Updated: Sep 18, 2020
Do you wish you could be more organised? But your just so darn busy you don't have the time to spare to get yourself organised? You're not the only one.
All too often people say they have SO much going on they don't have time to make changes to become more organised. But a few teeny-weeny changes now could have some serious time saving payoffs down the track! So pop the phone down for a few minutes and get stuck into these:
Here are my top 3 micro-changes that you can make today which will have you feeling more organised and save you bundles of time for weeks and years to come.
Tip # 1: Find a home for your keys
This micro change is so simple but can save you some BIG time in the long run. Where do you keep your keys? If your keys don’t have a permanent home then make one – pronto. Put up a key rack or place a pretty tray on the hall stand and when you come into your home always ALWAYS put your keys in their home.
This might sound like an inconsequential change but the average person wastes one whole year of their total lives looking for their lost belongings. That's mind blowing. If someone offered you an extra year of life you'd take it in a heartbeat. And here I am giving it to you for free with this simple advice - just stop losing your things!
If you spend 3 minutes everyday looking for your keys then that’s over 18 hours per year!! That my friend, is a serious waste of your time. And the stats say that many people will spend up to 6 minutes per day searching for their keys – that’s one and half days per year. Just imagine what you could do with that time if you only knew where your keys lived every time you went looking for them.
So my number one tip for getting organised and saving time is to make a home for your keys, and any other of your often lost belongings like phones, purses and sunglasses. Once they have a place to call home then commit to returning them there every time they are not in use and enjoy the time savings – not to mention the reduction in stress induced by those running-late-for-work frantic search sessions.
Tip # 2: Use the 60 second rule
Before I explain the 60 second rule – let us just peer into the average family home on a Saturday morning...
The parents have decided to do a quick clean of the house after a busy week at work including vacuuming and then a quick wipe over of a few surfaces. Sounds easy enough. But before they can vacuum they need to pick up all the stuff that has been left on the floor. Think shoes by the front door, kids school bags strewn along the hallway and devices, remotes, food wrappers and cushions all askew on the rug in the lounge. This is some of the prep required just to locate the floor under the stuff before they attempt to vacuum it. Then they have to locate the dining table under the piles of paperwork, laundry to be folded and toys, and hang on, where has their kitchen bench gone? Its buried under notes from school, library books, shoe polish, the kids rock collection, groceries yet to be unpacked, half dry dishes, mum's gym towel and water bottle and dad's power drill. Arrgghh! This was supposed to just be a quick clean.
Okay so now the 60 second rule. In order to avoid the time-sucking vortex of the pre-cleaning putting away (as described above) implement the 60 second rule and encourage, entice, demand, bribe, do whatever it takes to get the others in your home to do it too. If it takes less than 60 seconds to put an item away- do it AT THE TIME! Put it away. Put it directly away. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
The truth is it will probably take you less than 30 seconds to put an item away. If the item doesn’t have a pre-existing home then apply the logic from Tip #1 and create one. I’m sure you’ve got 30 seconds spare to check your phone, repost that screaming goat video or touch up your lipstick. So trade a few of those seconds and redistribute them to putting your stuff away when you finish using it. A bit of incidental time here and there throughout your day and BAM- you just saved yourself 30 minutes of pre-cleaning prep time on Saturday.
So next time you pop that item down and think you’ll get to it later, check yourself an apply the 60 second rule.
Tip # 3: Systemise the small stuff
Take some stress out of your week by automating or systemising life's little mundane tasks.
Lets say you always brush your teeth after breakfast, before getting in the shower. Great. You don't have to worry about whether you brushed your teeth this morning because it happened automatically. It's systemised. Now apply that logic to lots of your other jobs to alleviate all of those 'to do' tasks from causing you concern about when or if they need to get done. We waste so much time worrying about when things will happen - enough already!
You might plan to always do your folding or ironing on that night of the week while you're watching your favourite TV show. Wash sheets and towels on the same day every weekend. Do your groceries on the same day and even at roughly the same time each week. Maybe it's on Monday afternoon while the kids are at soccer training, and plan to buy enough to last you til that same time next week, with the exception of those things you need fresh in-between. Save your bills and other payments due til say 8.55am on Friday morning and pay them all at once plus everything else that'll fall due between now and next Friday. Floor mopping might happen on Thursdays, bathing the dog on Tuesday nights, and cleaning out the fridge every second Saturday before you write your meal plan for example...I'm sure by now you get my drift.
When you can slot your small recurrent tasks into your weekly routine then they stop rattling around in your head and you don't have to 'make time' for them because you know when and how they'll happen each and every week. It's a micro-change to the way you organise your week which can free up some precious mental space and have things on auto-pilot! Save those brain cells for more important tasks.
Too busy to get organised? I don’t think so. These are my top 3 super quick ways which you can start clawing back some precious time in your life to spend on the things that are truly important to you. You're welcome.
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