Posted by Sue on Jun 1, 2012
Confessions of a Professional Organizer, Chapter 4
Last weekend I reviewed my organizing map and target dates (see my last blog post). By now I should have completed organizing my knitting supplies and gotten rid of the defunct electronics. To date, it’s Chaos 2, Sue 0. So much for target dates.
Lesson learned: Just because I put a date on the calendar doesn’t mean I get the work done.
Second lesson learned: Get more realistic about how much time I really have.
Third lesson learned: Don’t be so hard on myself.
It’s the second of these lessons that I want to look at here. When I scheduled to work on my knitting supplies two weekends ago, I looked at my calendar and thought, “No problem. Daughter Ruth is graduating from college on Sunday; I’ll have plenty of time to complete that organizing project on Saturday.” Yeah, right. Graduation on Sunday meant traveling to Boston on Saturday for her art opening at 5:00. My ever-hopeful, magical-thinking brain still thought I’d have plenty of time (are you beginning to see a pattern here?).
To make the art opening at 5:00 I had to leave Vermont at 1:00. Still, no problem. But then I remembered that I hadn’t done any of the weekly housecleaning. And the “plenty of time” I thought I had disappeared into a bottle of spray cleaner.
A similar “plenty of time” mishap occurred this past weekend. This time the organizing project took second place to our traditional gardening weekend. Although my magical-thinking-plenty-of-time brain figured I’d just squeeze in a little organizing on the side, reality had other plans.
Was doing these next steps in my barn organization project just not a high enough priority for me? I don’t think so. I do think that I wasn’t acknowledging that there is “a time for every purpose under heaven;” and the purpose of these last two weekends were graduating a daughter from college and planting a vegetable garden.
In reflecting back, there are three questions that will help determine in the future whether my target dates and organizing map are truly doable.
- What else is on my plate?
- What do I have to say “No” to in order to say “Yes” to my plan?
- Is there preparation that I can do ahead of time to make the project easier?
I’m going to use these questions this weekend and see if I can’t make more progress on my plan. I’ll report back how well they worked next week.
If you give my reality check questions a try, let us all know how they worked for you.