What Comes After Tidy Up?

Tidy up

What Comes After We Tidy Up?

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So we followed Marie Kondo’s advice and completely purged and got rid of everything that didn’t give us joy. It was not an easy path to take, but I will admit, I felt much joy after. The feeling of peace, and weightlessness, was just overwhelming. I’ve never considered myself a horder, but I am a “filler”, meaning, I have to fill every border space inside my walls.

I had odd tables, chairs, benches, pillows, blankets, baskets, and of course my furniture. Then I moved to a much smaller apartment. It was very nice and I was able to remodel it with carpet, fresh paint, and new window treatments, but did I mention much smaller?? I am so grateful for a very understanding landlord!

I had boxes in the foyer, I had boxes in my old apartment, I had boxes in my new apartment, and he made space for me in the garage.  I knew what I had to do, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy.

Let me give credit where credit is due. If you ever have to go through a major purging process as I did, I really recommend the Tidy Up process. It’s gut-wrenching, emotional, temper-tantrum throwing, but it works. Which brings me here – what now?

We’re all tidied up, but how do we really make this a part of our everyday lives. How can we take it to the next level? We may not be able to go to the Marie Kondo extreme for our everyday work lives, but I do have some tips that I have used, and still use, that I hope will help.

A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place.

Remember when mom would say that? Turns out, she knew what she was talking about! And it’s so simple to do and the easiest way to stay organized…Put everything away the moment you finish with it. Use containers, drawers, baskets, and bins to store your office supplies. Keeping your desk decluttered will give you a sense of calm and help keep you focused during your crazy day.

Make A To-Do List For The Day

Yes, I probably sound like a broken record here, but I cannot emphasize enough how important a to-do list is – they keep you focused, clear your headspace, show you what your day looks like at-a-glance, and so much more!

If you know me by now you know I will say, at the end of each workday, set yourself up for the following morning. Before you leave to go home, create your must-do list for the next day. But if you didn’t do it the night before don’t worry, you’ll get into the habit soon enough ?. So for now, set a few minutes aside in the morning and create the list. Put the three most important tasks on the list. These three priorities for the day are the most important tasks you must focus on.

Keep Your Planner Up-To-Date.

Along with your to-do list, make sure your planner is always current. Both of these activities should be done at the same time, but the planner will also have additional entries throughout the day. At the end of the day, review what is on the schedule for tomorrow – or Monday if it’s Friday.

Don’t Forget Your Calendar

Your calendar makes a wonderful to-do list. And best of all – everything is right there and you won’t have to rely on your memory.  There are so many tips and tricks I can give you for your calendar, but that is a blog in and of itself. Hmmm, note to self – create a Calendar blog (stay tuned readers!! ? ) As for now, the important takeaway is to schedule everything! Your meetings, deadlines, activities – even your “me” time!

Devote A Few Minutes A Day To Organization

Work, school, home, and personal schedules all provide a structure around which to arrange routine organizing tasks. For example, perhaps dishes can be loaded into the dishwasher, a load of laundry into the washer before you leave in the morning. At the office, grab your coffee and take 10 minutes to review or write out your to-do list, process emails, and listen to voicemails.

Before leaving, take a few minutes to prepare for tomorrow, and put away things you used during the day. Back home, put away any items you brought into the house, check the mail, make dinner, etc.  This can be incorporated even if you are retired or self-employed by creating a structured routine and consciously committing to the routine times each day.

What’s in your Inbox?

Have an inbox dedicated specifically to projects you are working on, and sort them in deadline order. If some projects have a later deadline, but a higher priority, move them to the top of the pile. It’s a little mind trick I started playing with myself years ago. No matter what project I was working on (to make a deadline), my mind would constantly wander off to that high-priority folder. I finally put everything aside and completed the high-priority task, and you know what? I zipped through the remaining projects like a hot knife through butter! Eliminate the stress point and the rest is a cakewalk!

Get out of email quicksand

It’s easy to fall into the bottomless pit of email! This can happen so much that many of your regular tasks are often neglected. Try scheduling designated email times (yes, on your calendar!! What a great idea!) You can even set up reminders or alerts on your calendar to tell you to stop what you’re doing and focus on email for however long you set. I recommend 30 minutes, 3 times a day.

Again, as with all things, there will be time-sensitive emails, or other priority emails (such as your boss), that can’t be put off. You can adjust your settings so you get notifications for emails that need to be tended to immediately.  – another possible blog idea, I’m just full of them today!!

Keep A Notepad Handy

You just never know when a thought will strike – perhaps it will be your AHA moment! You absolutely don’t want to miss that! Look at me – I got up this morning wondering what am I going to write about today…I tripped over our CEO’s scratching post, and thought “what happened to Tidy Up?”  and then look, I came up with two more ideas while writing this!!  But seriously folks, if you were to walk into my place, you would find a notepad everywhere.