Food & Fitness

Weekend re-organization

You all know that I’m super into organizing and tidiness and planning and crossing things off lists. Well, I’ve recently borrowed a book from the office, called One Year to an Organized Work Life: From Your Desk to Your Deadlines, the Week-by-Week Guide to Eliminating Office Stress for Good by Regina Leeds.* We’re reading a couple chapters every other week at staff meetings, which I love. I think it’s so important that when you’re working in an office environment, everyone is working together to ensure that they’re as efficient and happy as can be.

Also, I’m a sucker when it comes to reading books about organizing and such, so I was excited to take it home with me last weekend to read it on my own. I figure that you can always apply your work life to your home life, and I knew I could get a lot out of it by reading it cover to cover.

I’m only on page 47 of 267, but I’ve already discovered some excellent tips and insights. Better yet, the book has made me think about some of the things that I do (without really thinking about it anymore) which keep me happily organized each week. They’re things I do on the weekend to prepare for the coming week (my organization skills aren’t nearly as good as the week goes on, which is what I’m hoping Regina Leeds can help me out with! But on the weekends, my organization habits really kick in).

Here are some of my Living in the Real World-style tips for organizing yourself every weekend in preparation for the upcoming week, even if you know that things might fall by the wayside as the week goes on:

1) Check all emails and clean out inbox. I have way too many subscriptions to things, plus my inbox gets cluttered daily by news releases and story pitches from people who want me to blog about their products, services, events or other news. Most of it gets deleted, but there are some things that interest me. However, I find that during the week it’s tough to set aside the time to go through each email and decide what to do with it. So, throughout the week I’ll tend to ignore all of those types of emails and then I’ll deal with them on the weekend. Sometimes this means setting aside 15 minutes to go through them; other times, it might take an hour. But if you start Monday fresh with no unanswered emails in your inbox, you’ll feel much better about it.

2) Write down a to-do list for the week. For example, my to-do list for this week included reading through another chapter in my nutrition program and completing the test, sewing up a hole in one of my sweaters, working on my novel and buying second-hand copies of The Lord of the Rings (it’s been way too long since I’ve read those books, and I figured Westwood would be proud that I’m re-reading them). That way you can do these little things when you find time in the morning or in the evenings, so by the end of the week you should have crossed off most of these little things!

notebook list3) Set aside three hours to do things you’ve been putting off. You know what I mean! Scrubbing the bathtub, fixing the printer, cleaning behind the stove, going through old storage bins to decide what to keep and what to toss… these are things that build up over days, weeks, months, and when we put them off, they build up in our minds, too. We’re much less stressed if we deal with these things than if we try to hide from them. You don’t have to tackle them all at once, but by making a list of “things to deal with,” and then crossing off a few things each weekend, you’ll be able to see your progress as time goes on. And the list will get shorter!

What do you do on the weekends to prepare yourself for the week ahead and to reduce stress? Share in the comments section below!

*Regina, you’re my new hero. Just saying.

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