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Get Yourself Organized - For Life, Family and Friends

I have three children and seven grandchildren. I worked full time while raising my family. I have been there.


Stress And Our Lives

You are flat out every day whether it is at work, home or in-between. You have no time to just breathe. And, by having no relaxing time for you, you get snappy to everyone else who is just trying to help. And you begin to miss things that should have been done. Even your kids and spouse are not immune to the stress levels you are under. And we all have stress at one time or another, but if we don't work through it and work out ways to avoid it, we are quickly heading towards a break-down, or worse.

I can hear it now, you can handle it, right? No one is even going to know you are stressed because you are so good at handling it, right? Wrong. Stress affects everyone in some way and when we just bottle it up and keep on keeping on, we cause eventual shutdown of our brains, in a manner of speaking.. Nervous break-downs, suicide, and even violence towards others. So, let's move on and see how to stop that cycle in its tracks.

How To Reduce Stress By Organizing

By organizing everything, you can get things done faster. That means you will have more time for you and those around you. You could learn to dance, draw or take cooking lessons to make fun dishes. You can go on a picnic with friends. You could take your kids to the local carnival. You could forget, for just one tiny moment in time, what stressed you in the first place. So here is what you should do:

  1. Make a List
  2. Get or Make a Planner
  3. Move Things Around
  4. Ask For Help With the Big Stuff
  5. Ask When You Have a Question
"How will I ever get all of this done?"

"How will I ever get all of this done?"

Make A List

When your life is in an uproar and things just keep moving too fast for you, it might feel as if the world is out to get you. Luckily, it is not, but you do have to do a few things to keep up with it. The first thing should be to make a list. Everything you have to do in the next month, year or day. From the smallest task (load the dishwasher) to the largest (turn in report for work), write it down. Then sort the list by priority and necessity. Add more as you go and rewrite when it is too messy to easily read. Now you have a list that guides you through your day. Cross things off as they are completed.

Will making a list take time out of your busy schedule? Yes, it will. However, a list makes it so much easier to remember what must be done. Lists can be helpful in everything you do. For instance; you have to edit a report with certain criteria in mind. Make a list of those criteria and keep it in front of you while you edit so you don't forget. Lists can and will be your life-saver in the ocean of life. Just one thing though, you will need a lot of paper.


Get or Make a Planner

Of course lists are all well and good, but they don't travel too well. If you get a planner, you can mark appointments, special occasions and due dates (like a report for work). The book type is best because it travels well. And you can put things into it for later. Most of the planners have places where you can list things that need to get done, and many have pads of paper in the back. Now you can write down your to-do's and have them right to hand. Be sure to check the planner often (generally once you complete a task) to remind you of your to-do's.

Also, keep up with the planner by marking new appointments and occasions as soon as possible. Some planners have places where you can mark Birthdays, Anniversaries or anything else you need to remember. I have a friend who marked Birthdays with the person's favorite color and what they like to do. She even kept up with sizes when she knew them. Her gifts were always great. Planners keep everyone more organized. Mark the games your children have so you don't forget them. Mark when you are supposed to bring the snacks. Mark everything. You will be surprised, once you are used to using it, how much easier your day will go with a planner. And you won't forget things.

The book type is best but which book type is up to you.

The book type is best but which book type is up to you.

Move Things Around

It takes only a few minutes to organize where you work to make for a better environment in which to work. Put things you use often nearby or on a close wall. Pockets or trays work well to keep papers and lists organized. Things that look good are great, but what you need should take precedence when organizing.

So, move your desk so you can sit as soon as you walk in your office. Get rid of the extra table or chair if they are not used. If the computer is the first thing you go to use, make sure it is easily reached. Forms, pads, papers and such should be stacked where they can be reached without rising from the desk. Keep a set of folders on or in your desk to put things in to keep them out of the way but close at hand.

For example:

  • Something that needs you to do it tomorrow would go into a file folder marked "tomorrow".
  • That folder becomes what you have to do today, so that is the first thing you do--empty "tomorrow's" folder and attend to each of the items there.
  • Another folder can be "end of week"; "Accounting Department" or anything you want.

This can be done for home as well as office and takes only a few minutes to do. Then you know exactly where everything is and what needs to be done. You can then put that pretty vase or plant somewhere in the room so that it looks good but doesn't interfere with your work.

A place for everything.

A place for everything.

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Ask For Help With the Big Stuff

First, you shouldn't move furniture around alone, get help. Then, when your office is done, you can move onto the next 'Big Stuff'. Your next task on the list. Everything on your list is 'big stuff' because it is important for you to get it done. And sometimes you need help. You might need help with getting information or working a special machine. I know it is hard to admit when you need help, but struggling to complete something you can't complete will be more stressful in the long run. Especially when your boss gets angry because you didn't finish the task. Or that you stuck information in that was inaccurate.

I would suggest that you take a moment to consider the task before you begin and, if necessary, make a list of what will be needed. You might want to include where you need to get the information as well. Then acquire those items with which you are unfamiliar from every source available before you start on the task. Keep your papers and your notes close by so you can check your work and make sure it is accurate. I always kept my notes in case there was a question about my information later on. I did need and use the information several times.


Ask When You Have a Question

Questions! They pop up in our heads and we are loathe to ask them because it might make us look bad. But doing something wrong will definitely make you look bad. What should you do then? Ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question, only silly people who don't ask. And if you do not know the answer to a question that you have, then you must ask to get the answer.

So, when the boss says you need to make a list of needed equipment for the Resource Department, you should ask the department what they will need. Too simple of an example? Try this one: Your boss wants you to write a request for office supplies in the usual format, but you have never used that format. What do you do? Ask questions. "Where do I find the format I need to use?" or "Where is the old request filed so I can see how it was done?" Are you being stupid? No, you are getting the information you need to complete the task.


In Conclusion

Time, money, even relationships need you to be on top of it all. You can't without organization. Life, family events, appointments and kids games can all be organized in one place. That means you won't forget any of them and it is easier to schedule things if you know what you already have scheduled.

How does it make things easier and give you more time?

  • You know what your day will be like before you drink your first cup of coffee.
  • You know where you have to go and how to get there because you wrote it down.
  • Now, when your kids want to go the splash park, you can look at your schedule and know you will have time. Don't forget to write it in so you don't forget and schedule something else.
  • When your husband wants to celebrate his birthday by going to a ball game, you can remember to get the tickets and to keep that day clear of tasks.
  • Finally, you can do things with your family. You have time to relax. You can take the time to cook a decent dinner (if you like to cook) or sit in the yard with a glass of ice tea. Finally, you are organized.
  • What's next? Get your family and friends organized by giving them a planner. Don't be upset if they don't use it though, not everyone likes to be organized.

Let me know what you think.

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on June 12, 2019:

Gupi, I know how that goes. I hope this helped you. Cheryl.

Gupi on June 11, 2019:

Thank you for sharing those tips. Stress is something that I definitely need to get better at managing.

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on April 01, 2019:

Thank you Larry, I hope some of the ideas can help you in getting better organized.

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on April 01, 2019:

Peggy, thanks for your positive comments. I hope I have been able to give you some great ideas on how to get organized.

Larry Slawson from North Carolina on March 31, 2019:

Organization is something that I definitely struggle with on a daily basis haha. Good tips. Thank you for sharing!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 30, 2019:

Your ideas are all good ones. I mark things like birthdays, appointments, and the like on a calendar. It helps to keep me organized. As to projects I keep mental as well as physical lists. Sometimes they seem never-ending. Ha!

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on March 29, 2019:

Stickies will work just as well as paper. I hope your mobile unit works for you, Cheryl.

Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on March 29, 2019:

Pamela, I appreciate the great compliment that you have given me and good luck organizing, Cheryl.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 28, 2019:

You have a great list of things that will help get anyone organized. I put everything in my phone, put if I lost it I would not know if I was coming or going. I think a planner is a good idea. Plus, I need to clean up my office1 Thanks for great suggestions.

Rd Plasschaert from wherever my computer happens to be on March 28, 2019:

Awesome. The structure of your writing exhibits organization! /Me grins!

I am unable to use paper for lists and planners, however, there are “stickies“ and my Calengoo on my mobile unit. Two of the four down for today!

So today, I’m going to round out my experience by moving a few things around and asking for help on something. Then I can check off having acted on the thoughts in this post and move into some well-deserved relaxation and playful pondering.

/me puts a bookmark on the post.

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