Just kidding, I’m not going to apologize 1,000 times. I’m not that ashamed, although this is the second week in a row that I’ve missed my Friday Five. Truth is, I’m still learning how to balance work, school, and a social life but it will happen because I am just that determined.
In light of my organizational struggles, I’d like to offer up some of my best tips for keeping your life organized, because I am just that much of a middle-aged mom and I have read too many issues of Real Simple (but I don’t regret it!).
1) Keep a calendar.
|If this were my current schedule my life would be much easier.|
Possibly the best thing about my Mac is iCal. I love it so much. I put just about everything on there, from classes to my best friend’s induction concert. ProTip: you can customize the frequency of repeating events down to every third Tuesday by hitting “customize”!
2) Keep a running to-do list.
|Gotta love schoolwork.|
I’ve found the best way to do this is to keep a word document on my desktop and fill it with the important stuff to do. “Dishes” and “Take out trash” have no place in my big to-do list. Instead, I put up work projects and homework, because that’s the stuff I’ll forget. I highlight things when they become absolutely imperative and CAPITALIZEBOLDHIGHLIGHTWITHLARGEFONTS if I keep forgetting. Plus, nothing compares to the feeling of being able to hit delete on a completed item.
I’ve tried several different to-do list programs and none of them work as well for me as the word document. Don’t ask me why, it just works.
3) Write on your mirror.
Cliché? Yeah, but it totally works. Keep a dry-erase marker by the mirror and just jot things down. This is the place for the shopping list and the “dishes” reminders, but also I’ve started inserting semi-inspirational quotes, like “nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” The Handmaid’s Tale, anyone?
4) Always have healthy snacks on hand.
When I get super busy, I barely eat. I run from one place to another like mad. So, I put some pretzels or an apple or some baby carrots in a ziploc bag and munch in my downtime. I don’t need to eat much on my busiest days, so it tides me over quite nicely and keeps me from buying junk food.
5) Enjoy the moment.
This is the ultimate key to not letting yourself get too stressed out. If you’re constantly worrying about getting to the next place on time, you will not have a pleasant day. I work with children, for god’s sake, and kids are so much fun! But if I’m worrying about traffic and getting to my class on time, I will be stressed out and I won’t enjoy the antics of the precious toddlers I’m taking care of. So, maybe I don’t have time to sit in lotus pose and breathe deeply, but I do take the time to look around me and have a good day. It’s all in the attitude, folks!