Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How I stay organized

I am an unorganized person who is very good at organizing.  If that makes any sense.   I can organize congregational events.  For years I organized and ran two figure skating competitions and test sessions a year.  But personally I find it difficult to focus (I think I may have adult ADD).  I lose things ALL the time.  The only reason I have my keys and purse everyday is because I keep them in my car.  And even then I sometimes I have dig around the car to find the keys.  I used to just carry around a large wallet but I was constantly leaving it in a shopping cart or restaurant  and my daughter and sister insisted I buy a purse and hang on to it in the store so it wouldn't ever be left in the cart.  And to keep the keys in my purse, not my pocket so if I did leave it somewhere, I'd not be able to drive away.  That works. Most of the time.

I forget things.  I never remember where I'm parked.   I almost always turn the wrong way and drive toward Cresco instead Decorah (often not realizing it until I am at the turn to go into Cresco).   They are both ten miles the opposite direction of where I live.

I think the reason I can organize events and such is that I'm very clear on the big picture, the goal and what needs to be done to get to the goal, but it's just so hard for me to get away from the big picture to focus on the details of what needs to be done.   For example, I know it is good to have a vendor to sell skating clothes and equipment at the competition.  Actually remembering to CONTACT the vendor and ask him to come is the challenge for me.

Obviously I had to learn early in my career to delegate.  It's always somewhat of a delightful surprise to me that there are people who actually enjoy dealing with those details that I find somewhat annoying.

Once many years ago I was being criticized at a council meeting for forgetting stuff.  No really sometimes I would forget to go to some meetings.  Yes that's a bad thing.  Not defending it in any way.  But there was a woman there who had a better solution that harping on me.  She bought me a nice Franklin Covey planner with my nameplate on it.  Of course the trick was not just writing stuff in the book, it was remembering to LOOK at the book everyday.  Now I keep that book with me everywhere I go.  I don't know what would happen if I ever lost it.  I get a new one every few years.  It helps that you can buy really stylish ones. 

I am a messy person who left to my own devices would drown in clutter.  Part of that is my tendency to multi-task which can lead to not finishing things.  I came across the FlyLady about 7 or 8 years ago and it changed my life.  You can ask my kids about how much more organized and cleaner our house is.  And it all starts with shining your sink.

FlyLady and Franklin Covey.  If you are anything like me, these resources will change your life.


  1. Flylady, Remember The Milk, and ical for me.


    Its an electronic task list. I put the task in, I can forget about it until its time to do it. Things that happen every week or month are set to repeat so I don't forget. (complete mileage report, submit to treasurer) I also put errands that need to be done (hmmm, I think there was something else I should do since I drove all the way to La Crosse)

  3. Fly Lady is not for me. I did look, as so many people seem to find her a life-saver, but I haven't room in the cupboard under my sink to keep the drainer or the washing-up bowl (dishpan). So fail at the first hurdle. Then I don't wear shoes in the house, and what is actually difficult is getting up and showering and dressing.... so fail at the second hurdle. And those awful "encouraging" message just make me feel slightly sick....

    So while it's a good idea, in theory, it simply doesn't workfor me.

  4. Hmm... well I don't follow her word for word. I never wear shoes in the house and I play on the computer in my pajamas about an hour after I get up. But I do shine my sink every single night and just having a clean kitchen changes everything for me. I try to clean up a few minutes every day- to me that's the key - just do something everyday . I don't always follow her to do list but I try to do some of the tasks every week. And I bought her feather duster and love it. (so do the cats so I have to hide it)

  5. never heard of Flylady. will give her a try. And, Franklin Covey. Like you, I think I may be a little ADD. I do get things done, in part due to a past where I was a secretary. but, there are some things I could get better at. I like to delegate too.

  6. You can actually use an organizer cheaper than Covey but it's so stylish and fun it helps motivate me to use it.