How to Organize your Plan to Organize
Huh? You’re reading this thinking I’ve made a typo. I mean, who organizes to organize? Well, me as it turns out. You see I’ve always been the type of person who feels they need to make a list of the 30 projects they MUST complete within the next few months, no matter how small. I do this to stay focused and plus I truly love the feeling of grabbing a pen and crossing an item off my list as if it confirms I haven’t wasted my time just sitting around watching Criminal Minds reruns and flipping through flyers…my two favorite ways to procrastinate!
Well, I’ve recently had a change of heart and suddenly this list that I love so much has become my arch nemesis. This change of heart stems from a recent freak accident where I managed to slice my pinky finger, requiring seven stitches and a bottle full of pain killers. I won’t go into the gory details but long story short, it involved a runaway dog and poop bags attached to a carabiner attached to a leash….not your typical accident.
I should preface this by saying I always have the strangest accidents happen to me. I’ve determined that this means I will probably live to a 105 while simply maiming myself along the way! Not a bad deal I think.
Within a span of one week, my wonderful list grew longer and longer as I was unable to do the simplest tasks like put away food in the pantry or even type emails as they would take me forever one-handed. Plus, with the pain meds, I was frightened as to what I would write to people. It’s like some really good advice someone recently told me, “don’t drink a bottle of wine and then log on to Facebook. Only bad things can come from this!”
With tonnes of time to watch the list grow and grow, I realized that one of the biggest stresses was actually stressing over this list which was supposed to help me organize and ultimately help de-stress my life. So I decided to stake stock (since I had lots of time to do nothing but think!) and figure out ways of eliminating this giant list without actually losing focus of all the tasks I needed to do.
This reminded me of a time management course I took a few years ago through work which was supposed to help me manage my work tasks better and determine the things you NEED to do versus the things you WANT to do. I went onto Mr. Google to see if I could find this information again in detail.
When I typed in “Time Management and Organization,” this daunting passage was the first thing that popped up: “The specific actions that you choose to take each hour, each day, each week, throughout each year, define your life.” Oh great! Then my last week defined me as a chip eating, serial killer crime fighter watching couch potato who couldn’t even wash her own hair!
Quickly turning off the computer, I returned to my giant “To Do” list and realized that my biggest problem is assuming that EVERYTHING that is on my list is actually something I “NEED” to do when really 75% of the tasks are things that I want to do but won’t affect my daily life if they stay incomplete.
So I refocused and sat down to create two new lists: one of them is where I put the tasks I NEED to do. This includes things like grocery shopping, cleaning the house and organizing my son’s toys because if I didn’t complete these tasks soon we would starve, live in a pig sty and soon be buried in toy trucks and stuffed animals although I guess we could always auditions for Hoarders. The second list is the tasks I WANT to do such as finish the oak table downstairs and reorganize my couponing binder…things that are important to me but won’t really effect me if they don’t get done right now.
Although this reorganization of lists didn’t help me complete any tasks, it did help me reevaluate what was really crucial and took some stress off of losing a week in life. Not to mention, it cut my list down drastically. I know I’ll never completely give up creating lists but at least I can create ones that look manageable and won’t cause me to have anxiety attacks when I look at them. So next time you feel overwhelmed with your own “To Do” lists, take a moment to re-evaluate the NEEDS versus WANTS and I promise you that list will look a lot less daunting and eventually you’ll become friends with it again. And watch out for those carabiners…
Coupon Tip of the Week: This is something I was taught about couponing a long time ago but I thought I would mention it again as it’s great advice. Don’t buy something just because it’s a great deal. What I mean is, don’t buy $20 worth air freshener just because you can only pay $5 if you don’t actually use this product. I know how addicting it can be to score great deals but it’s not a deal if it’s a product you’ll never use. Even if it’s only $5, you still are paying money out of your own pocket on something you won’t use. Instead, focus your attention on looking for great deals on items you actually use and trust me, your money will go a lot further and you’ll end up with a stockpile full of useful items.