As I sat down to write the September installment of this newsletter, I had to pause. Should we go with the "back to school" tips that everyone else is doing? While these are a great reminder, we've already had some
good back to school resources on the OrgNW blog
So this month, we'd like to focus on YOU - the grown up. Whether you have kids, grandkids or no kids, there's something that happens over the summer that lends itself to stretching out the days with later bedtimes, pushing our to-do lists back because we're on vacation, and generally allowing disorganization to creep in because...sunshine!
Fall is a great time to get organized, not just in terms of decluttering and putting in systems, but also when it comes to personal productivity. The change in routine over the summer can put that productivity into a tailspin, and September is an excellent time to get it back.
Here are our best tips for doing just that.
Review and/or re-commit to your calendar system. Over the summer, our calendars can become neglected. Take the time to review what you are using as a calendar and ask yourself whether it is still working for you. Make changes where necessary, or try something new! If you aren't sure if it's working, consider your stress levels. Are you late or double-booking appointments? Do you feel over-busy? Remember that your calendar is your friend. Book in personal time like exercising and quiet time, and stick to your schedule!
Sometimes we just need to re-commit to a system in order for it to work.
Review your upcoming week ahead of time. Some people do this regularly, but we often fall off of the wagon in the summer. Bring it back now by reviewing your schedule for the week every Sunday (or whatever day makes the most sense for you). We recommend finding a whiteboard and hanging it in a central place, then writing your commitments for the week on it. This makes your schedule visible to everyone in the family, and keeps it front of mind.
If changes occur, be sure to adjust in both versions.
Organize your day to leverage high-energy windows. Most of us know what time of day we experience the most energy and productivity. (For example, f
or me, this time occurs between 9 am - 12 pm.) Over the summer, we can lose track of how we spend that precious time. Refocus your planning to include doing your highest priority tasks during that window. Not sure what they are? Write a list and then circle the top three which will have the most impact.
If you do it for your kids, do it for yourself. We impose all kinds of restrictions on our kids that tend to slide over the summer. Returning to a strict bedtime, limited amount of sugar, and tidying up their room are all rules that many parents reaffirm for their children when school starts. But we are not always that good at following them ourselves. Think about that for a moment - if you expect your kid to do something, that's because it's good for them, right? So why are we exempt?
Here are some good examples to follow as adults that also help with productivity and organization.
- Avoid screens before bedtime
- Keep to the same sleep and wake up routine
- Tidy up your space before you leave the room or move to a new activity
- Make your bed every morning
- Look at your calendar before committing to anything verbally
- Take the time to hang up and put away your clothes so they don't pile up
- Give yourself time to play - there is a kid in there, too! We all need chill time
- Reward yourself when you do well! No stickers though - take yourself out to dinner!