Work/life tips from an expert
I have turned to Diane Hatcher of Time-Savers Professional Organizing Service in Fort Lauderdale. Hatcher will provide a free makeover for the winner of The Miami Herald's balance makeover contest. To submit an entry, e-mail info on why you need a makeover to balance@MiamiHerald.com.
Here are some tips Hatcher gave me for clearing my nightstand: Be ruthless with your magazines. One thing you can do to alleviate some of the clutter, is to scan the table of contents for the articles you want to read, mark the pages with a sticky note, or pull out those pages and get rid of the rest of the magazine. Get rid of everything except those that arrived within the last three months.
Hatcher recognized that I feel overcommitted with my volunteer work. She suggested I try to get better at time-management before the fact. For example, she asks, "Do you need to plan things out or can you be creative off the top of your head? Figure out your style and how much time you need for each volunteer job for which you commit. Then, budget your time.
Now, that I'm already committed, she suggests finding areas in my life where I can pull back until I feel I have better control over my time. I'm pondering that one. Hatcher also suggests putting more small tasks instead of big projects on my to-do list. Working on that one...buy a cooked turkey....buy some mashed potatos.
Although being organized does not come natural for me, I'm working on it and I think I've improved in recent years. But I have a long way to go.
Hatcher insists there's hope: "Anyone can learn to be more organized. Not everyone will be perfect, but you can get to the next level."