Snoskred Is Getting Organised – Are You?

I am all for making positive changes in all areas of my life, but sometimes you have to put the blinkers on and focus your sights on one specific area. Right now for me, that area is organisation – or organiZation if you’re from the US – and time management.

I have good reasons for wanting to get organised. I want to start a business over the next two months. I realise that if I started a business now without having the right skills in place it just would not work. So it is time to take a deep breath, suck it up, and get to it. At the start of this week I made a personal commitment to myself – I am getting organised.

Now some of the stuff I am going to say here is going to seem.. lame.. silly.. possibly even stupid. In order for you to understand where I’m going you need to know where I am at now. I’m not going to lie to ya’all. ;) here’s my major issues.

I am easily distracted.

I have trains running just fine on the tracks but then suddenly they crash. IE – I can be in the middle of doing something and then my mind throws out something else I need to do, and I will stop and change direction.

I’ll be in the middle of writing something and remember I wanted to check a website. I will be in the middle of one task, and remember one that needs doing RIGHT NOW. Yes, this is happening as I type. I haven’t updated the Aussie Blogs List yet, cos I took a day off today.

It happened again just then, as I was typing this. I noticed my glasses were dirty. This brings us to another issue I have –

I don’t put things back where they belong.

I was watching a West Wing in the lounge room yesterday. Part way through, guess what happened? I noticed my glasses were dirty. So I came in here to my desk and took my lens cleaning cloth out to the lounge room. I had to stop typing this post to go and get it.

My computer is a mess.

On the inside, that is. Information goes in, but I have no easy system, no good way of finding things, my desktop has always been a nightmare of files just dumped there. In fact here is how it looked at the start of this week.

organisearticle

I need to take charge NOW.

When I am running my own business, working to deadlines? All those little distractions and things not being where they should be and not having a system of where things get put and how to find them again on the computer – these things are going to add up and drown me. Especially because the business I want to run is computer orientated.

So how to fix it?

Step One – Done!

Get my computer organised and start a system of where things go that will work for me.

Thanks to this wonderful article – How to Keep your Desktop Organized (without getting insane) my desktop now looks like this.

oscreennow

Step Two – In Progress

I am a digital packrat. There are folders full of files. Take for example our photographs. We have a lot of them. We never had a system for organising them other than to put dates on the folders. Consequently, we now have a lot of this –

organisearticle2

Yes, that right there is the date we began putting some kind of name on the folders. But the no name folders go back to *cringe* 2 years before that date.

There is no magic wand I can wave here, but thanks to another article I read – A 3-Step Cure for Digital Packrats, and How to Know If You’re One of Them – I now know how to cure it.

I’m looking through two folders a day, naming them, putting aside good photos I want to use for the thought of the day photos. I am also looking through two bookmarks folders a day, sorting, deleting, moving. This will take time – If I tried devoting one day to it, I’d still have a lot of folders not labeled. Better to do little chunks daily than overwhelm myself right now.

Step Three – Time Management – Done Daily

1. Create a daily list of tasks.
2. Give each task a priority A, B, C,
3. Ensure that you work on the “A” tasks first.
4. Handle each piece of paper on your desk only once.
5. Ensure that you make the best use of your time.
6. Don’t postpone anything – Do it now!

Step Four – Day Planner

odayplan1

I have done this for the last three days and spent a day preparing for it before that. It’s rocking my socks, ya’all. You have no idea how focused I feel right now. It’s a happy feeling. :)

Step Five – Checklists

odayplan3

Yes, this is possibly the most lame of all the things I am doing, but it is helping me remember the things I do daily. I plan to update it in a week or so when I have identified more things I do daily. This is laminated so I can tick the boxes each day with a whiteboard marker and then rub that off ready for the next day. Yes, in the past I would forget my head if it were not screwed on, apparently. Now I have the checklists, sitting right in front of me, there’s not much chance of that.

Step Six – Email Check

One of the ways I get distracted is by the little envelope that pops up when I have new mail. Solution – open the mail in the morning, check emails, reply emails, close emails. Open again at lunchtime, dinner time, before bed. So if I don’t reply urgently, now you know why – and you can know when to expect that reply.. approximately.. ;)

Step Seven – Time Off For Good Behaviour.

This new stuff I’m doing is pretty intense right now, because I have a lot of organising I am doing. The major two things I need to finish are sorting my google reader and going through my archives here. These are both time consuming. So at lunchtimes, I step away from the computer for an hour. At dinner time, I step away for two hours.

I plan on having at least one light schedule day each week until I have a good handle on things, but I still want to make sure I get two of photos and bookmarks done each day. I took today off, got a haircut, went to see a house, put in an application so we might be moving, got my glasses fixed, did a little shopping. Whoa, what was that? Yes, we might be moving to my dream location. More on that tomorrow.

Step Eight – Buy In Bulk

The inexpensive things I find myself looking for, I need to purchase them so I can have one in each location I may need them. The lens cleaning cloth is a good example. They’re not expensive and it will cost me less to buy 2 more of them (I have 2 now, one in the car – one on my desk) than my time is worth to keep chasing them from room to room.

Step 9 – Put Things Back

The things that I can’t buy extra of, I need to put them back when I’m done. Simple, hey? It’s not as easy as it sounds, but I am committed to doing it.

What happens next..

I’m taking it one day at a time right now. I am hopeful that in three to four weeks I will become unconscious competent in being organised. However I think it may be a habit I need to keep working on and these skills of time management are going to be so useful to me in my business, I’m going to keep using them.

All I know is, I’m feeling motivated. I’m sleeping a bit less because when I wake up, I want to get onto the daily tasks I have set. I’ll update you urgently on developments. ;) so stick around!

Similar Posts:

get organised, how to guides, life lessons, mistakes I made, moving forward, work

9 thoughts on “Snoskred Is Getting Organised – Are You?

  1. What a wonderful post and that is exactly what I needed! I am going to visit those websites, take notes and get myself organized as well. Thank you!

  2. I am sending my husband for training. He’ll arrive shortly. I’ll expect him back in good order. :)

    (Great post! From a totally organized Planner Neat Freak. People often ask how I do as much as I do…organized baby! That’s the secret.)

    Julie
    Ravin’ Picture Maven

  3. Great post, good on you for making the changes you need.

    I am so terribly unorganised, but I’m not sure I am ready to admit it and get help yet LOL. Perhaps I will try taking in a few of your tips, ease my way into it.

    I have to say though, I just about fainted when I saw the before pic of your desktop :O LOL. I only have my recycle bin and firefox icon on my desktop..that’s it.

  4. I am so *not* that kind of person. Tending to live with the flow of things rather than even taking notice.

    Too busy dreaming and pondering ordinarily to take much notice of my physical environment. I’m cluttery.. totally.. but I’ve learned to live with it. :)

    Peace,

    ~Chani

  5. Laurie – I’m really glad to read that! ;) I hoped this might help someone other than me.. :) Yay!

    Julie – The Other Half is also not into this. I always find in a relationship, that if one person is (insert attribute here) the other person will step back in that area. For example – when I am angry about something, The Other Half is not. If I am not angry, he is. He’s a bit anal retentive when it comes to cleaning and because I can rely on him to do that, I take a bit of a backseat on it.

    Where it gets annoying to me is when I am excited or motivated about something, he is not. That’s when it gets irritating to me. Like I am really excited about this business idea and when I talk to him about it he almost yawns. Grr.

    Cugat – you have to be motivated to stay organised, and you have to make it easy for yourself to do it. That’s the trick. I have cleaned of my desktop maybe 100 times – and it has never stayed organised. Now I know *how* I can make it stay organised, it’s something easy I can follow. :)

    Leigh – if you thought the desktop was bad, you should see the archives! ;) I’m gonna fix it slowly.

    Chani – I have been going with the flow probably since I left work in late 07. I can see it would be really easy for me to keep doing it, too. I’m 32, and I could get to the end of my life just having cruised through it. But.. there’s stuff I want to do. I have big dreams, and they require cash in order to do them.

    I’ve been floating for a while, living like there might be no tomorrow, I guess partly because I am scared that there might not be a tomorrow. Fear is holding me back from doing what I really want to do – as well as a lack of organisation. :)

    If this business does actually work out, I’ll be thrilled. I am prepared that it might not, though. I think that’s important as well. I’m not expecting to make anything out of it for a while and I am expecting to put in a fair bit of work to achieve it.

    If it takes off, we may be able one day to buy a nice property that will belong to us, where I can have some chickens, and maybe.. a cat boarding place, or a cat breeding place. I would *love* to breed cats. I know little about it but I’m willing to learn. I’d also like to be able to accommodate students who are visiting this country from overseas, I had a friend who did that and we used to take the students out, it was so rewarding and wonderful.

    That’s the dream. Can I make it happen? I’ll never know if I don’t give it my best shot. ;)

    Thanks for the comments everyone! ;) Laurie, I’ll be checking in to see how you go with it.. ;)

    Snoskred
    http://www.snoskred.org/

  6. This is excellent advice. Getting and staying organized is one of the keys to being successful. I noticed that you are still using lists to keep track of your tasks. There is a new way to manage your next actions that I think you’ll find most rewarding. It’s called a Bubble Map. It works better for me because I’m not a linear thinker, and I find that I end up getting more done.

  7. An old boss had a great way to deal with emails. He set his outlook to download every hour, on the hour. It meant he got an hour of uninterrupted work done, and a mini break at least every hour to answer emails.

    I’m very big on organising. I might have to blog about it more :)

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