by Dawn Woleslagle of Wplus9 Design Studio
Organized. Not the first adjective that leaps to mind when I think of myself. In fact, when Hannah asked me to participate in Project Organize, I laughed out loud. Literally. After my husband laughed at me as well, my defenses kicked in. Hey, I'm a mother of two rambunctious school age boys, work full time outside of my home, host cub scout meetings and outings 9 months out of the year, and run a small stamp company, Wplus9 Design Studio, from our home. I can't possibly be that disorganized, can I? So how do I juggle it all? Mental Organization. The key is to keep it all compartmentalized.
1. Make a schedule
I'm sure I'm not alone in the "wears many hats" department. I have found that blocking out my time helps me to keep on track. For example; from x-x go to work, from x-x family time, from x-x personal time, etc. Get as much as you can done in the time allotted, but remember rule #2.
2. Be Flexible
Accept that you can't do everything, all the time. Every week brings with it a new list of "to dos". Go through this list and identify the "have to dos" and designate the days and times to do those first. Be sure to include a "want to do" for yourself at least once a week.
3. Write It Down
Whether you use a handwritten calendar or a PDA device, or a smart phone, having a visual or audible reminder is priceless. I could not live without my iPhone. I have my work Outlook Calendar as well as my personal calendar synced so that I don't have to worry about double booking or missing a meeting.
4. Stay Connected
Use modern technology. I'm serious. In addition to my calendars, I have all of my email accounts synced with my iPhone as well. As long as I have my phone, I can answer all emails, re-schedule appointments if I'm running late. pay bills, update my e-commerce store. I'm never down or out of touch.
5. Create Space
Designate a space for yourself. It doesn't have to be a whole room, a desk will work just fine. Have a least one piece of functional furniture in this room to store or file the materials you use most frequently. We only have a three bedroom home. So I've had to improvise a bit. We have a desk with file drawers in the bedroom for all of personal and home filing, and I use the top shelves of my sons closet to store my inventory for now. My "studio" where I craft, fill orders, and design for my stamp company, doubles as our formal dining room.
Sometimes, a little mental organization can be just as powerful as physical organization...just remember to be flexible.