Three Ways to Get More Accomplished this Week
I’ll admit it. I’ve always been a bit enthusiastic when it comes to being organized. Even my closest friends will lovingly (and jealously) nag about my lists, and neatly stacked piles and file folders. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. I vividly recall sitting on my bed as a six-year-old and glowing at how clean my room was and how disappointed I’d be if I found ANYTHING under my bed. I like to think this is what made me my mom’s favorite. I can remember the feeling of accomplishment as I looked around my domain, everything in its place, contemplating “what’s next” on my hit list of purging. Now that I think of it, what a weird little six-year-old!
My desire to think things through and be organized doesn’t ever stop me from my everyday life. In fact, I think it helps me get things done pretty efficiently. When it comes to trying to figure out what exactly it is I need to get accomplished, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at mastering the art of completion. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have a junk drawer and a long list of “someday” things to tackle, but when it comes to the day-to-days, I think I’ve got it down. Here are three of my planning secrets to help you along in your journey to get organized and get more accomplished
I remember having hours and occasionally even days when I could just focus on getting organized -cleaning out closets, sorting receipts, etc. I say “remember”, because quite frankly that time is no longer. Grasping the idea of no longer having the time is one thing, accepting it is another. Instead of using this lack of availability in my schedule as an excuse to let things pile up, I stopped putting so much pressure on myself to get organization tasks done right away and so my “office hours” were born. Actually, scratch that, let’s refer to them as “Power Hour” from now on. Much more motivating! The best parts about these bad boys are they don’t have to be set in stone, unless that works for you. They typically, and sometimes even organically, happen for me about two times a week. Sometimes they are at nine at night, sometimes it’s as soon as I get home from work, and sometimes it’s right after my redemption of free iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts. This is when I plow through the pile of bills, get everything on our calendar, file things away, cut my coupons, etc. It’s basically everything that needs to get done routinely, but not necessarily immediately. Miraculously, it’s usually only about an hour and the best part is the feeling afterwards of knowing it’s done. So go ahead, throw that invoice in THE pile on the table and do not feel one morsel of guilt about it. You know you’ll get it done, and when you do, you’ll feel relieved.
This Week vs. This Lifetime
I love my IPhone and all it’s magical wonders, however there’s one technique I just can’t seem to retire, and that’s the good ole handwritten list. Maybe it’s because the extreme sense of “YES!” I get when I can physically cross something off, or maybe it’s then looking at my said list of crossed out duties knowing all of that is done, gone, over, moving on. I’m sure we all have some sort of list somewhere in the bottom of our purse with everything we forgot to get at the grocery store. That’s the thing, you may not be using that sucker to its full advantage. My “this week” list contains everything, big and little I know I need to get done this week: call plumber, post office, pick up printer paper, call for flooring quote, email what’s her face back. I put the smallest, seemingly not important things on that list and give myself to the end of the week. I then can pull it out on Sunday evening, crossed out in all its glory and make sure there’s nothing that I need to follow up on. I think the most important part is I keep this weekly list realistic, relevant, and achievable, and save the biggies for the ever growing “this lifetime” list.
You see, my Marine and I thought it would be a great (and it is) idea to buy a house in, and I say this lovingly, the sticks. Our address alone makes it absolutely imperative that I plan out exactly everything I will be passing on my travels to make sure I can get it done without having to make a second trip. You’d be amazed how many errands I can fit in on my 30-minute lunch break. I’ve found it super helpful to plan out exactly how many birds I can kill on my way to and from work or the grocery store. Stopping myself for an extra two minutes before I leave the house to make sure I have everything I need makes my gas tank happy and my shoulders a little lighter upon my return: Redbox movie which we probably own by now, coupons, reusable shopping bags, bills for mailbox. You get the picture. Planning errands and packing your purse and lunch (I’m still working on that one) the night before makes for a much smoother week.
We’ve all got a lot on our plates and stressing ourselves out over everything we have yet to get done can be detrimental when we’re trying to stay afloat. So throw your task in the Power Hour pile, pull out and admire your list of check marked to-dos, and try to remember to return that damn Redbox movie on your next errand run.
What is your favorite way to plan for the week?