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I Used to Be So Organized (Part 1)

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Are you joining us for this week’s Book Club Book?

Today, we’re reading Section One of I Used to Be So Organized (chapters 1-3, pages 17-43), which talks about why you might be feeling overwhelmed and disorganized. I loved how Glynnis addresses the heart behind disorganization.

Honestly and truthfully, my life has felt kind of out of control much of the time the past few months. I’ve had too much on my plate, I’ve been juggling too many balls, and I’ve felt like I’m just barely getting everything done by the skin of my teeth. I’ve been late, behind, and overwhelmed more times than I care to count.

Some of this is related to launching a book, training a new team member, being in the middle of some big decisions with our business, dealing with difficult situations close to me that are currently requiring a lot of extra time, thought, and investment, and just also the normal stuff of being a wife and mom.

Things came to a head on Friday when I was super late for an appointment and because I was so stressed about being late, I took two very wrong turns and ended up lost… which only added to my stress levels. That day, I drew a line in the sand to say, “I don’t want to live like this anymore!”

I took the weekend off and spent time just thinking through what was and wasn’t working, what I could change, and how we could change our schedule so that I stopped living life so much in the frantic and panic zone.

I tweaked some things around on our daily schedule and picked two areas that I really wanted to work on this week:

  1. I am not going to check email until after 12:30 p.m. each day. I’ve been training, Meg, my new virtual assistant, in the last two months and she’s now overseeing my main inbox during the morning so that I can fully focus on homeschooling and my family. I was still checking in on my email early in the morning, though, and getting distracted by to-do’s and projects. So I’m committing not to check email until after 12:30 p.m.
  2. I’m going to aim to be on time for my Periscopes each day. As I mentioned in my scope this morning, I’ve been late for a LOT of things recently — not only deadlines and appointments, but also my scopes. They are supposed to be at 7:30 a.m. CT and 3 p.m. CT and well, I’ve been 10-20 minutes late almost every single day. This is usually because I didn’t plan well ahead of time. I wait until the last minute to plan my scope and get ready for my scope… which always takes longer than I guesstimate! So yes, I need to work on that!

I’d love to hear from YOU. What 1-2 areas in your life do you want to work on this week? Leave a comment and let us know so we can be accountable to each other this week.

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44 Comments

  • I want to work on: -going to bed earlier (in bed, lights out by 10)
    -finishing a load of laundry once I start it

    I had a very busy weekend grading essays, and I’m exhausted. To top it off, I get overwhelmed and feel even more behind when I see the FOUR hampers of clean laundry waiting in my living room for me to fold them. So, sleep and laundry it is!

  • Christina says:

    I’m working on cleaning up the house. I made my own little campaign, “Clean by Halloween” and I’m attacking one area each day so that my house is much cleaner by 10/31!

  • Shelli Mader says:

    I want to work on my writing. I want to be a writer but never seem to actually get any writing done!

  • Tamara says:

    I, too, can have a problem with punctuality. My grandmother and my husband have always told me I am being inconsiderate of others and their time when I am not on time. Of course, sometimes things happen and it cannot be helped; however, if one has a habit of being punctual THEN when the unforeseen occurs, people are more likely to be understanding. I am working on it! I have a bad habit of thinking I can accomplish so much more in a certain amount of time than what is reasonable, so I am focusing on one your tips: make the list and immediately cross some of the items OFF! It works!

    • This is SO true! Thanks for sharing!

    • Alison says:

      I tend to be punctual, so take this with a grain of salt, but change your mindset to arrive early. I always try to do this, especially now that I usually have 3 kids with me.

      If you need to be somewhere at 9 and it takes 15 minutes, tell the family that you are all going to be walking out of the door at 8:35. That gives you those 10 minutes of wiggle that invariably get eaten up by all of the distractions, traffic, etc.

      I also have all of my clocks set between 5 and 10 minutes ahead. It drives my husband crazy, but it works for me.

  • Davonne says:

    This week my goals are to tidy (and maintain) the house, catch up on laundry & declutter the school/toy room. Because when the organization isn’t flowing well, I tend to feel stressed and behind schedule as I dig for things my family needs.

    And since I’ve been able to cut my office hours in half, I also want to spend time actually doing schoolwork with my kids instead of just assigning & checking it.

    Thanks for giving us food for thought to begin the week!

  • Brittany Kearns says:

    I want to work on grading my kids schoolwork every night before I go to bed so that they’re ready to go the next morning.

  • If you haven’t read The 4-Hour Workweek yet, it is AWESOME. It will totally inspire you to cross tons of things off your to-do list, even the things that you used to think were essential. Highly recommend. xoxo

    • Thanks, Kelly. I’ve heard about that book. I’ll have to check it out. I often feel like I’m running in circles and so I finally created my own planner and listed the essential things that I wanted to get done on every day’s page. Sometimes it can be so frustrating to look at my unfinished to-do list every day, though. Maybe I’m doing it wrong?!?

    • I have read that book, but I probably need to re-read it. My only beef was that he would discount a lot of things as not priorities that I would see as very important — like personally responding to as many comments and emails and social media comments as I can. Because I love you all and want you to know that I care about what you have to say! 🙂

      But I’m working hard on deleting and delegating a lot of other things that don’t matter or aren’t priorities!

  • Dita says:

    I have been over scheduled with crazy long to do lists for months and not getting enough sleep. As a result, I am skipping my workout classes, I got sick a week ago and I am just generally late on all of my projects and goals the last few weeks. It finally caught up to me.

    My two areas to work on this week are
    1) **Going to bed on time, by 10:30pm** so I can get up on time, 6:15-6:30am and have time to read my devotionals and do 10 minutes of yoga before my family gets up and before going to work.
    2) Going to the four classes I scheduled this week. I believe my level of energy and focus are a direct connection to the exercise I get or don’t get and I need to make exercise a consistent priority.
    Thanks Crystal!

  • * Hugs * I struggle with being late, too. It’s a work in progress! I need to work on going to bed earlier, too. I’ve been trying to get up earlier (your Make Over Your Mornings class was a great inspiration). However, since I’ve been staying up late (and then not sleeping once I do go to bed – probably thanks to using my laptop and phone so close to bedtime), I’ve already been sick twice this month. 🙁

  • Lauren says:

    It sounds like you need to read your book, “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 🙂

    • 😉 I know! I’ve been thinking of that!

      By the way, today has been WORLDS better. I’m hoping that these small tweaks to the schedule and email and how I’m approaching my day will make a big difference!

  • Kate says:

    I hear you! Thank you for this post. It’s exactly what I needed. I am juggling many, many balls right now, and there are not many that I can necessarily get rid of right now. But rather, I’m going to see how I can rearrange the balls I have to juggle to still allow for some more breathing room. I’m juggling a demanding job and graduate coursework at the same time. So close to graduation, but not quite there. 🙂 While the work load for both commitments is heavy and not one that I can just do away with right now, I’m going to look at some simple things, such as how much sleep I’m getting each night and when I choose to do my homework to see if I can be more efficient and effective at the same time, and relieve some stress too. There is an end in sight – graduation and the perks that will come from obtaining a master’s degree are so close – but I need to make some small adjustments to better handle work and coursework on top of family and our home.

  • Janet says:

    I am working on my priorities. Once I know what those are I will be working on creating goals for those priorities. Reading I Used To Be So Organized has made me think about where my priorities are now and where do I really want them to be. If you don’t know your priorities you don’t know what to cut out of your schedule.

  • Emily says:

    1. Put away laundry. I’m great about washing/drying/folding, but then I let it pile up in the baskets!! Why do I do this to myself!!
    2. Don’t let clutter pile up. Actually take stuff in bags to goodwill, boxes to recycling, deal with mail.

  • Debbi says:

    I am reading along with you. Love the book! I want to make my mornings better. I currently work early in the mornings at a part time job, so I have no problem getting up, but j still want to focus on how I can make our home have a better feeling between when j get home, when the kids wake up and getting them off to school. I’ve taken the free day one of your morning course and plan on taking the full course soon.

    I also want to work on being there…really putting my phone down and not looking at Facebook and Instagram as much as I do.

    Thanks for such great posts and inspiration!

  • Laurie says:

    I just had to write and tell you that because of your blog posts about your new book I have been really motivated to make over my disorganized life. I am a stay at home mom who works an eBay business and wants to start a craft blog. I’ve used your advice and I am now writing down the things I want to get done in my day, no matter how small. I stopped checking my email until later in the day. Just those few changes have made a huge difference! I’m getting tons of chores done and tons of projects done in my sewing room. Thanks for the inspiration! I finally feel like I am on the right track!

  • Tina says:

    I have a bunch of blog posts written out or outlined and I need to get in gear and get posting.
    I also have to work on finding something I can do in my spare time to bring in some extra cash.

  • Tracy says:

    I am a new “empty-nest”er and thought I’d have tons of time and easily keep up with everything, but I haven’t taken the time to sit and re-evaluate my time and priorities! I own my own business (a homeschool co-op) and direct sales business and those aren’t as organized as they could be either!!

    The thing I need to work on is a routine–a daily schedule for each area of my life while still feeling ok when I need to let things go and a backup plan for when I cant.

    So here’s my plan for tomorrow:
    ~Read Sections 1 and 2 of the book (I’ll start it tonight, but just got the book)
    ~Create a list of what weekly things need to be done each day (a weekly schedule for myself)

    Thanks for always being so encouraging! I am ahead of you in the “mothering” journey and am always amazed at how much quicker you are “learning” things than I did. Great job and keep it up!!!

  • Ashley says:

    I was forming such beautiful habits a couple months ago, but have really let myself go as summer came to a close. So, two things I need to work on each week are:

    1) set meaningful and achievable goals from daily and weekly perspectives
    2) block out my calendar for work and play

    Looking forward to the accountability!

  • Danielle Hicks says:

    I am really enjoying the book, and am so glad I purchased it. My goal for this week is to spend less time on Facebook. My initial step was deleting the app from my phone. I already feel better!

  • Leanne says:

    Thank you for being honest! Has an adult with ADD I struggle most days with many things. And for reminding me to other people don’t have “it” together too.

  • Maryalene says:

    I keep saying I’m going to stop checking emails and shut down the laptop at 4:30pm but I can’t seem to do it. I think I might have a problem. 🙁

    But my number one thing I need to work on is my sleep. I feel like if I could get myself to turn in earlier so I got a good night’s sleep each day, a lot if other things would fall into place.

  • Amanda L says:

    I want to be more present. Stop being distracted, especially by media, and really love on my kiddos.
    I also want to establish a daily routine. I have just been saying yes to a lot of things lately that break up days and I’m seeing some behavior struggles as a result. I want to nail down our days and start making commitments fit into our schedule, not the other way around!

  • I am working on being consistent with “time blocking” my schedule. I recently learned this technique from Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog. And, on the days that I’ve done it I have been waaay more productive than the ones I didn’t. 😉

  • Jenna says:

    I wanted to read this, but my library didn’t have it. I went to a book swap and found it last week!! I am excited.

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