Staying Organized (Mini Series, Part 3)

posted by Aby Garvey on October 21, 2014 2 Comments

One of the biggest challenges people face with trying to stay organized is finding the time and energy to do so. This is an important hurdle to overcome. If we don’t take the actions that help us stay organized, in time, we will experience the negative consequences of disorganization like physical clutter, running late, forgetting to do things, and experiencing higher levels of stress.

Getting yourself to take action even when you don’t have a lot of time, or even when you don’t feel up to the task at hand, has some serious positive consequences! But still, sometimes it can be challenging to psyche ourselves up for taking these actions. Sometimes we need a little extra incentive and motivation. And that’s what our next secret is all about.

Why You Should Time Dreaded Tasks from

Dreaded tasks often take less time than you think.

I remember years ago working with an organizing coaching client. She was telling to me about a suitcase which was sitting on her bedroom floor, still packed from the trip she had gotten back from many days before. She said this was a common problem for her. She traveled often for work and really dreaded unpacking her suitcase every single time she returned home from her business trip.

I challenged her to empty her suitcase as soon as we hung up the phone. But, I added a twist. I encouraged her to pull out a timer and see how long it actually took her to completely unpack her suitcase. My client took the challenge.

Now I don’t recall exactly how many minutes it took her to unpack her suitcase. But what I do remember is that she was absolutely shocked by how little time this dreaded task actually took! In her mind, dealing with her suitcase was a monumental task. In reality, it was pretty darn small.

Now whether you habitually unpack right away, or suffer from languishing suitcase syndrome yourself, I bet you can relate to this story. My guess is there are tasks that regularly find their way onto your to-do list and stay there for extended periods of time because you simply dread doing them. So today, I invite you to figure out how long these dreaded tasks actually take.

Here’s why: If you find that they take less time than you thought, you’ll break down your resistance to doing these tasks next time…and this has some terrific benefits. It really doesn’t make sense to let a task linger when you’re ultimately going to do it anyway. Do you see my point?

If you really don’t have the time to do a task, or you’re taking care of other higher priority tasks, then sure, sometimes tasks really do need to hang out on your to-do list for a while. Sometimes waiting to take action is the best decision.

But, if you’re choosing to do less important tasks over more important tasks simply because you don’t like a particular important task, that’s a different story. Likewise, if you’re avoiding a task because it feels big and time consuming, when in reality it isn’t, avoiding the task simply creates bad energy.

Going back to the suitcase example, ultimately the suitcase will get unpacked, so if it takes five or even ten minutes to do it, why not do it right away? When you do, you’ll avoid a lot of negative energy and I would bet you’ll avoid some negative self-talk, too. Plus, you won’t have to trip over your suitcase for the few days it typically sits there waiting patiently for you to take action. :-)

Speaking of action, let’s get busy putting this secret into action.

Stop SignTake Action:  Figure out how long it really takes.

Your assignment is to figure out how long basic household tasks really take, including basic tasks that will help you stay organized. Here’s the best part – you can do this action step as you go about your regular day. Simply do the tasks you need to do and time how long tasks take. Then, simply record your times. You’re welcome to use the Action Guide from the class to get started.

I hope you have enjoyed this mini series and sample from my online class The Secrets of Staying Organized.

What tasks do you dread most? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for sharing.


True Scrap 6 Winner

posted by Aby Garvey on October 11, 2014 No Comments

Thanks everyone who entered the giveaway for a spot in True Scrap 6. Want to know if you won? Here’s a link to the page where Lain announces the winners! (Good luck!)

Hurry on over to find out if you won.… continue reading…

True Scrap 6 Giveaway

posted by Aby Garvey on October 6, 2014 24 Comments

How would you like to hang out with eight of the most inspiring and talented scrapbooking instructors
on the planet…without leaving home? With True Scrap 6, you get the best in online scrapbooking education all from the comfort of your own home.… continue reading…

One Out, One In.

posted by Aby Garvey on September 30, 2014 4 Comments

If you’ve been around simplify 101 for a while then you know I believe there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all organizing solution. This is why it can be incredibly frustrating if you try to follow someone else’s organizing idea to the T.… continue reading…

Getting Your Second Wind

posted by Aby Garvey on September 26, 2014 12 Comments

Last weekend, like many weekend mornings, my running buddies and I laced up our running shoes and hit the trails. The mission: 10 miles. Just so you know, for me, a 10-mile run is challenging.… continue reading…

Five Rules I Break to Make Laundry Easier

posted by Nancy Vorsanger on September 23, 2014 24 Comments

I recently read an article filled with tips about how to do laundry better. I decided to ignore most of them.

Why? Because they were just too fussy for me. If I followed the advice, I’d have many more loads to do and spend a lot more time doing them.… continue reading…

Decide to Do It

posted by Aby Garvey on September 17, 2014 9 Comments

This past weekend Kailea, my daughter, achieved a goal. It is a goal she has been working toward for nearly half of her life. This past weekend Kailea tested for, and received, her black belt in Tae Kwon Do.… continue reading…

How to Use Evernote to Organize Back to School Paperwork

posted by Lauren Halagarda on September 16, 2014 No Comments

As you may have already guessed, I’m not a huge fan of paper. If you’re a mom though, you know that paper and school go together. (Okay, now I’m singing “We Go Together” from Grease…and now you are.… continue reading…