Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Going Back To School The Organized Way

It's that time of year again when the kids go back to school.  Vacations are coming to an end and information is starting to come from the school
Back To School
about dates, supplies, and paper work needed.  How do you handle it all and keep control?  First, start by gettting the school supply list and making a plan as to where you are going to purchase all the items.  Schedule the school supply day in your calendar and write down the stores to visit in a logical order.  Have a plan and a budget to make your shopping a breeze. 

For the clothes, start now by trying on any clothes you are unsure of whether they will fit or not.  Most kids wear shorts for the first 30-45 days of the year, so do not feel compelled to go out and buy long sleeve shirts or jeans before school starts.  Just know the size they were and make a list of items needed.  This allows you to wait for sales on the jeans and fall shirts.  When you see a sale you have the list and the size. 
The only way to control the paper work that comes in the first few weeks of school is to fill it out the day it comes in.  After dinner, go through your childs backpack and fill out all the forms that evening and return it to the backpack.  Do not collect it all and then try to fill it all out in one night.  You will be overwhelmed and the school usually sends it by importance. 
Make lunches the night before and get the kids involved.  Let them pick fruits, vegetables and dessert.  They are more likely to eat it if they got to pick it out.  Make sure they have everything they need the night before so you are not scrambling in the morning. 
Having plans, schedules and keeping them will help you have an organized start to the school year. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Your Priorities-How They Affect Your Organizing

Everyone has different priorities in their life depending on where they are in their life.   Most children under the age of 10 usually just have 1 priority and that is playing as much as they can.  They have no commitments and no major responsibilities.  Middle school and high school students make getting good grades, excelling in a specific sport or socializing their major priorities.  After college, we need to work to live independently and network to continue to make the changes we want in the workplace.  If any of these individuals let one of those priorities be more dominant than the others, the remaining priorities will suffer.  For instance, if the high school student concentrates on the sport they are in more than anything else, their grades will more than likely suffer.  They need to balance school work, sports and social activities to do well in all and to stay organized. 
Adults have different priorities such as children, money, house, and health.  Finding the balance is the trick to helping you to be organized.  When one priority takes over and becomes more dominant than the others, remaining organized will be difficult.   You have probably met many different individuals in your life that have a dominant priority.  Think back about who you determined was a workaholic and maybe it was, or is, you.  They have chosen work to be their priority and probably have found it difficult to remain organized because work is their life.  I see this with many business clients who do not make time to take care of other priorities such as paperwork, clearing of their e-mail, and general office organization.   They also seem to lose control of the house or family priorities.  You have probably seen other examples such as those who make exercise, children, shopping, or their house the priority in their life.  Obvioulsy, there are times when a priority is going to take center stage and there will not be anything you can do to change it.  Examples would be moving, family illnesses, or other emergencies. 
Balancing the priorities in your life makes it easier to be organized.   To determine your priorities and how you are spending them, draw a pie chart.  Imagine the circle to be 24 hours.  Try the technique for at least a week or so and it will allow you to see how much time you spend on your priorities.  Mark off the number of hours you regularly sleep, to start off.   Mark off the hours you are at work, whether it is at home or away.  If you have a long commute, be sure to include that time too.  If you just used almost the entire circle for those 2 items, I would say your dominant priority is work.   Continue to mark off items such as exercise, children’s extracurricular activities, walking your dog, grocery shopping, and housework.  Everyone is going to have a different circle based on what they do daily.  At the end of the week you should have a good idea of your priorities.  If you are lacking some organization in your life, analyze if you have made one of your priorities a dominate one and try to put some organizing time in your schedule.