Tag Archives: get organized

Are You Always Late? Be on Time Now!

clock-running-lateI am often running late. In fact, I was born a week late. I have good intentions. I want to be on time. Yet, it always seems I’m running 5 to 10 minutes behind schedule.

Most people don’t like to be late. Being late may actually be a habit you’ve developed over time. Think about your history and patterns. Are you late to everything or just some things? What causes you to run behind? How do you feel when you’re late?

If you truly want to make a change, you can overcome lateness. Here are 9 steps you can take to be on time:

Make a To-Do List Every Day
Each morning, make a list of things you want to accomplish that day. Try to create a realistic list, so you’re more likely to achieve your goals. Arrange tasks in the order of importance, urgency or time of day. Cross off each item when you complete it. I actually like to write out my to-do list the night before so that I don’t worry about it while I’m trying to go to sleep. Plus, I’m more awake and function better at night than I do first thing in the morning.

Schedule Events on Your Calendar
Keep a desk calendar, day planner or use a smartphone app to keep track of appointments or activities. Getting into the habit of keeping track of events on calendar can help you become more organized and prepared for what you need to do each day.

Check Your Calendar 3 Times a Day
Make it habit to check your calendar at the same times each day. It might make sense for you to review it first thing in the morning, after lunch and towards the end of the day. While writing things down may help you remember, be sure to check our calendar regularly to ensure you’re on track.

Be a Time Pessimist
Assume that everything will take a little longer than you anticipate. This approach will keep you on time, or even make you a little early. People who run early tend to be more calm, organized and ready to handle whatever comes up.

Plan to Be Early
Late people always aim to arrive right on time, but that leaves no room for contingency. You may know that you can drive to work in exactly 15 minutes. Yet if you get stuck in traffic due to an accident or have to run back for important papers you forgot at home, it makes it impossible to be on time. You should plan to be 15 minutes early to everything.

Welcome the Wait
If being early freaks you out, look at it as an opportunity to have some down time. Bring a magazine or book to read, call a friend for a few minutes, or go over your schedule for the week. If you make it an activity you will enjoy, you’ll want to be early.

You may be late simply because you don’t have time to do everything. The only way to change this is to cut back on what you’re doing. Figure out what’s most important and make it a priority to check these items off your list.

Be Honest with Yourself
Why are you letting yourself be late? Why aren’t you controlling your time? Part of being on time is acknowledging why you’re late. You’re letting your schedule run your life. To be on schedule is to plan the life you want to live and then create a plan to make it happen.

Make Organization a Daily Habit
You can make a change that will help you achieve a more balanced life. You can become more organized and create a habit of being on time.

9 Quick Ways to Clean Your House

Quick ways to clean your homeAs the weather turns warm, I am less inclined than ever to clean my house. We are knee-deep in track, baseball and softball. We are constantly on the go, yet we somehow ending up making a mess of the house.

I am working to achieve balance in my life. I feel that one way to help do that is to create a clean and organized home. When everything has a place and I can quickly find it, I am able to eliminate a source of stress. The more quickly I clean the house, the sooner I can enjoy spending time with friends and family or relaxing.

Here are 9 ways to quickly and easily clean your house so that you can find more balance and enjoy your spring and summer:

Have a system
The key to cleaning fast is having a system. You may need to start in the room you hate to clean – which may also be the dirtiest – so that you can get it out of the way first. Some cleaning experts would say clean one room at a time and never go back to a room. I have found that going through the house and doing each specific task works better for me. For instance, I dust the entire house and then clean mirrors. Next, I vacuum all the carpets. Then, I wipe down bathrooms and mop floors last.

Stop it at the door
It’s important to take care of the potential clutter when it first comes in the door to help limit the clutter in your house. Shoes go in a bin or shoe rack. Coats are hung on hooks by the door or in a nearby closet. Keys, purses and backpacks have a home. Anything my kids drag into the house either gets delegated back out to the garage or goes to their rooms. Put the mail in an area it can be taken care of later. One of the easiest ways for your house to appear clean is to keep the clutter under control.

Create storage areas
It used to take me 30 minutes to pick everything up off the tables, furniture and floor just so I can then clean. Storage bins and baskets are also key to decluttering your home and making it easier to clean quickly. If you stay on top of the clutter and create “homes” for magazines, books, toys, etc, it is so much easier to go through and clean surfaces and floors.

Keep your supplies on hand
Use a plastic caddy to store your cleaning supplies. I keep one set under my kitchen sink upstairs and another caddy in the bathroom downstairs. You can carry your supplies around on each floor of the house.

Clean a little each day
If it’s hard to find time to clean the house from top to bottom all at once, then spend a few minutes every day tidying up the spots that get the messiest. For me, it’s the kitchen counters and the bathroom sinks. It seems my kids spill something on the kitchen counter every 5 minutes. And, between toothpaste and dirty hands, the bathroom sinks are disgusting. I keep disinfectant wipes under all the sinks in the house. Then, I can quickly grab a wipe and clean up messes. I also pick up stray clothes and throw them in hampers every day.

Weekly deep clean
By staying on top of the clutter and little messes each day, then you can take care of deep cleaning quickly. You can do a quick dusting, vacuum and mop floors, and your regular cleaning is done.

Do laundry through the week
With five people in my family, I do at least one load of laundry every day. I try to skip doing laundry Sundays, and I may do two or three loads some days. It seems like less of a chore if I throw in a load a day, and it cuts down on piles of dirty clothes and overflowing hampers.

Use little helpers
It has taken me a long time to trust my kids with cleaning tasks. I am a bit of a perfectionist so it’s been hard for me to have them clean. (I still go back and spot clean after them – sometimes.) However, I firmly believe it’s good for kids to know how to clean and to understand that when you make a mess, you need to clean it up. Even young children can put away toys, set the table, gather trash or help fold clothes.

Seasonal cleaning
Once every six months, plan to take a day and get rid of the extra clutter. Go through closets and drawers and get rid of unused clothes, shoes, books and toys. Sort through kitchen cabinets and remove items you haven’t used in a year. Have a yard sale or donate items to charity.

Creating good cleaning habits can make your life more balanced, healthier and happier. It’s a great way for kids to learn that they are also responsible for creating a clean and comfortable home.