Keep it Simple!
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Keep it Simple!

Over the years I have had many people ask me how I am able to do so many things.  I have a busy private practice, write in two newspapers, do my own bookkeeping as well as most of my domestic tasks such as cooking, sewing and growing an indoor garden.

I think there are several answers when it comes to being organized but today, I will share some of the strategies that I have developed over the years:

  1. Calendar – I only have one which is on my phone, but it has absolutely everything on it – both business and personal.  This allows me to have access at all times because I carry my phone with me.  I can easily make decisions when it comes to booking appointments and never have to worry about double-bookings this way. Also, I have every family member’s birthday with their year of birth on the calendar, so it is easy to figure out their ages in a matter of seconds.
  2. Household appliances – So many people make laundry into a big project and resent having to do dishes. Instead, I treat all my appliances like unpaid staff.  I throw a load of clothes into the washer, push the button and know that I have a half hour of free labour working for me.  Loading the dishwasher takes minutes and, in return, gives me a stress-free environment and clear counter.  Then the dishwasher does all the work.  I am so grateful for my yogurt maker, slow cooker, stove and other appliances as they make life easier for me.  All I need to do is get them started!
  3. Groceries – I have lived in Calgary for more than two years and have never entered a grocery store here. I love the fact that at any time of the day or night, I can fill my online cart and have everything delivered right to my kitchen at the time I choose for a small fee.  This saves me so much time, gas and energy!
  4. Paperwork – Years ago I heard someone state that we should never handle a piece of paper more than once. I have followed that advice.  First of all, I open all of my mail as it arrives.  Things I don’t want or need go directly into the shredder.  Bills are paid immediately with dates that are set to allow processing before the balance is due.  Then the bill goes right into the labelled folder in the filing cabinet.  Easy!
  5. Sequencing – I always plan how I can do things before I begin. For example, I seldom walk anywhere in my condo without having something in my hands that I want to leave in another room. When I am going into the community to do chores, I usually list my route on a sticky note that is on the inside of my outer door and then moved to the dashboard of the car. I also find it helpful to use a sticky note to write one-word topics for upcoming telephone conversations, so I have a clear purpose and don’t forget what I wanted to discuss.
  6. Routine – I find life easier since I established a general schedule many years ago. For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays are my busiest client days.  On Mondays I write my newspaper articles.  I tend to cook two meals at a time so I have leftovers ready for the days when I will likely be too tired to cook. 
  7. Like items – Nothing has to be perfect, but it helps to have like things together. My tools are all in one place as are batteries and extension cords.  Clothing is put into closets in order, so dresses are in one section, pants in another and coats in another.  It saves so much time if you know that you can go to the closet and find that everything is clean, mended and suitable so that you will look and feel attractive.
  8. Health – My grandfather used to say, “If you have your health, you can make your wealth”. I am thankful for the fact that I am usually well but also work hard at staying that way.  This involves eating nutritionally, getting some exercise, taking vitamins and making sure that I have appointments with medical professionals on a regular basis.  Massages are booked a year in advance.
  9. Hobbies – I know that everyone needs to have balance and therefore make sure that I am doing fun things on a regular basis. I read, play canasta and bridge on the internet, have a French tutor and am learning to play pool.  I also enjoy time with family and friends whether this is in person or through technology.
  10. Attitude – I know my limits and focus on the positive things in life. The fact that I have a spiritual faith helps me to let go of things that I might otherwise think I would have to solve on my own.

Make a list of the things that are stressing you out and develop a simple method to deal with them.  You will be so glad that you did!

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