Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Organized in October

Like many bloggers, I've decided to have a theme for my blog in October.  I will still have quilting posts and travel posts, but I really want to talk about ORGANIZING!

This isn't a "I've got it all figured out and here's how you should do it" thing; it's a "I've struggled with it and have made some progress and want to share that with you" thing.  

Sound good?

I travel.  A LOT!  I have to:
  • make hotel reservations
  • make travel reservations
  • keep contracts with each event
  • prepare class supplies
  • prepare handouts
  • prepare class samples
  • pack my work supplies weekly
  • keep up with my office work for the one day a week I am home
  • pack my portable office weekly so that I can take care of a few details from the road
  • maintain my blog
  • film tutorials for Pat Sloan's Globetrotting block of the month.  I am behind on this.  Please forgive me
  • work on creatively fulfilling projects
  • keep my commitments even though I live in airport and hotel rooms and never know what day it is or where I am.  When I say "I'll call you on..." I try to actually keep that commitment.  I don't always succeed, but I have a pretty good percentage.
That is a partial list of the work details I need to manage.  I also have family responsibilities, community obligations, and other pressures... just like everyone else does.

I have a sewing room that I visit occasionally.  I'm there often enough to make a mess, but not often enough to keep it magazine photo-shoot clean.  In the lase few months, on my rare days at home, I have made "clean/organize sewing room" a priority.  I have managed to find some lost items, get rid of some items, and create a system so that "Oh this is a great idea!  I'd really like to make (whatever) someday" ideas don't get lost.  I feel that my time spent sewing is now about the sewing rather than about the "where on earth did I put that fabric/pattern/thread?"  It's now more likely that "Oh, that would make a great quilt" ideas turn into actual quilts.  

If I were not organized, I would not be able to travel the way that I do.  I would lose papers, forget commitments, and be very ineffective at what I do.  I would not be able to finish the quilts that make my heart happy.  

So, my first organizing tip might sound like a weird one.  If it doesn't inspire you, I'll have another organization post soon, hopefully tomorrow.

The first thing I did to help me keep everything on track was to read this book:

Getting Things Done by David Allen.  

This book is everywhere.  I would be shocked if your library doesn't have a copy.  Used copies are pretty cheap on Amazon and hard-cover copies are priced fairly reasonably.  It is also available to download on Kindle.  If you are a book listener, it is available on CD as well as from Audible.

I only implement one of David Allen's ideas at a time.  I didn't tear everything out of my office and start over and take a full week to make the transition.  I started at it like a good diet:  one small change at a time, sustained over time.  It has made a huge difference for me.
I hope that you find it useful, too.


PatSloan said...

best tip you ever gave me.. now it's time to read it again and make those changes.. I've gone backwards a bit!

Eileen said...

I'm finding it a difficult read, but I'm not giving up!