How many nights a week do you crawl into bed exhausted from spinning your tires and feeling like you could have accomplished so much more if you could be more organized, if only you had more time? Of course, everyone has the same number of hours in a day. You might be surprised to realize that the day gets away from you one minute at a time.
Maybe you are like many who are resolved to get more done with less stress in 2020. However, the key to reclaiming those lost minutes in your day is simple organization. If you are looking forward to the new year because you think turning the calendar page will hit some magic reset button, think again. You will have to make some changes. Fortunately, even small changes can make a huge difference.
Whether you are a young parent with kids, a single person or someone who is already approaching the silver years, you can use more time and less anxiety. The first step is setting up a system.
Having a good day is not an accident
You can invest in one or more of the many electronic devices, apps and gadgets to help you be more organized, but I like the plain and simple planner. I buy a big one every year, 8 x 11 inches with large calendar squares and plenty of room for lists. I use several colors of highlighters to block out spaces for my husband’s work schedules and other important things I need to see at a glance.
Most importantly, I use it. Every day. All day. It is right beside me at my desk, in my purse when I leave the house, and next to my bed at night.
The last thing I do before bed is to put the final touches on my to-do list in my planner for the next day. This is a list I have been drafting all day long as things occur to me or needs arise. I set my alarm for early, the earlier the better, and the sight of that planner reminds me that to hit the snooze means losing valuable minutes to accomplish important things.
One small step
It’s really the little things that make a difference. The small steps I take to be more organized mostly take place in the evening after dinner. Here are a few actions that give me a feeling of success the next day:
- Making sure the kitchen counters are cleared and the sink is empty gives me a feeling of having a fresh slate to work with.
- Having my workout clothes out and ready in the bathroom the night before makes it less likely I will talk myself out of daily exercise.
- Deciding what tomorrow’s supper will be saves me frustration at my least favorite time of day or wasting money by eating out.
- Placing on the dining room table everything I need to take with me in the morning, or making a list of things I can’t forget, saves me the frustration of forgetting something important.
- Clearing off my desk the night before and placing the most important papers next to my computer eliminates the time I would spend shuffling through files or double-checking deadlines.
- Praying consecrates every plan and decision. In fact, it is the most important thing anyone could do to reduce stress and remain focused.
St. Francis de Sales is said to have written, “Every one needs half an hour of prayer every day. Except when we are busy. Then we need an hour.” Whatever time you give to God first thing, you can be sure He will multiply it for you. You may even consider offering to God your New Year resolution to be more organized and asking Him to guide you in the way you make use of His precious gift of time.