When is the optimal time to organize the kitchen cupboards, the junk drawer, the trunk of your car, or your garage? It’s not as if you have an abundance of spare time with nothing else to do, right? In order to organize your space and the things in it you will find that you want to create the time to do it. Begin by organizing your schedule so that you can plan ahead and block out longer periods of time for the bigger projects. For smaller tasks, you can organize your schedule and commit 10-15 minutes on a specific day to complete a portion of a larger task, or a short term organizing goal. For instance, you might decide that every Saturday after breakfast you are going to sit down and organize your bills, pay those that are due in 7-10 days, and file the statements. Just 10-15 minutes and you are done, feeling a sense of accomplishment, and if you’re like me…relief!
We always make time for what is important, right? You can make time for what you want and need to do. The way to organize your time is best accomplished by actually scheduling those activities and tasks. For instance, don’t have time to get to your emails? Schedule 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening, then keep that time sacred and don’t multi task. That means that you have time to delete unimportant messages, respond to items in a timely way, and create electronic files for items that you want to keep and don’t need to print out. Make time to save time.
Time savers are intended to save you time to do the things that you enjoy, not necessarily just to get more done! What are your most successful time savers? Do you put things in the same place all of the time so that you don’t waste time looking for them? Do you store your items near the places that you use them? Do you look at your schedule on a daily basis and reprioritize? Not everything has the same time urgency. Do you feel comfortable delegating at work and at home? Saving time is an important organizational skill and like saving money, it’s a great investment in yourself.
The workplace whether it is a home office, a corporation, or a classroom is often inundated with email. We save messages, procrastinate about reading them, acting on them, and worse we print them out and leave them in piles on our desks. One way to start to organize and declutter is to establish a designated time at least once a day to read email. That means managing your time and committing to an organized schedule. Make time to save time! The next decision to make is if it is information that needs to be kept (in an electronic file), acted on, or discarded. I have more ideas that will help you organize your office! Do you get emails that can be read and don’t require a response? Do you feel like you have to respond even if it is just to say “thank you”? These days how do we define ‘courtesy’ when it comes to sending and receiving emails? And what about those list serves and group emails? We know that time is money and that both are hard to find. When you respond to an email to only say thank you it takes the recipient(s) time to open the email and read or even just visually scan the content, and then delete it (I love the ones that come back saying “you’re welcome”). When the email is sent out to a group of individuals you can multiply those seconds by the number of recipients and get an accurate assessment of the impact of unproductive time. Most messages are sent to inform and to inquire about something with no expectation of response for the latter, in other words, to share information. Most of us have been raised to be polite, and that is a wonderful skill that we don’t want… read more →