I really like being organised – it keeps me on track and makes me feel in control. To me, being organised means being efficient, delivering what people need and being happily content – not being stressed out about stupid stuff like dusting.
Here’s some things I do to be organised*and I’d love to hear your ideas too:
I read lots of blogs and really rate the aggregator Bloglovin – it’s much more visual than Google Reader and allows you to mark favourite posts so you can go back and find that great DIY idea or recipe you saw. I use it daily.
Have an op-shop box
We always have an op-shop box on the go. Just keep it in a cupboard and when you come across things you don’t want put them in there. Take the box to the local op-shop once it’s full and put an empty box in it’s place straight away. Mostly what’s in ours is clothes that we no longer wear and books that were alright but that we don’t want to keep.
I really like to make lists (as you know). I make The Friday List each week but also have a notebook for ideas (that I often reference when I want to make something new) and lists of things to do at work, books to read, detailed lists of things to take to craft fairs etc. Mainly writing a list is about getting it out of my head.
Renew, refresh, delete
Mind clutter is sometimes just as over-bearing as stuff you can see. If I have people in my Twitter stream that aren’t contributing to a positive (or funny) environment then I delete them – you can always follow them again later.
Sometimes if friends are heavily using social media then I find it easier to follow them on Twitter or Facebook because having them in both streams is overbearing.
On Facebook I have a small group of people whose status updates I don’t receive (I’ve hidden them). Every so often I unhide them all and then re-hide them again if I don’t want to read what they’re saying.
Recently I’ve had cause to email a bunch of people to ask them to do things (that will make them money) and it drives me nuts when they don’t write back and then I have to follow up. If you get an email and are too busy to answer it either a) don’t read it in the first place or b) write back a quick note to say “thanks for your email I’m super busy at the moment but will email you back before the end of the week/month/year.” Setting expectations and communicating means everyone can continue to go about their lives and there’s an understanding about what’s going to happen, when. (This one is slightly ranty sorry).
There’s an art to saying no and it takes a lot of practice. However, if someone asks me to do something and I’m just not interested or am over-committed then I say no. They don’t usually like it but I’d rather put my effort into things I enjoy and will do well than get stressed out and then do a poor job or let people down.
Change of mindset
I recently saw this quote on Swiss Miss that I thought was fantastic to recall every so often:
“Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.”
*Disclaimer – I ALWAYS have overdue library books because I’ve never worked out the system to getting them back on time.