Archive for ‘Organization’

June 24, 2010

Death of a serial procrastinator

Good morning all. I am so excited that I have been wanting to get up the past few mornings and post. I wrote this post for yesterday, because I thought it was important. And then I just needed to talk about yesterday’s subject. So as promised, here is how I got organized……

Saying goodbye to excuses

If there is one thing that I have excelled at in my life it would be procrastinating. If you could get a Nobel Prize for putting things off, I would be the only person to have won it 5 times. The thing is that I don’t just push things that don’t seem like any fun out by 3 months, I do this with the things that I want to do. They are just so much work; and laying here watching reruns of Gilmore Girls is just so much easier. Well, I say NO MORE! ok…. a bit more…. but in moderation.

I started by hitting up the library the other day. There you can find books on anything. I think I even remember seeing one about  making the most out of the space under your bed. ( A whole book? Anyone who has ever been a kid can tell you how to do that.) I started with the ones that had the most fun titles. This was a formula honed by years of reading time management books with very serious titles and even more serious pictures of authors and getting no where. I knew that I needed to try a different approach. One that would trick me into thinking that scheduling is fun.

I love lists. I always have. During the holidays, I have been know to have lists of the lists that I have. (say that 5 times fast) But what I have learned is how to use those lists. Even though I know how good it feels to scratch things off those lists, I just never got around to doing it because the lists seemed so long that I put them in a folder to be visited again someday – when the energizer bunny finally made it to my neck of the woods.

Here is how I was able to see that it was all doable :

  • A 5 tier wall mounted file holder. Find a place on the wall for this. You will need this to be in your face a bit, so find a place that you will see often, but don’t let it interfere with your decor.
  • File folders. These can be manila or designer. But remember that you will be changing what is in them, so if you opt for the designer ones I recommend file labels.
  • Graph paper. I find that this is on par with creating and printing my own organizer pages. The little blocks can be used as check boxes for when you have finished things and you have all the lines you need to keep each projects info on one page.
  • A calendar. This can be any type of calendar and put in any place, as long as you are sure that you are going to see it every day.

Start by making a list of everything that you need to do. This list is for the big projects. Then rate them in order of importance A, B, or C. All C rated projects will go into a file marked C and be put in the 4th slot. Bs do the same but one slot up. With the As, separate them into 3 piles using the ABC system again. The most important things, ie. little Suzie’s costume for this friday’s recital, will be considered Aa. Continue on… Aa, Bb, Cc. Aas will be placed on the top shelf. These are the things that you must get done now, not one week from now or next month. The last two folders will be placed in the second slot. One day per week, you should be able to take 15 minutes in the morning, sip your coffee and re-order tasks. Things will need to move up in importance as time passes. And you will finish tasks as well; making room for new Aas. I recommend one more folder for completed projects. Its just nice to see all that I can accomplish when I just try.

My organizer is down so that we can paint walls. This is a stock photo of what we have from Staples.

Now use the graph paper to create project sheets. You know these…. they look just like the ones given to you in the back of every day planner. But now I am going to show you how to use them.

  • Write the project name at the top of the page. And in the upper right hand corner write the rate for this task(ABC).
  • Below the name write the date that the task needs to be completed in BIG BOLD LETTERS.
  • State the purpose of the project/ your goals.
  • List any information or items that you will need to get started. Place any items that need to be purchased onto your shopping list (you don’t need to purchase these things all at once. But you do need to have them all in one place.)
  • Break the project out into small steps with check boxes next to them. If  you are painting a room, setting up supplies should be one item. When you are done, washing brushes is another. And so on….
  • At the bottom of the page write Done, Complete, a word that says ” You did it!!!”

Start writing individual tasks into your calendar. If the tasks are small as in the painting project, just write down “paint living room”. However some projects will have larger portions and need more than one day to complete. When you start a project, take out the individual project sheet and place it next to your work space. This way you will be able to check things off as you go. You will gain momentum the more things that you are able to see done on your sheet.

Now this method works for me. I need to be able to see all the things that I have to do, but not in an overwhelming way. But you may need something different. Try it. Change it. Love it.

Let me know ways that work for you…. I am always looking for new methods of organization.