Staying Organized

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Now there may be those of you out there that are questioning the wisdom of posting about staying organized on a day where this post is going live a solid five hours later than (and this is an average) usual.

This is actually the perfect time to post something like this, because what I’m going to talk about turned out to be pretty damned useful today.

First, let me back up and set the stage by saying that I slept for 11 hours last night. It wasn’t something that I planned to do. I knew I was pretty beat when I got to bed around Midnight.* In the absence of any alarms my body took the time that it needed.

So I woke up two hours behind my usual Sunday schedule.

At first there was…not quite panic. There was quite a bit of concern about the stuff that I had to get done today, about the stuff that I wanted to get done today, and that it had been a pretty damned busy week and I wanted some down time. There was concern about that too.

Here’s what I did:

First, I accepted that the sleep I got was what I needed. Sleep is a priority. I know that it’s sometimes hard to keep that in mind, and it’s easy to skimp on, but you’re not doing yourself any favors if you get less sleep than what you need. You *Will* end up paying for it somewhere down the line, so it’s better to keep up with it.

Next, after breakfast, I hit the “To Do” list.

I mentioned before that I love to do lists. I write them down longhand, and I do my best to make sure that I check them frequently.

When I’m composing my To do list, I like to organize the entries by the Due date. Those things that are coming up are at the top of the list. Sometimes, I’ll have recurring things that shift places on the list. The entry for Five-Thing Thursday – since it hasn’t become a habit yet, will often shift places on the To do list as the week progresses.

One other thing that I do to keep organized is I put important stuff in the calendar. I’ve got an Android phone which syncs up with Google Calendar.**

If something is important enough to go into the calendar, it also warrants reminders. I add lots of reminders, depending on how important the item is. For travel, I will add reminders as far as a week out, then two days, then one day, then twelve hours.

Your mileage is going to vary from mine. If you add too many reminders, they will all become white noise and you run the risk of ignoring them. You’ll have to figure out what works for you.

When you’re creating your To Do list, especially if you haven’t done one for a while, or if your To Do list is especially long, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of things on the list.

At times like this, you’ve got to try and remember to focus on the trees, and not the whole forest. Yes, being aware of the forest is a good thing, but the trees are more immediate. Remember: Nobody ever knocked themselves out running into a forest. It’s the trees in your way that you’ve got to keep aware of.

Lastly, try not – and this is something that I have difficulty doing myself – to put parameters on things that you could do “On the go.”

Sometimes, I have a tendency to think, “I can only write on the laptop upstairs in my writing room.”

This is, of course, a load of crap, but it’s a comforting load of crap. It means that I can maybe let a day slip past, because I just didn’t have enough time in the day to get upstairs to write, while I’ve got a perfectly good pad and pen sitting nearby.

That’s the kind of parameters I’m talking about. If you’ve got a few minutes to jot down some notes about the project that you’re working on, get that done.  It’s all progress.

So that’s what I do to keep myself organized. Maybe some of it, or all of it, will work for you – Maybe none of it will. The point is to find what works for you – and believe me, this didn’t happen overnight, there were several things that I’d tried prior to this moment that flat out didn’t work. Discover what works for you and run with it.


Be sure to stop by the freebies page for story Excerpts.

Time: 7:11 Pm (ish)

Music: Blind Guardian – The Ninth Wave




*Yes, I am a total night person…

**I’m sure that the Mac platform has something similar. I’m simply not familiar enough with the platform to be able to suggest options.