Friday, June 24, 2011

Priorities

Even when we know better, we can let our priorities get out of kilter. What seems to be urgent items, crowd out the important items in our life. We end up exhausted and anxious. The struggle with time management isn't usually cured by reading new techniques. We usually know what we should do. The exhaustion we feel from putting out all the fires has an impact on all areas of our life. We skip the morning exercise to squeeze a few more minutes answering emails. We put off eating until we are so tired and hungry, we grab anything. We don't go out Friday night because we just want to crash in bed.
So how do we refresh and restore our balance?
First we have to have that awareness that we are out of line. Falling asleep over the computer or during an evening teleclass is a clue. Putting on weight and beginning to feel more aches and pains could be another clue. Or perhaps friends have given up calling because you are always so busy.
Then we have to take some time with ourselves to go back and look at our life vision. What do we want to do with our life? How do we want to feel? Look at all the areas in your life - career, family, friends, health, intellectual, spiritual. Review your goals in each area.
Now, find activities that will help you get to your goals. Sometimes one activity or event can serve you on several levels. For example, this past week, I put my business aside and went to visit my sister in Spokane and went to my niece's wedding. This helped me work toward my goals in the family, friends, health, and spiritual areas. I came back so refreshed and my business did not fall apart. Moving forward I am planning other events to continue working on my goals - a week with my son and his wife, a personal business retreat, a vacation with a girl friend, a family reunion at Thanksgiving. On a weekly basis, I have scheduled exercise, social time, and joined weight watchers.
I hope to continue to create better habits with my time management in order to keep my priorities in line. I am scheduling the things I need to do - my everyday life activates. I am scheduling my work activities - and putting an end time on my days. I am scheduling at least one thing I want to do - dance, go out with a friend, take in a movie. I am looking at the commitments that are already made and on my calendar. I am scheduling time for my health - exercise, weight watchers, doctor appointments.

What are you doing to keep your life in balance?

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Friday, June 10, 2011

Party Preparations

I enjoy putting together a special party for my friends during the month of July. Every year I think of a theme and then start my planning. This year the theme is celebration of good friends and good books. I have asked my guests to bring a book or two that they have enjoyed, tell why they enjoyed the book, and swap it out for a book that someone else brings.
My theme helps me get my vision of the party in my mind. I now know what I want my party to look like and how I want to feel at the party. I want my party to be casual, comfortable, and engaging. I want my guests and myself to feel relaxed and happy.
Next I brainstorm all the tasks I need to complete in order for this vision to come true. I start with my guest list. Then I plan my invitations and have them made. Other items on my list will include: address and send invites, plan dates to do extra yard work, get help with yard work, pressure wash my house and deck, freshen up lawn furniture, plan menu, prepare/order food/beverages, get help and put up tent, clean house, decorate, spray yard, last minute runs for items at store, get help putting out food/beverage stations. I know that my decorations will include books and that I will want a table for guests to put their books on when they arrive.
After I have brainstormed all I can think of that I need to do, I make a time-line. I call and see who can assist me when/where I need help. I post my time-line and check it off as I go. I allow some wiggle room - after all it might be raining when I plan to do yard work or the person who is going to help on a certain day finds they can't help then but can help later.
When the day of the party arrives, there is little to do except finish decorating, putting out food/beverages, and spraying the yard for bugs.
By breaking down the party project into small, manageable parts, and putting together a reasonable time-line, I make the party stress free.
When the guests come, I am ready to party too.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bathroom Zone

If you are working on the zone plan, this is the month I have marked to work on bathrooms. I only have one small bathroom so I also include the hallway outside the bath and the linen closet. I spend one day working in the bathroom - the medicine cabinet and under the sink. I spend another day working on the linen closet, and a third day just finishing off the hall.
In each area define your zones. The medicine cabinet should contain what you use on a regular basis and need to have on hand. In my case that would include an electric razor and it's charger, deodorant, perfume, lotion, q-tips, cotton balls, comb & brush, a few ointments, band aids, toothpaste, dental floss, and eye drops. If my cabinet were larger, I would include Tylenol, Neosporin, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, a thermometer, and NyQuil.
When sorting items in the medicine cabinet, throw out any old or expired items, samples you have had for months and not used and then group like items together ( band aids and Neosporin, toothpaste and floss).
My cabinet under the sink holds a roll of toilet paper, feminine products, cleaning products for the bathroom, a hair dryer and a curling iron. If you have more room you can add paper towels, extra toilet paper, extra soap, extra lotions, powder, or anything you use regularly.
My linen closet is also divided into zones. On the top shelf I have extra sheets, blankets, and pillows. On the next shelf I keep all my towels and facecloths. I only keep as many as will comfortably fit on that shelf. The next shelf holds makeup, lotions, soaps, box of q-tips, bag of cotton balls, and shoe polish. Below that are medicines, sunscreen, bug spray, large ace bandages, light bulbs, batteries, and vases. The floor holds the extra toilet paper and a box for give-aways.
In all areas, group like objects together. Small containers are great for hold the categories - one for medicines, one for soaps, one for lotions, etc. This makes it easier to find items and to keep up with your inventory. You can see when you have used up the last of something.
Because the bathroom is usually a small, very busy room, keep the unnecessary clutter to a minimum. Store duplicates of items elsewhere or in the back of a deep shelf and then always shop from that area before buying more of something from the store.
If you are working the zone plan, you will not be back doing an organizational plan in this zone for another year so be ruthless about throwing out old or unused items. You want this area to have some open space and you want to be able to get to items easily without reaching through 6 partial bottles of shampoo.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer