|10 ways to organise yourself more efficiently|
I don't know about you but being a working mum does funny things to your brain. Work head and mummy head sometimes clash. To do lists as long as your arm and so many things to remember that your mind sometimes says "Nope, information over load" and your once organised mind crashes and starts throwing stuff out, so you end up forgetting a lot!
Many mummys with full time jobs are only left with less than 40 hours per week to get all of the below accomplished;
Hmmmmm. No wonder so many women I know are so tired!
I only have one child, so for mummys with more than one all I can say is "I hear you sista" :) and "deep breaths, you are doing better than you think!"
Let's face it, if working mums do not have their ducks in a row things can get a little messy. It is my mission this year to pass onto you anything child or businesss related that has made my life a little easier or I have heard other mummies sing and dance about.
To get started, let's talk about some of those ducks. My guest blogger today is virtual PA, Elizabeth Thomas, professional organiser and Founder of Magic Wand PA Services in Guildford, Surrey. She works on an ad hoc basis with her clients, helping them to get organised quickly, freeing them to focus on the important things in their lives, whether it be their career, study or loved ones. The beauty of this service is that clients are able to call on Elizabeth for her support as and when it is needed, but they do not have to use her as a full time PA. Thank goodness for virtual PA's is all I can say! Over to you Elizabeth..........
Increasingly we live in a society where our bureaucratic systems and responsibilities demand more of our time. We climb into bed wondering where the day, the week, even the year has gone and yet we often still feel overwhelmed by all the ‘things’ that we have yet to sort out. Studies show that the three things we need to be happy in life are
2) loving relationships and
Sadly, it is often these areas of our lives that are the first to suffer when we are busy and then, with our energy tanks on empty, we have little, or nothing, to give to the nurturing of our relationships, our ideas or our dreams.
Here are ten simple ways to be more organised so that you will have more time to do what matters most.
1. Make a list of all the things that you do in an average week and the responsibilities that are yours to manage. Include everything! From the kitchen to the boardroom, if you do it, it goes on the list. No matter how mundane. Then with a pack of highlighters go though the list (with your chosen colours of course) and highlight in these categories: Work/Projects, Home/up keep (this includes feeding the dog or cat, paying the bills, cleaning the oven and so on). Children (they have a category all of their own)! Family/friends, Exercise and health/fun. Colour coding your list in this way will enable you to easily see where the majority of your time is being spent and whether so much of it needs to be focused in one area. If the answer is yes, then perhaps you need to delegate your other responsibilities. Do you need the family to help more around the house? Resentment can build in relationships when we are reluctant to ask for help. We may expect a negative response, but it is vital to our stress levels to voice our concerns regardless of the outcome. Do you need some outside help to relieve you of some of your duties? There is always a solution to time management. We just have to be honest with ourselves and willing to let go of something if needs be. That’s not always easy, but sometimes it is necessary!
2. Don’t let things build up. Have systems! Routine and repetition are priceless tools in developing an organised environment…..and mind!
3. Open your mail. Don’t ignore it. You must make a separate pile for the bills and mark them as important. (I use colourful clips with ‘urgent’ ‘to do’ and ‘copy’ on them. It helps and it makes it more fun!) Being badly organised with your finances will cause you enormous stress and you will also be less efficient with your money. The more you spend, the more you will want to make. And the more you work, the less time you have for everything else..……and the cycle continues.
4. Diarise everything. It sounds so simple but you will be amazed how much stress we carry (usually in our shoulders) trying to remember everything. Even if we aren’t consciously thinking about it, we are aware of it!
5. Organize your paper piles. Use the colourful clips people. Use them!
6. Never underestimate the power of a ‘To Do’ list. I have separate lists for all my clients. Without them, my working life would be in chaos. What I do is allot time to each client and during that time slot I go through those lists until all my tasks are complete. I do not deviate onto something else. I make sure that I cross off every action point as I go, so that I know what has been completed and what hasn’t. If I am unable to complete something I move it across to the next day’s list and I mark it with an asterisk so that I know it needs prioritising. It’s simple but it works!
7.Keep everything in one place. Chose whether it is the phone or a Filofax or an organiser but don’t use them all. You will double book yourself or forget to check something.
8.Learn to say ‘no’. If you find yourself unable to refuse a cry for help or an invite to an event that will inevitably be a huge waste of time or drain on your resources, then put an elastic band around our wrist and every time you feel inclined to say yes, twang that band so that it hurts! You will soon learn to use the ‘no’ word. It sounds selfish but have you ever heard the expression ‘put your own oxygen mask on first?’ Of course there are times when we have to consider other’s needs before our own, that goes without saying, but if you are already overwhelmed you are probably not going to be much help to someone else who is too. You also do not need to attend every event for work in order to make your business viable. The relationship building is what is essential to lasting and successful links, so concentrate on taking time to connect with people, rather than just ‘show up’ to everything.
9. Take time to relax and have fun. It makes little sense to most of us to take time out for yoga, meditation, drinks with friends or a movie when we are so very busy. But paradoxically this is actually the best thing you could do. At times we can get so weighed down with the stresses of life that we forget to play, but when we do, our whole perspective changes. We are re-energised and somehow we just find the extra time, probably because we are more rested and ultimately more productive.
10. Learn to let go of control. A rigid attitude and approach to ‘being organised’ can send even the most laidback of people over the edge! It is so important to learn and accept, (and I’m not saying that this easy), that life will quite often go its own way instead of the direction that you were hoping for. Back to back diary planning will inevitably make you crazy. Allow ample time for traffic, difficult kids, talkative clients and all the other anomalies that life will throw your way on any given day. It will all work out. It always does.
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