Saturday, August 10, 2013
An Organized Life
As I grew older, my tendency to be organized helped me feel in control of my life. I find comfort in having a "plan" for everything. I can't work in my sewing room unless it is clean and organized. Some of my sewing sessions actually begin with a cleaning session. It inspires me when everything is neatly in its place. The above photos are showing bookshelves and cubbies in my sewing room where I keep my kits. They are in clear containers so that I can see what I have to work on, and I know right where they are, rather than digging around in bags and Rubbermaid containers to find my projects.
I have a separate scrapbooking room where everything is organized in a similar fashion. There is nothing I love more than buying organizers and clear containers to use for my colorful papers (or fabrics). Color inspires me to be creative, whether it is in my scrapbooks or in my quilts. I want to see it, BUT, I don't want it to be a mess!~
My tendency to organize has brought me through my wedding (which I planned pretty much by myself at age 19), college, 16 years of teaching, raising two kids, helping friends plan weddings, planning my daughter's wedding, planning lots of vacations with relatively little stress, and, now, keeping tracks of the roughly 30 quilts that I always have waiting to be quilted for my customers. I have never "pulled an all-nighter" in order to finish a deadline. In fact, I don't recall ever missing a deadline. Being organized is second nature to me, and I love to help others get more organized in their lives, too. Here are some tips:
1. When you have something coming up that you must get done, start RIGHT AWAY! Do not wait until the last minute and then freak out because you have too much to get done. Even if your deadline is several months away, just get cracking! Who cares if you finish several weeks in advance--much less stress happens when you don't put something off!
2. SAY NO! If you know in your heart that you cannot do something and do it well without really stressing out about it...be honest up front with the person who is asking you to do it. Say something like, " I would love to help you out, but I just have too much on my plate right now to do ....well. Thank you for thinking of me, and maybe try me again later." That's all it takes. No means NO! Do not make excuses, or hem and haw around. Be firm and matter of fact. People tend not to argue with someone who is projecting confidence.
3. Do a little bit every day. Many people waste so much time every day just standing around waiting for their next action. Use that time! For example, let's say you are waiting for 15 minutes to take your kids to soccer practice. Don't just sit around...pick up the living room, unload the dishwasher, look through the stack of mail on the table. You will be amazed at what you can get done in little 10 or 15 minute snatches of time.
4. Take 3 or 4 minutes each morning to make a "to do" list for the day. Then, glance through and prioritize from 1 to whatever in order of importance. Get to work on number one right away. Finish it, and go on to number 2. If you don't make it through your list, revisit the list the next day and either eliminate or add the items to that day's list. Multitasking is NOT efficient. There are all kinds of studies out there that suggest that multitasking divides your thoughts to the point that you do not do anything efficiently. Pick one thing..and work on it until you are finished!
If you find that you are constantly stressed out about your life, I would suggest that you need a little more organization. Please don't use the "I'm too busy to take time to get organized" excuse. I would argue that you may be too busy NOT to get organized. Invest the time, and you will never regret it!