Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Only Organization Tool That I Can Count On

Organization and I don't go hand-in-hand. We butt heads on a daily basis.

Sure, I have great aspirations of one day being an organizing queen, but I use to have aspirations of living under water someday too. Honestly, one is about as likely to happen as the other.

Every so often, I'll get on a big organization kick and re-organize everything in our lives - from the pantry to the kids toys to our daily routine. I'll do great for a few days. If you want advice on how to start getting organized, I could probably give you that. But if you want advice on how to stay organized, you should probably look somewhere else.

All that aside, I do have one little trick I use for organizing my time that has worked without fail since I was a little girl. I write myself a mini to-do list. And most of the time, I stick to it and feel productive by the end of the day. It's a great thing!

Most mornings, I jot down a quick list of all the things I have to accomplish that day. I usually list the easy, no-option stuff too, like making breakfast, lunch and dinner. That way I know I'll be able to cross some things of my list no matter what.

That morning list is for all my household and mom duties. Then, each night after the kids are in bed, I sit down at my computer and write a quick list of all the things I need to get done work-wise. I cross off as I go and it usually keeps me on track.

I have tried expensive scheduling systems and elaborate plans in the past. I love them all, I really do. But I've kind of learned to just be honest with myself and stick with the pen and paper list. It works for me!

Stop by We Are THAT Family for lots of real organizing tips. And stop by Hooked On Houses for more Hooked On... since I am definitely hooked on lists!


Lora 11:41 PM  

I am a total list maker!:) Sometimes I forget to go back and read them again, but I always feel so efficient making them!

The Real Me! 6:24 AM  

You know what? A simple paper and pen works for me too! I've tried the planners and such and they sit there unused!

Becky @ Our Sweet Peas 7:53 AM  

It is great that you stick with what works for you. I often try to complicate also although I have finally found a good plan for myself.

Kelly @ Wisdom Begun 10:08 AM  

I love love love lists. :-)

Lately they seem to be the only way I get anything done.

I think we are both in the season, Kate, where our littles keep us from any type of strict organizing. Maybe when the kids get older?

Valerie 12:24 PM  

It's the simplest things that work so well, eh? I liked this little praise to the simple pen and paper trick.

ClutterControlFreak 1:50 PM  

I love adding thigs I KNOW I will be able to accomplish to my list (like making breakfast). It's the best encouragement, even on the most hectic of days.

Christina 5:02 PM  

I entirely with you. Nothing beats the pencil-and-paper organization trick. I don't really have an organized schedule (how can I with two children under two?), so my simple lists are even more important and helpful. I can see at a glance what I need to get done and squeeze in my tasks as I have windows of time. And I'm getting more efficient all the time.

Amanda 10:40 PM  

You know, I never thought of it much before, but I am the most productive when I jot down everything that has to be done (instead of letting it float around in my head, hoping I remember it all). Thanks for putting this out there. It was like a slap on the forehead for me. :)

Angie @ Many Little Blessings 1:41 AM  

I'm totally the same way. I always think that I should like something electronic, since I love techie stuff. But, nothing ever sticks. I can't help it -- I just love paper and a pen.

Corinne 8:32 PM  

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only list maker out there. My co-workers tease me about my lists. I start each week with a new to-do list. Sometimes, I start over mid-week, but usually I stick to just one. At the end of the week, things that didn't get done roll over onto the next week's list. And I put EVERYTHING on there, sometimes even putting things on there after they've been done. At least that way, I know I get to check it off. I keep all my to-do lists in one notebook. If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, you could use the lists to put together a diary of my life.

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