A fantastic article written by the lovely (and naturally disorganised) Sarah Marsh Collings.
There’s a saying that’s come to my attention recently – a woman’s brain is like a web browser with a hundred pages open at the same time. I identified with it immediately. I’m sure I’m not the only one!
Anyone who works for themselves will, by definition, be a multi-tasker. Some people seem to glide effortlessly (albeit energetically!) through their daily myriad of tasks. I for one, can’t stand these people – they leave me feeling hopelessly disorganised and unaccomplished. I reassure myself that they’ve simply been at this longer than I and someday I too will achieve the same level of poise. It’s all about a routine – they say. Well, for some of us routine is elusive but we’re still faced with an onslaught of jobs, tasks and chores and routine or no, they all need doing!
So what are us disorganised multi-taskers to do? Sure there are tools out there that are meant to help us be organised, but in my experience these tools are useless for people who are naturally disorganised. You have to be organised to use them which is frustrating! For anyone for whom this story strikes a chord of truth, I thought I’d share my three tools and my one rule:
Listen to the audio version of this blog by clicking here:
Tool 1: The two calendar system
I run a Two Calendar System. I’m not organised enough to actually keep both of them concurrently current, but one is on my phone and the other is hanging on the wall in the kitchen above the bin – so I see both regularly! The one on my phone is always with me, so as appointments are created they go in the phone THEN AND THERE. Sometimes they get transferred to the kitchen calendar. I’m not always organised enough for that. I try and update it at least once a week while I’m cooking dinner…
Tool 2: Creating alerts
I create ALERTS for the events when I set them up on my phone. How I space the alerts out depends on what the event is, how long it’s going to take me to get there and whether I need to do any preparation for it. If I spend thirty seconds working it out THEN AND THERE, the rest takes care of itself.
Tool 3: Creating your to do list
I write a list on a Monday morning of everything I need to achieve that week. Then I draw up a plan THEN AND THERE using simple time blocks: morning and afternoon. I don’t always stick to it but just writing the plan helps me focus!
Rule: You’ve probably guessed it! THEN AND THERE! I’m not organised enough to do it later and anyway, I’ll probably forget! That would be the ‘too many web browsers open’ bit!
So, if you are by nature’s design, disorganised, don’t try and over complicate organising yourself. Embrace the chaos, let go of the associated stigma and give these three tools and one ethos a try!
Ep 137 – Tool of the day
In the audio version of the blog, talks about the joys of good old-fashioned paper system that keeps her organised each day.
She also mentions a podcast episode from Social Media Examiner that she listened to recently called “Do you want more time? How to procrastinate your way to success” – if being disorganised is in your blood (like Sarah), then this podcast explains why is is not such a bad thing.