Time Management When Children Are Home

Did I have a big reminder of how little you get done with a 2 year old at your feet!

My granddaughter Ava and I were spending some special time together. By 11 o’clock that morning, I finally
had the kitchen cleaned up from breakfast.

I had a big laugh when I thought about what I teach on procrastination. You may have heard me use the illustration about emptying a dishwasher: Emptying the dishwasher is a 3 -5 minute project, so it is just as easy to “Do It Now!” and get the job done. But you can count on that being an hour project or more when you have a little one helping, interrupting, and causing you to stop and play.

About the time the kitchen was cleaned up, it was time to start lunch. Nap time (hers) was when I finally put on my make-up and real clothes. After all, I needed to look presentable. We were going to the hospital for Ava
to see her new, adopted baby sister.

Having raised 7 children, I had to stop and think how much it helped when the older ones had
assigned chores like emptying the dishwasher. I remembered when my 3 boys were small, we would laugh and say that we didn’t worry about the house getting broken into. If the would-be burglar didn’t break his neck on all the toys on the sidewalk, he would end up falling over all the ride toys in the living room. Someone once asked me what my decorating style was and I said “toys, toys and more toys.” Actually it has never changed – now there are cat toys scattered on the floor.

I may be an organizer but children come first. Organization should support you and not control you. Little ones grow up so quickly. I find it hard to believe my youngest is 35. Given the choice between organizing and spending time with your children, my recommendation is to spend time with your family!

Organizing Tip 1. Put family first in your life – you can empty the dishwasher later.
Organizing Tip 2. There is a funny side to almost everything – lighten up!
Organizing Tip 3. No one expects you to be SuperMom. It is better to be super-loved.

My Weeds May Equal Your Clutter

Clutter and weeds have a lot in common.  Consider:

1.  Think before you pay for something – where will it go and do I have room for it?  If I am not careful, I bring home pretty plants that sometimes die because I do not know where to put them.

2.  Plants are a lot like collections – a few are nice but too many become clutter.

3.  It is a lot easier to pull small weeds, just as it is a lot easier to tackle small areas of clutter.

4.  Even when you have room for things, it may be more than you want to take care of.  I live on a farm,so my yard can grow in any direction, but at this point, I have too many flowerbeds!

5.  Humor makes life easier.  One of my flowerbeds has a sign that says: Weeds For Sale, Pick Your Own!

Is weeding out your clutter on your To-Do List?  That’s my specialty.  Call me – I can help.

Conquer That Overwhelmed Feeling

Does your To-Do List make you feel overwhelmed?

If so, make a list of what you need to do.  Then for each item, ask yourself: “What is the Next Step?”

We can usually conquer the “Next Step” without being overwhelmed.  It is when we think of all the steps to be done on a project that we get paralyzed and then do nothing.

Doing the Next Step will get you started.  A very appropriate quote puts it nicely: “A job begun is a job half done.”

What is the Next Step?

Often when we think of a project, we think of all the steps, get overwhelmed and then do nothing.

When I ask my coaching clients: “What is the next step?”, that frees them up to move forward.  The next step is usually do-able.  It is when we think of the next 20 steps involved that we get stuck.

That is how I am tacking my yard this spring – one step at a time.

It Is Closet Organizing Time

I am going to take my own advice and do one section at a time.  In fact, I recently did my shoes, and next I will be getting out my lightweight jackets.  I am also working hard to eliminate the excess.

When I am not sure whether to keep something or not, I ask myself the Golden Question: “If I saw it in a store today, would I buy it?”  When I work with clients organizing their closets, 90% of the time I get an instant “NO”.

Remember to WOW yourself after you complete each section of your closet!

Conquering Your Mail

Clutter Collecting Thinking Trap: I’ll just quickly glance at my mail and deal with it later.

Organizing One-Liner:  Don’t touch your mail until you can process it!

Processing your mail means making decisions:

1.  Am I really going to order out of this catalog?

2.  I will put this bill with the other bills to be paid.

3.  These items are critical so they need to be filed.

4.  Magazines go where I read them.

5.  These items were not requested so out they go!

Tip: Process your mail standing and you will be more efficient!

Reduce End of Year Stress

Feel like you are on overload?

Give yourself permission to cross some items off your list, or at least say, “Not this year”.  One of my clients used an expression that I love.  When she was working on one area and became concerned about another, she just said to that area, “It’s not your turn!”

Writer and linguist Lin Yutang says, “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the nobler art of leaving things undone.”

A pile of junk mail

Tips for Managing Mail

Clutter Collecting Thinking Trap: I’ll just quickly glance at my mail and deal with it later.

 

Organizing One-Liner:  Don’t touch your mail until you can process it!

Processing your mail means making decisions:

1.  Am I really going to order out of this catalog?
2.  I will put this bill with the other bills to be paid.
3.  These items are critical so they need to be filed.
4.  Magazines go where I read them.
5.  These items were not requested so out they go!

Tip: Process your mail standing and you will be more efficient!