be done today.
Includes tasks that need to be done this week but can wait another day.
My third page: “Future”
Tasks that I want to do in the next month but are not urgent.
If you want, you could choose a color for each category such as home is blue and work is pink. I have mixed feelings about encouraging people to do that. Some individuals tend to over think things and then overwhelm the process which is the last thing I want to do! It’s not necessary but if you are a visual person, it may help you to focus your thoughts on what needs to be done next.
Another suggestion is to use the back of each page to place tasks that you are going to do later in the day. This reduces the number of tasks on one side and helps to keep you focused on those tasks that need to be done immediately.
Obviously, when you are done with an item simply remove it and enjoy placing it in the trash because your are done with it! I am one of those people who get a lot of life by completing tasks on lists. So far, I have been stacking my completed items in a stack on the other side of my notebook. It allows me to look back at all I have done that day and feel accomplished. Hey, it’s all about the small things in life!
I am still in the test drive phase of this post-it note to do list transition. I am giving it a good 6 weeks to see if it helps me to simplify my to-do list and, as a result, prevent feelings of task anxiety. Will you join me on this test drive? If so, give me your thoughts on how it worked for you. Any changes? Any tricks?
Once people hear I am a professional organizer, they typically respond with, “Your house must be perfectly organized!” I have a confession to make… my house is NOT perfectly organized. I’m human and have two boys and a wonderful husband. As a result, my house does not stay perfectly organized. Don’t get me wrong. I really love order and having everything in its place, but perfection is not feasible unless you have nothing better to do with your time.
I share this with you because I want to stress that organized perfection is never the goal. The goal in becoming more organized is to create more time and space for what you value most in life. When items are in a specific place, you save time by not having to search for them and you prevent the stress that is experienced when something is lost. When your home or office space is in order you think more clearly and are more productive. However, if you are striving for perfection, you will more than likely become discouraged and probably quit too soon.
In my own home and office, I try to tackle really small projects one at a time and when I feel the urge to do it. This means that I don’t always schedule when I’m going to straighten up a closet or reorganize my kitchen cabinets. For example, I have needed to better organize and clean out my linen closet for the past two months. It simply wasn’t very functional and was not easy on the eyes. Recently, after I finished washing some sheets, I opened the linen closet door and felt compelled to do a quick clean out.
Here are the before and after photos:
I simply removed the sheets and towels we don’t use or need, and arranged smaller items together. One thing I changed was how I stored my sheet sets. I put the sheets inside a pillowcase that belonged to the set. I saw this on Pinterest and think it is genius!
This method of embracing my organizing impulses works great for me, but may not work for everyone. Some people may need to actually schedule their organizing projects and include them in their goals for the week or month, and that’s okay too.
So, I am not perfectly organized, and I am always a work in progress. Progress, big or small, is still progress!