Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Category: Organization

Why You Should Get Organized and Reduce Your Stress Level

A couple years ago, I picked organization as my word of the year, and I did get more organized. But I still have a long way to go! It is so true that when you are organized you have less stress–it doesn’t mean no stress, but there is less. So I really liked this contributed post when it came across my inbox. Here we go…these are all excellent reasons to get more organized, along with some tips on what to do to organize yourself! 

We are all guilty of misplacing documents or forgetting about deadlines. If you would like to make sure that you’re making the most out of your life and productivity, however, getting yourself more organized will help. There are plenty of easy ways of learning how to manage your time and resources better, improve your well being, and have more time to spend with your family. Read on to find out more.

Improved Sleep

If you don’t have to worry about missing a deadline, not paying your bill on time, or forgetting about a family member’s birthday, you will have fewer negative thoughts going around your head when you are trying to sleep; and as a result, you will get better rest at night. Once you know that everything is in order, the kids’ lunchbox is in the fridge ready to go in the morning, or your car is checked out before your road trip, you will have fewer things to worry about in the middle of the night.

Clearer Thinking

If you organize your life, you will have more space for new ideas. You can think clearer and focus on opportunities, instead of problems. It is a good idea to declutter your home every couple of months, so you are able to get rid of the things that no longer serve you and hold you back from achieving your goals. When everything is going smoothly, you will have the energy to focus on finding your true self, instead of going with the tide.

Being Prepared

One way to be organized is to be prepared for emergencies and mishaps. One of the most important ways to do this is to make sure that you have the most important emergency numbers handy, maybe a list on your fridge. You can also use a notebook, which can come handy, as you can list all the professionals’ details you might need in the future: doctors, dentists, police station, firehouse, car mechanic, etc. Alternatively, a calendar and contact list app can serve the same purpose just as well. You don’t want to spend hours trying to find a local hearing aid repair  company or a car mechanic if you have to get the kids to school.

More Time For You and Your Family

When you are organized, you use your time more wisely, and therefore, you have more time to get things accomplished and to spend with your family. For example, while your children are at football practice, you can do your grocery shopping, instead of wasting time sitting in your car or driving home and then having to drive back to pick them up. Likewise, you can team up with other parents to share the school run, so you have more time to get organized around the house while your kids are out of it. If you are accomplishing chores while your kids are busy, you’ll have more quality time to spend with them when they are home. 

Reduced Expenditure

Being organized and making preventive appointments will save you money and time! If you keep an eye on the maintenance schedules for your car or book your kids for a dental check, you can save money, as well. It always costs more to deal with emergencies than preventing them, so it is important that you book the important appointments well on time. If you decide where you want to go on holiday in the summer back in January, you will benefit from lower prices and more time to book your attractions, hotels and activities.

Better Health

Being organized also has health benefits. First of all, your reduced stress levels will help you maintain a hormonal balance that is necessary for your immune system to function. If you can plan your meals ahead, you will not have to rely on microwave food or takeaway options, and your diet will have a positive impact on your health and well being. Further, if you can schedule regular physical activities, you will lose weight, reduce stress, and feel stronger and healthier.

Improved Productivity

Being organized will also improve your productivity. If you don’t have to spend time trying to find manuals or emails containing information you need for work or your kids’ activities, you can get on with your work or scheduled activities straight away. An organized work space can make you more productive and efficient, no matter what your profession is. Lower stress levels, clarity of thinking, and being able to find all your documents and invoices at ease will make your life so much easier.

Getting organized has multiple rewards. If you are one of those parents always complaining about the lack of time, getting your life in order might be the solution for your problem. Improve your financial, professional, and family life by taking control of the things to do and making it easier to manage your tasks.

What are one or two ways you reduce your stress? 

 

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Organizing Your To-Do List and the $10,000 Idea

I love a good to-do list. Who’s with me here? Without my daily/weekly/monthly list, I’m not sure I would get anything done. Actually, I think I may be a little addicted to my lists! I love to finish something and cross it off the list. Not only is it good to finish it, but it’s also rewarding to see all those items crossed off! Plus, as many of you know, in 2016, my word of the year was organization, so this all fits together. But where am I going with this post and what is a $10,000 idea? (It’s not, by the way, an idea that will make you $10,000! But don’t stop reading.)

The way I have chosen to organize the tasks I need to accomplish each day and week is on my weekly desk calendar, where there is plenty of room to write several items on each day. But last week, even this wasn’t working for me. I felt like some of these tasks I was simply moving from week to week, and they also fit in different categories in my life. There were tasks I needed to do for the house, for my day job, for creative writing, for freelancing, for Katie and Chester, and so on. So I took five blank sheets of 8.5 x 11.5-inch paper and labeled them:

  • Freelancing
  • Cleaning/House/Bills/Paperwork
  • Personal
  • Writing/Blogging
  • Day Job

Then I put the tasks that I needed to accomplish (some new, some left from my calendar) on the sheets in the appropriate category, so I could wrap my head around what I needed to do and what area of my life it would benefit. For some reason, this made my stress level go WAY down, and I felt like I could accomplish many of these things. Some of the items needed to happen immediately (like the laundry, critiquing my writing group’s work, and finishing my day job’s publications), and some of them were things that could be finished at some point (like writing a blog post and cleaning out my email inbox).

And then there were the $10,000 ideas. 

I noticed on each page, there were some ambitious goals, projects like: cleaning out the basement and finishing my novel that weren’t going to be done in a day or a week. They were also items that would make my life better and richer, and so I decided to call those my $10,000 ideas. I drew a spiky circle around each of these and wrote $10,000 idea next to it

This is very similar to making New Year’s goals; with these ideas, I’m saying: these are things I want to do, and they will make my life better, and I will do them eventually. I love how I have them on these lists in categories; and how every time I look at my list, I am reminded of these BIG TICKET items that will improve my life.

So if you see me around, ask me: how are your $10,000 ideas coming this year? And…of course, I must ask…do you have any of these ideas on your to-do lists?

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