“Life is too complicated not to be orderly.” – Martha Stewart
At some point and on different levels, we all have admired the care, the attention to detail and the devotion to all things “home” from Martha Stewart and her amazing team of very creative and hard working people. I myself have been an admirer of her work for a long time. A biography on her life was one of my readings on my year spent in Japan with my husband and a first glimpse into domesticity and, the ability to make anything – from how to bake to how to grow a garden – into a very successful professional activity. And looking back, it was probably the first seed to the type of professional activity I have the privilege of doing today: working with clients, organizing their homes and time, so they can live better.
I selected this quote for today’s Facebook post because it resonates so well with what I believe being organized represents to most of us: a frame in which we can navigate, in the most sane way – through the amazing demands of our modern lives and world. Truth is, we are all stretched to the limit with so much work, social activities, volunteering, an endless list of after-school activities and homework, the caring for our families – and if you are entering your 50+ that includes your elderly parents, the house, the laundry, the pets – believe me, you are lucky if you have only one! and of course, (last on that list!) ourselves.
In a NAPO conference on digital disorganization Judith Kolberg said “we live in a world of endless” and although a world of endless can be very exciting, it’s also so exhausting! As she also says, the belief that we would have shorter working weeks with more leisure time and earlier retirement age promised by the advent of computers and all electronic gadgets did not happen and even if you tele-commute, you know you are working more than ever! We are all “stealing time” from leisure, from sleep, from family and from our health to be able to just keep up.
So, what can we do to keep things in perspective, to give daily life meaning and still have time to rest, to love and to just be? These are my “basics”:
1. Know your priorities – knowing who you are, your core values and what legacy you want to leave makes it easier to establish what comes first for you.
2 – Plan your days accordingly – If living healthy is important to you but you don’t make time to exercise or eat your meals, you are not sticking to your priorities. The same goes to “spending more time with my kids/spouse” etc. Ask yourself who are you trying to full by doing so.
3 – Create electronic-free time for yourself and for your family. Turn off cell phones, tablets, TV and computer for your meals, at a minimum.
4 – Have routines – Routines keep us in check with what needs to get done daily/weekly and allow us to structure our time, but most importantly it allow us to have MORE TIME for what really matters, is fun or just for being, nothing else. When you know what needs to get done, plan time for it and stick to it I can guarantee you that you will have more time to enjoy life.
5 – Establish a night routine that allows you to slow down, unwind from the day and sleep anywhere from 6 – 8 hours per night. Studies show the impact of sleep deprivation in adults and children and they go from low school/work performance to depression. Make time to rest.
I hope these very simple – but yet challenging to implement – ideas bring you some level of calm in your daily life. A calm we are all longing for.
For the purpose of full disclosure, I write this post in a moment I’m revisiting my routines to match my priorities. I know I can only be happy by being authentic, by being present to my family and by serving my clients well when I am “doing what I teach”. I also disclose it so you can feel assured that we all – including “the organizers” go through checks and re-checks in life!
I will love to hear from you. Leave me your comments below!
Have a Father’s Day filled with love and joy!
Hi Helena ~ thanks for this great reminder with truly useful tips. Especially since tomorrow is Father’s day. I’ve spent the whole morning with my son, supporting him during a handball tournament. It was the best time this weekend! Have a super Sunday! ~ Juan
So glad you have time to enjoy your little one and that you actually take the time to enjoy his company! Life can get so busy we won’t even see where it went. Living in the moment makes every each of them count!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thanks for the great, simple tips. I know I should stick to routines more, and your article has reminded me. 🙂
Even recreational time seems to slip away into oblivion when you don’t have a plan.
I am happy this post brought “reminders” of what matters and hope it helps to get back on track. Time management really is a life-long learning process and we should enjoy as we learn.
Hope you are enjoying a great summer!