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.
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.