In the last three blogs I posted, I looked at immediate, grass roots ways to stop lateness adding to your clutter problems, and how to create more time in the long term. This final blog in the series contains a third strategy to solve the vicious circle of being messy and late. Using all three together will enable you to break it for good, so do check out the previous ones too.
How to avoid being messy and late because you’re ‘firefighting’
Are your schedules and efforts to clear up as you go constantly scuppered by emergencies or unforeseen circumstances that trip you up? If that’s the case, you need to make it a habit to think ahead. So, at the end of the day, every day, to sit down with your diary and look ahead, up to a week at a time. You’ll find all sorts of preparation tasks you need to do, such as planning journeys, buying train tickets etc. which will take the worry out of your week. In addition you need to work out how much extra time you’ll need to get where you’re going in a relaxed way. And get up early enough to do it! (No hitting the snooze button now…)
Take the ‘out of the ordinary’ in your stride
This is particularly important when something outside your usual routine is in your diary. Do you need to take your kids to the nativity play? Have you left some time to prepare their costumes and check them over on the day? Do you have a job interview? Have you left some extra time to wash your hair and pick out an outfit which will suit the work culture of that workplace? Did you miss the bus last time? Are you setting off 10 minutes earlier today rather than getting up at your usual time and hoping you’ll make it?
Visualising will stop you being late and make you more efficient
Doing this regularly is the secret to making sure that your well laid plans to get somewhere aren’t sabotaged by some item you forgot to buy, or some task you forgot to make part of your preparation, and which you don’t have time for first thing in the morning. If you’re messy or late, it’ll be a sign that you didn’t work thorough your diary effectively in advance. To avoid this, sit down and actually visualise the routine you’ll need to go through before you leave when you check your diary a few days in advance. It will help you remember all those little ancillary tasks you might otherwise have forgotten and not left enough time for. If you are a Mum you need to do this with your children’s diaries in mind too.
Messy, late and tired is a big price to pay for lack of preparation
If you don’t, and you find you’ve forgotten some item or something you had to do, you know what will happen. You will scrabble around in a panic, throwing the things in your way to land wherever they will. Then you will walk in the door after your panic is over, to find the complete chaos you created and have to spend twice as much time clearing it up than if you’d been organised in the first place. And you’ll be twice as fed up, because the adrenaline that helps you to rush, presents its bill later in the day, in the form of tiredness.
A summary of all the strategies you’ll need to avoid being messy and late
- Steal a little assessment time on the weekend when you’re relaxing to make an assessment of your common tasks and build efficient ‘workstations’ around
each one so that everything is to hand and you find it easy to tidy the workstation as you go so that things are ready to go next time you come
- Have a look at the bigger picture and assess the real reasons why you are always time strapped. That isn’t a good way to live. Let yourself off the
hook if necessary, change direction, or come up with a long term strategy for earning more per hour, if that’s what you need to do.
- Try to make sure unexpected delays trip you up far less often. Look at your diary a few days ahead and make sure that you get the items you need ahead of time, put coins aside for the bus where you can just reach for them instead of rushing around trying to find some change, or allow the extra time on the day that the preparation for a special or unusual meeting is going to take.
If you want to know more about how to be effortlessly tidy download an extract of ‘Banish Clutter Forever’. It’s simpler to do than you think….