Wednesday, February 9, 2011

how i stay organized

I often get asked how I "do it all." First of all, I don't. But I do a lot and I am well aware of that. I am naturally a fairly organized person. Organized, not clean. Clean is coming with age. But over time, I have found that the best way for me to remember to "do it all" is to write it down. Some people find that the calendar in their phone is sufficient or the post-it notes on their Macbook are great. For me, it has to be on paper. I wish it didn't have to be this way because I'm sure I use more paper than I should because of it, but I find such great pleasure in crossing items off a list. In fact, I've been known to make a list and include things that I've already done just so that I can cross them off.

My method may not work for everyone, but maybe I can help some very unorganized soul find some inspiration to get more organized and thus, get more done.

Here is my set-up. I have these three items by the computer or on the counter near the kitchen usually.
The first item I have is a calendar. I have found that I like the monthly layout. I don't need a lot of room to write day-to-day things in my calendar, but it's nice to have the big picture. If I lay it out flat, I can see the whole month easily. Appointments, Evan's activities and Eric's work schedule are always there, as well as special occasions and I occasionally use it to plan out a week if I have a lot of things going on that particular week. I did that last week when I was stocking the freezer.
Next, I have a sketchpad. I am no artist, but I bought one last year because I thought I might start sketching. I was wrong about that, but what I did find was that I really like the thick paper and I really like blank pages. It gives me the freedom to be haphazard. This sketchpad covers probably about the past 8 months. I use it mainly to write "big" lists- assignments or projects to complete, crafts I want to do, shopping lists, recipes to try, etc. I also write recipes in here so that I can remember them for later and transfer them to my recipe binder or write them down for you! You can get sketchpads like this at the craft store for 5-7 dollars.
Lastly, I have a little notebook. My mother-in-law gave this particular one to me. I use this notebook very specifically for day-to-day tasks. Either the night before or in the morning, I almost always write myself a list. It includes the chores I want to do that day, along with places I have to go, errands to run and any other things I'm doing that day. I even put things as obvious as "dishes" on there, every single day. Even though they have to get done and I'd do it anyway, the satisfaction of crossing it off makes me want to cross everything off as well.

So no, I don't "do it all." But I want to and I set myself up for success in order to do so.

No comments: