Organize To Save Time

Have you ever wasted time because you couldn't find the paperwork you needed, your favorite blouse in the back of the closet or all of the ingredients for tonight's meal? Of course you have! We've all done and redone things because of our lack of organizational skills.

So how can we save time and energy by being organized? Here are a few thoughts to get you started.

Set some goals. Do you want to attack the entire house or are there certain areas that steal your time? Would you like to get caught up on your filing so you can find what you need when you need it? Can you clear out the bedroom closet just so you can find your clothes in a hurry? By deciding exactly what you'd like to accomplish, the process doesn't seem so daunting.

Think ahead. Are there guests coming soon that you'll need to organize and prepare for? Are there meetings or sessions on the horizon that need you to have projects completed? By planning ahead based on your personal schedule, you'll see what needs to be organized and in what order.

Write things down. I love lists, and this is a great opportunity to use one...or six, depending on your personality. While there is supreme gratification in crossing thing off your list, the important part is seeing what needs to be done. By having a quick reference list in front of you, you won't feel so overwhelmed by all your organizing plans. Keep it handy and refer to it often!

Make time matter. What is the most important thing that you lose when you're disorganized? Besides one shoe here and your favorite magazine there, you're losing precious time that you could be doing other things. If you spend ten minutes filing paperwork, you can save hours later when you can't find that bill. Five minutes cleaning out the refrigerator can save you an extra trip to the grocery store with a half-finished meal on the counter. Your time is important, so take whatever steps you need to in order to be organized.

Work at being efficient. Once you reach your organizational goals...stay there! It's so easy to maintain a system once you've created it. Take a few minutes each day to improve your filing, clean out a drawer or sort e-mail. A little effort now can translate into serious free time down the road.

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