I had to teach a mini class about organization for Enrichment two weeks ago. Here's what I came up with! Enjoy!
How can we obtain a more enjoyable life of balance? What we really need to put balance into our lives is more TIME. Unfortunately, we can't control how many hours are in a day. And so we must try to control how we spend the hours we do have.
You might be wondering what organization skilss have to do with putting more balance into our lives... You might wonder what difference does it make to be organized.
I believe that it makes all the difference in the world.
Organizational skills can help you cope with the world around you. Organization provides structure and creates a semblance of order. Being organized helps reduce daily stress levels.
I've also learned that organizational skills save time and effort. I learned the importance of this kind of organization when my first daughter was born. I was overwhelmed by the responsibility of a new born. And so the last thing I wanted to be doing was looking around for blankets, burp cloths, baby wipes and diapers. So, I kept all of those supplies on hand in the family room, upstairs, in the car, and in her room. They were handy and convenient anywhere I spent time. I always KNEW I could find whatever I needed when I needed it.
I learned to do the same thing with cleaning supplies. For example, each bathroom has a cleaning basket with Windex, Lysol, Comet and other cleaning supplies. It's easier than lugging around my supplies, and it's a little bit quicker. And if you think about it, I'm not really spending any more money on the supplies I use. I do have more, but I'm also not buying them as frequently.
Organizational skills are the keystone to having a more balanced life.
There are two components to being organized; there are teh STRUCTURES and the REGULAR ACTIONS (habits). The structures are the physcial tools you use to hold things in which you are organizing such as your filing cabinet, desktop sorters, baskets, etc. On the other hand, you can have all the structures in the world, but if you don't actually have the habits like filing papers into your files, or opening up your planner to see what's on the schedule, you won't be organized.
Disorganization can quietly eat away, day by day, at your productivity. You may wonder, does anyone really care if you are organized? Heavenly Father does. He said, "Establish... a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." Without some organization, these qualities are difficult or impossible to demonstrate.
To become an organized person, you need to start thinking like one. The following is a list of tips to help you become organized and stay ont eh path or organization.
- IT'S ALL IN THE PLAN - Proper planning gives the overall picture of teh task or tasks to be completed. It saves time in the long run. I use a VERY large calendar to keep my family organized. It's from moretimeformoms.com. I recommend it!
- TIME MANAGEMENT - Successful people spend their time wisely. Did you know that the average human being in our society loses an HOUR A DAY due to disorganization? Just take a minute to think about it - that's more than 2 weeks per year! That's a whole vacation!
- DON'T PUT IT DOWN; PUT IT AWAY - An organized person will come to realize that it is always easier to put something away rather than set it down "for now." I really struggle with this principle, but I'm lucky that my husband picks up the slack for me here! :-)
- A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE
- LET CLUTTER ANNOY YOU - Start to act out against clutter; throw it away or donate it. Act now!
- FILE IT; DON'T PILE IT - I love my filing cabinet. And once I created a filing system that worked for me, I use it much more. The fun part about getting organized is helping your children learn the skills too. Both of my daughters received filing cabinets for their birthdays last year, and love learning how to file their own report cards, award certificates, and other special things.
- OPEN AND PROCESS ALL MAIL - I once heard a smart person say that you should open all mail over the trash can so youc an file junk mail immediately where it belongs - the trash! :-)
- BREAK LARGE PROJECTS DOWN INTO SMALL SEQUENTIAL STEPS - Kiara nd I did this with a skeleton project she created a couple of weeks ago for school. First we drew the skeleton on the fabric. Then we cut out the skeleton. Then we glued the pieces together. After drying, we stuffed the pillows and finished by labeling each bone. SMALL STEPS! :-)
- KEEP SUPPLIES WHERE YOU USE THEM
- DATE AND TITLE ALL MATERIALS
Sometimes there are somet higns that make organization difficult. Knowledge of these "monsters" makes it easier to wage a war against them and stay organized!
Watch out for the PROCRASTINATION MONSTER. Don't put things off. Just do it!
Watch out for the monster, INTERRUPTIONS. Interruptions reduce motivation to continue to work. Try to reduce the number of interruptions you get while working on organization.
MISMATCH BETWEEN TIME AND ONE'S CAPACITY is a frightening monster. When people ovestimate or underestimate time taken to perform a task it leads to disorganization. When we try to do too many things in one time slot it can be frustrating. It reduces our pace. On the other hand, when we do too little in a given time period we are wasting valuable time.
Another monster to watch out for is SETTING THE WRONG PRIORITIES. We all have priorities that should be set up in the order of importance.
All anyone needs to be organized is just 15 minutes a day. That's all it takes. Organizing your home doesn't have to be thiss all-day, all-week event. Just set aside 15 minutes every day to tidy up and you're well on your way to an organized home. I like to put on our family "WORK" CD and make the "job" of organizing fun!
Take it one day at a time - 15 minutes at a time! Rome wasn't built in a day. Take baby steps. If your dining room table is now a flat filing cabinet... Work for 15 minutes creating piles to file. If your idea of being organized, is multicolored Post-it notes, invest in a good calendar and use it! I promise life will be better! You will be happier!