Benjamin Franklin once said, “if you want something done, ask a busy person.” There’s truth to that statement. Often, the busier we are, the better we manage our time. Generally, busy people get more done in a day because they have a set, often jam-packed schedule, which doesn’t permit them the luxury of wasting time, and they fit tasks in between scheduled appointments.
When something like COVID-19 happens, and our typical daily routine goes out the window, it can be harder to be productive because our day is suddenly less structured. Some friends recently commented that they were starting their day later than usual, which was preventing them from their usual early morning exercise routine
Our physical environment may also spiral out of control. My neighbor commented how challenging working from home is because other family members are leaving their toys and books all over, dishes are being left in the sink, and food is spread on the counter. All that clutter is having an impact on her ability to focus on her work. According to Dr. Saxbe, Director of the Center for the Changing Family at the University of Southern California, “clutter is especially bad for the psyche when our typical world is disrupted. What we want from our physical surroundings at a time like this is to have everything go back into its assigned place.” She noted that this can be challenging when adults are working from home and their children are learning from home because schools are closed. Dr. Saxbe asserts, “our personal stuff is getting mixed in with our office space, and the boundaries become blurred. It can exacerbate stress with people sharing small quarters together.”
Here are some tips to help manage your schedule and your environment.
Maintain a Calendar
Continue to keep a planner or calendar. Block out chunks of time for work. Also be sure to schedule time to eat, exercise, and speak with friends and relatives.
Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
Outline your goals and priorities for the day. Ideally, write them down and keep them on your work surface so you can refer to them.
Pick a small area to organize each day
This will help you feel like you’re in control of your environment. One project might be the kitchen junk drawer, another might be the stack of papers on the corner of your desk. If it’s a bigger project/area, break it into bite-size chunks or mini-projects i.e., the left corner of the basement, not the entire basement.
Stay Flexible Not everything will go as planned.
How We Can Help
In Order is available for Virtual Organizing sessions. We will coach you through your organizing or time management challenges.
How Does It Work?
1. Call to set up an appointment
2. Email photos of the areas you want to work on in advance of appointment
3. We will “meet” by either FaceTime or Zoom for one hour and coach you through the organizing session. We may actually work on a space, or just provide you with suggestions, tips, and processes to implement subsequent to the call.
4. Following the appointment, you will receive an email summary of the session
5. Once you have applied the tips, ideas, and concepts we discussed, feel free to email “after” photos to get feedback.
Looking forward to seeing you in person soon, but in the meantime, I’m here for you virtually, for a phone call, for a Zoom Happy Hour, or however I can help. Stay healthy!