How to Organize Your Time

Or, Organize your time? Now hurry and tell me how- I don't have much time!

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Is this possible- to organize time? Well, it sure is but unfortunately it will take tons of time to organize your time. About ten years or so. Just kidding. You can pretty much a get a handle on your time at any time. It just takes a few accessories and some planning! Does life sometimes feel like the childhood game of Perfection, where you have to get all the pieces into the puzzle before it explodes? Well be explosion-phobic no more. Read on...

So what do I have to buy?

Well, you don’t have to do anything, it’s a free country (in a silly mood when I wrote this, can you tell…actually you might be from Antarctica, I don’t know where you are from). But a calendar, timer, binder, and small notebook, may prove to be worthwhile investments.

Why should I buy a calendar?

Well, Smarty, it helps to know what day it is (don’t you like how I just assume you are asking these questions in a snide way, if you are new to my website I can’t help but joke with you, it’s all in good fun). A calendar will not only tell you the date but it gives you a place to write what bills are due, and when your appointments are. I have 2 lists next to my calendar. The first one tells me what bills are due and when, and then I write the names of the companies in red magic marker in the boxes. The second list tells me of all the routine things I have to do and when. For example on my calendar you might see “yoga class”, “Toast Masters Meeting”, "lunch with Kathy". I believe paper calendars are better to use then cell phone or Blackberry or Palm Pilot calendars. Why? Because I can’t figure those new-fangled contraptions out to save my life. Just kidding. But seriously folks, a paper calendar is less frustrating to write in and doesn’t go dead, get lost or run out of batteries. I use my Blackberry as a backup so that I can hear pretty chimes go off about two hours before my scheduled appointment, but I don’t rely on it exclusively. I think you will agree that an old school calendar may be just what you need to organize your time.

Why should I buy a timer?

Well this is optional as you can always use your oven timer but I like a portable timer to motivate me to get things done, and sometimes I need motivation in rooms other than my kitchen. There is often a misconception that tasks will “take forever”. We then feel tired before we even begin. Well no more. It’s time to take a tip from Marge Simpson and put a little fun and challenge into your routine tasks. I don’t remember the cartoon exactly or what chore she was doing exactly but after it was over she exclaimed something like, “twelve minutes, a new personal best”. See if you can wash all the dishes in 10, fold the laundry in 5, vacuum in 20. Warning: Do not race to the point of danger and this is not a good practice for doing your homework. Also not good for brushing your teeth. You want to brush for two minutes not two seconds. Ha ha. A timer is a fun way to help you organize your time.

Why should I buy a binder?

Half the reason some people take long to do things is because they don’t know where any of the information they need is. Invest in a cheap binder, some tabs and some three hole punched folders. Make sections for the stuff you need most frequently. For example, you may want a tabbed section of your binder that you keep website usernames and passwords behind, you may want a section where you keep your health information, you may want a section where you keep instructions, like how to use your online course system, or how to watch a DVD and then go back to cable mode. Imagine having all the usernames, passwords, information and instructions at your fingertips? Yes, actually having what you need is a great way to organize your time.

Why should I buy a small notebook?

Besides not being able to find stuff another thing that sucks up our time is not knowing what to do. Do you have 80 to do lists? How are you ever supposed to be able to decide what to do first? Easy! Make one to do list in one small notebook that you can carry around. Going forward whenever you think of a to do write it in the same notebook. Then it will be elementary, my Dear Watson. Each day do a task that moves your life forward, even if it’s color coding the keys on your key chain so you don’t have to thumb through all of your keys to get in your house four times a day. That simple step would save you tons of time and frustration and that my friend is called progress! Progress is the best motivator to organize your time. Are you better off today than you were yesterday? Have a goal? Be sure to move forward in it everyday, even if it's just one minute of writing! Do it!

Brainstorm Solutions to Time Sappers!

This is a freebie, you don’t have to buy anything. It’s all up in your noggin. Next time you find yourself wasting time, ask yourself if it’s a problem that can be solved, like installing a light bulb instead of fumbling around for things, or cleaning out your sock drawer of magazines so you can actually find the socks that are buried underneath. Brainstorm solutions to time-suckers. Then brainstorm ways to make more time. Do you really need to watch two episodes of Family Guy every night or can you get away with one episode of Peter Griffin’s hair brained schemes and still fulfill your laughter quota? (Laughter is medicine, so I understand). But what is also medicinal? Getting things done. We only have one life, so let’s start living it. Even if we only work on our to-do list during the commercials….ha ha. Brainstorming solutions is the ultimate way to organize your time!

Have fun turning work into fun,

Sara Liz

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