Time Management: The cost of inconsistency

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Stress, frustration, disillusionment, and disappointment are the costs of inconsistency that people pay when they say, “I’ll do it later,” “I’ll do it when I can,” “It’s too much to do now,” and “I don’t have time to do it.”


As a professional organizer and productivity consultant, I am quickly able to assess a space and organize it for maximum usage and efficiency. I can identify and recommend the most appropriate storage and organizing solutions based on functionality and a client’s needs. However, the true test of my success in a space comes when clients are easily able to implement the time-management strategies that are an integral part of maintaining newly organized spaces and systems.
 

 

Example:
In the home: A large laundry hamper overflowing with clothes and clothes in various stages of dirty and clean in piles all over the house.
Client’s time-management challenge: Never enough time to do laundry.
 
Solutions:
* A smaller laundry hamper that holds only one load of laundry.
* A timer that the client sets when she starts the washing process. The washer and dryer are at the back of the house and the timer reminds her when it is time to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer or to take the clothes out of the dryer.
 
Why these solutions work for this client:
When the client sees the laundry hamper is full, she puts the laundry into the washing machine. When the laundry has been washed and dried, she is quickly able to put the clothes away as there is not a dauntingly large mountain of clothing.
 
Client’s review: “I had no idea that replacing my large laundry hamper with one that holds a single load of laundry would solve my time-management and laundry problems!”
 
Time management take-aways
1. Use visual reminders: The client has a visual reminder of when the laundry has to be done: when she sees the new hamper is full, she knows it is time to do the laundry. Her organizing rule is “No overflowing hampers allowed!” The client isn’t overwhelmed by having to do multiple loads of laundry that were previously contained in the large hamper.
2. Break tasks into smaller manageable chunks of time. The client can put the laundry into the washer/dryer when she gets home from work and by the time she has put her children to bed, she can quickly fold and put away the load  of clothing. Doing the laundry is broken up into a chunk of time for each step.
3. Set a timer. Timers help you keep track of time. When things are busy at home or at work and you are distracted, a visual and auditory reminders help you keep on task.
 
© Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 
 
Paula Berman is the owner of Paula Berman Organizing located in the San Francisco Bay Area. She blogs on productivity and organization. She has a special interest in working with families and individuals who are looking to declutter and streamline their lives.

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