In my last blog, I shared how disorganization costs you money - both personally and professionally. You can read that blog HERE.
Today, I want to talk about how disorganization costs you time. Time perhaps is even more of a valuable resource than money, as we can't earn it back after spending it.
It's Sometimes as Simple as Car Keys
One thing I struggled with for years was misplacing my car keys.
I'd come home, sometimes walking through the front door, sometimes entering through the garage, and sometimes through the side door. There was no rhyme or reason to where I'd toss my keys when I arrived.
It seems small and innocuous enough, but when you're trying to get OUT the door, (and isn’t always when you’re already in a hurry!?) it can cause a lot of stress not to be able to locate those dang car keys!
I will confess to you that it took about 20 years of last-minute anxiety and panic because I couldn't find them when I needed to be somewhere in order to finally create a consistent habit that stuck. Now, I enter through the same door every time and I put them in the same spot, designated for my car keys.
Has this ever happened to you? You're making good departure time when suddenly, you can't find your wallet, keys, diaper bag, or briefcase?
This is a classic and everyday example of how running around trying to find things we need, due to disorganization, can waste valuable time. Not to mention, make the time spent searching incredible stress-inducing.
All This Time Spent Searching Adds Up
It might be the keys today, and the dog's leash tomorrow, but all of this time spent searching around for what we need adds up.
Think about your office. Is it organized in a way that you can find what you need without constantly shuffling papers around, moving piles, or clearing a path for yourself to get to your desk?
How about the kitchen countertops or dining room table? Does the prep involved in making dinner take longer than actually cooking because the table is covered in clutter and stuff?
You're not alone.
And to make matters worse, constantly moving things around can mean things get lost, misplaced, and in some cases can lead to bills not being paid, report cards not getting signed, and the list goes on.
The Time-Saving Magic of Workflows and Procedures
With the right workflows, systems, and procedures in place, paying your bills, working on your business tasks, and managing the day-to-day operations can be way easier and take less of your time.
If you're a business owner, think about what's involved in posting a simple social media post:
- First, you need to think of what to say. What’s your process for generating ideas? For staying on track with a plan for your content? Having a system in place for this helps take a lot of the confusion and stress out of needing to generate something on the fly.
- The second step is to write it all out. I find I do best with writing mine when I'm already in creative mode, ie. NOT when I'm paying my bills. This is where time management and staying organized comes into play.
- Third, you need the right picture which then can cause you to go down the rabbit hole of Google or stock photo sites...
- Last, but not least you need to post it. Without a workflow or process in place, it might feel like you're relearning for the first time, every. Single. Time.
Not to mention, if you have complicated video or audio to go along with it, tags, hashtags, etc.
With a workflow and system, you're not reinventing the wheel every single time and it saves a TON of time and stress.
I pay my bills twice a month. Most of mine are digital, but I have a simple process in place where I print a list of every bill for the month with the due date next to it. When it's paid, I simply cross it off. Your system doesn't need to be complicated, but you will save yourself so much time and headache if it's easily repeatable.
One thing I commonly see when people lack a solid procedure is that they procrastinate. There are, of course, many reasons for procrastination but a big one is because the task just feels too overwhelming and lacks clarity. Procrastination can be time wasted. Scrolling social media, texting a friend about a Baked Alaska your bringing to Friday night's party, finding the recipe for Baked Alaska, and giving hearts to all of Susie's family photos she just posted on Facebook.
I'm all about giving likes to cute photos on Facebook, but if you're simply using these things to avoid the tasks that feel too difficult due to poor workflow, it's simply a time suck.
How do I come up with a workflow, JoAnn?
Glad you asked!
The next time you sit down to do a task, write down the challenges you had while doing it. Take notice of what took you longer than it should have and why. Did you have to gather something else? Were you trying to do the steps out of order? Then, think about how to improve it in the future.
This two-minute reflection activity will save you hours of your time!
Time Spent Stressing is Time You Can't Get Back
Overwhelm is a commonly cited problem for... well, pretty much everyone I start working with.
All of these are things I've heard clients say when approaching me for help:
- I'm completely overwhelmed with digital files and photos
- I tend to procrastinate and avoid tasks
- I often miss appointments and deadlines
- I'm constantly shuffling paper and items
- I'm not paying bills or invoicing clients on time
- My long to-do list is never-ending
- I often waste time, money, and energy
For me, a peaceful, joyful, and calm state of mind is worth all the time in the world. Time spent in a stressful and panicked state, due to any of these complaints is time you can't get back.
Rather than spending your time feeling frantic, last-minute, and frustrated with your lack of organization, I can show you how to reclaim your TIME and sanity with better tools and resources.
Click HERE to learn more about working with me:
Click HERE to read how Disorganization Costs You Money