As a Professional Organizer I find it interesting to hear about the popularity of the A&E show “Hoarders.”
Hoarding is more than just being disorganized; it’s the inability to let things go – particularly personal belongings. It is a serious and complicated condition (Wikipedia).
Luckily, only a small percentage of the population are hoarders. In over 25 years in the organizing industry, the majority of people I have worked with are simply overwhelmed with day-to-day responsibilities and things-to-do.
They find their homes get easily cluttered, piles of paper start showing up everywhere, mail is in the living room, kitchen, or even the bedroom! Newspapers, laundry, bills, clothes… end up everywhere, except where they should be!
Don’t get discouraged. Between family commitments and obligations at work, life gets pretty very hectic. Here are some ideas to help.
Take Time and Slow Down
Take a few moments each day to slow down and take a break. You deserve it! It is as easy as 1,2,3. Take a morning break, an afternoon break, and a lunch break. These breaks can be as little as 5 minutes, or if you are lucky, you will actually get an hour for lunch. Take a leisurely 20 minute walk and enjoy the warm sun when you can. It will re-energize you and increase your productivity.
Don’t Put Too Much on Your Plate
We all want to get as much done as possible, but often we put too much on our To Do lists. Set realistic expectations for yourself and what you can accomplish in any given day. If you find you are not completing your To Do list you probably have too much on it. Start by focusing on your top 3 priorities. Think about what takes your skill and expertise, what you can delegate, and who you can delegate it to.
Break things down into smaller tasks. You can get started on something in as little as 5 minutes. When you brake a task into smaller steps it is not as overwhelming and you have a sense of accomplishment as you complete each step. Before you know it you will have completed one big task!
Some things will just have to wait. You cannot do everything all at once. When you start a particular task, focus on it and do not let anyone or anything distract you until it is complete. Shut off your cell-phone. Turn off any background talk-radio shows and shutdown your email. If you have a home office, close the door and put a Do Not Disturb sign on it!
Prioritize your to-do list with A, B, and C. Do the 3 A’s first, work on the 3 B’s next, and, if you have time, the 3 C’s. Some days you may only have time for the A’s.
Avoid Appointment Overload
Avoid scheduling too many appointments on any given day and allow flex time between each. For some their work responsibilities are going from meeting to meeting, for others scheduling two or three appointments per day is the most they can effectively manage in addition to all the other things they have to do. Schedule “downtime” or time off for yourself just like you would schedule any other appointment. That means entering it on your calendar.
Professional Help is Only a Click Away
If you find yourself overwhelmed with clutter and disorganized give me a call. My “Summer Sizzler” runs through the end of this month. Call for details at (978) 922-6136 or drop me a line via this online inquiry form at my website. I’ll follow-up with you promptly.