Plan, plan, plan!

Our new organisation and time-management contributor Jessica Reid aka Lady Calamity is a planning whiz! I was so inspired by her first post, I’m putting this plan into action today! This is the first in a series of weekly posts from Lady Calamity to get us all a little more organised!

Jessica has over 9 years’ experience in time management, organising, decluttering and creating clean and professional spaces both for businesses and homes. She has a firm belief that a clear space not only helps you to become more effective and efficient, it also affects your mind space.

Plan, plan, plan!

The key to good time management and organisation is the key to everything else in your life. Well, that’s what I think anyway! I think that time management is just like a really good weight loss program. You have a plan of attack, and you follow it consistently.
To succeed at ANYTHING you need to have a plan.
I’ve talked before about being prepared or prepare to fail. I can’t emphasise this enough. You cannot go into battle for World War Three without some kind of strategy. You don’t go in to a meeting with the CEO of the world’s biggest company that you plan to take over with no idea how you are going to win him over to the dark side. So, why would you go about your everyday life without a plan of attack in mind of how you are going to get what you need to get done today? You can’t. You will get to 5pm and think oh my goodness, what have I done today. Where has the time gone?
So, let’s plan our day.
The first thing that you should do is get yourself a diary. An even better option is to get yourself an electronic diary that rings and beeps and makes noises to remind you of tasks that need to be done and when they need to be done by.
Now I want you to think about and write down every single thing that you need to do in your day from exercise, making breakfast and lunch, getting yourself to work, getting the kids to school, what you need to do at work, coming home, making dinner, getting ready for the next day… [insert deep breath here].
You see when your day is laid out for you like this, you realise just how much you need to fit in. In fact, you think, oh my goodness, how do I do all that in one day?! It really is no wonder that I sit down on the couch at nice o’clock and I’m exhausted! And you know what? You are right. BUT I bet that at the moment you spend your day running to and from like a chook with no head wondering what’s next?! What I want is to bring you back from a craziness of not knowing what you need to do next, and focus you in on what it is exactly that you need to do.
From here you set yourself a schedule and you list EVERYTHING in a specific time slot in your diary that was on your giant list of things that you need to do in a day. Seriously. Everything.  For example…

You get up at six o’clock and you go for a run (1hr), you come home and you spend 30 minutes getting ready for work. Then you get the kids ready (½ hour) and you get everybody at the table to make sure everyone has eaten breakfast (another ½ hour). Then you pack the schoolbags (10 minutes) and you are out the door. Phew.

Your schedule needs to be methodical and it needs to be consistent so that you are always on top of your situation and you are always in control.
One thing to be careful of! Make sure you allow yourself enough time. Don’t try and push yourself to unrealistic time limits.
Also, don’t limit this tool to only your morning life. It applies to your whole day. For example, when you are at work at the start of each day, go through your to do list that you left for yourself yesterday. Prioritise, and then work through your list. At the end of your day reassess your to-do list, prioritise it once more and then you can go home knowing what it is that you need to come back and do tomorrow. There is then no question in your mind and no evil monkey sitting on your shoulder chatting to you about what it is that you forgot to do today and need to tomorrow… you can relax.
Now, I know that sounds like a lot of work. But trust me, a little work and preparation now, means that life will be much easier later on.
Do yourself a favour, and cross over to the organised side!

Until next week,
Lady Calamity x

Find Lady Calamity on Facebook, twitter and check out her blog.


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