Good Advice from an Older Sister

I blog for a lot of reasons – some of them are covered in this post – but also for the reason that I’ve very much come to see this blog as a reflection of myself turning into an adult.  I’m also starting to see that there is going to be a point where I declare myself a Grown Up or at the very least have attained the Age of Reason like my friend Marta wrote about at Connect Shore. That didn’t seem possible when I first started 3 almost 4 years ago.

With this post I feel like I’ve reached another milestone (beyond it being my 202nd post) because it represents a shift in my thinking and structuring of my day from a pile of details into a coherent plan.

All that said – this post is about Organization and I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said before and better, by more qualified people, in more specific ways. This isn’t a “how to” article it’s a “how I did” article.

Truly, this post is dedicated to my two sisters, who I love to regale with my newest findings on how to organize better and more seamlessly – and why they should be doing it too.

Becca and Rachel, let’s pretend like I am the lecturer giving a slide show presentation and you are my captive audience.  You may take notes, or text on your phones, as students are wont to do.

My basic premise for this project was –

Basically, like Gretchin Rubin says in her Happiness Project book and blog (paraphrased for this circumstance) I’m not disorganized, I’m just not as organized as I’d like to be.  These were some of the reasons I was feeling disorganized –

See Also – Eating a lot of cakes and muffins agitatedly when I am stressed out like this scene in The Importance of Being Earnest.

“When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as any one who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink”

So, as you both know, whenever I embark on a new project I like to read a lot of things about that topic.  I read a book by organizational guru Julie Morgenstern, an interpretation of Maria Montessori’s teaching methods which are largely founded on the idea of order (I blogged about that here), and dozen of blogs of which I HeartOrganizing is pretty representational.  This is what I learned from all of that.

Yes, it’s kind of time consuming just to come up with a system.  After all my reading I managed to couple together a system that works for me that is pretty low tech.

Yes, its just a plain old notebook, nothing fancy here.

It involves dividing my weekly to-do list into a way that reflects the four primary spheres of my life and filling them with only the amount of items that will fit in that box.  That means I’ve automatically pared down the list to include the most important things – and I know I won’t even finish those ones.  My different areas are:

  1. Home/Family
  2. Friends/Church/Ministry
  3. Self/Blogs
  4. Work/School

Daily dividing my day into four different parts (4 hours each between 7am and 11pm).

And doing what I need to do during those time chunks – and not getting carried away if I get really into writing a blog post for 2 hours – EVEN –  if I’m being “productive”- see slide 4

Letting it go means if the craft project I really want to do doesn’t get done, I forget about it, not perseverate on it – I want to make a baby scrapbook, but it isn’t happening right now.

Finally – my system is working for me, but I still learned some other theoretical things about organizing.
Even though I still don’t have time to do everything I want, paradoxically, I do find that I at least want to do what I’m doing (minus scrubbing the toilet). And even though it doesn’t make me a nicer person, it does cut down on blaming others for my own feelings of stress. Also, I’m now getting 85% of what I want to get done and feeling pretty calm.

The End.
Love, your big sister Beth.

*PS. As usual, I made up 99% of the statistics in this presentation.

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Author: Beth M

I love new ideas & information, connecting people, and discovering New England adventures.

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