I’ve taken the last few weeks off to restructure, reset, and reorganize. I enjoyed a slower pace, attempted to sleep in, and cautiously approached my to-do lists with an “I’m on vacation” attitude.
We sent out holiday cards. We received holiday cards. We put up the tree. We took down the tree. We stayed up late and poked around in the morning. That could be defined as a version of a Staycation. But to say that I walked away from Carde Blanche, the blog or my creative ideas would be a bold face lie.
When everyone else was busy with friends, sports, Breaking Bad marathon, etc., I found myself dabbling in my office. I decided to get organized for the New Year. Not in a ‘resolution’ way, but rather in a ‘no better time than the present’ way. I kept a list of potential clients and custom orders. I took note of blog ideas and necessary revisions. Certainly, I also needed a place to doodle 2014 stationery ideas.
The problem? Every time I’d sit at my desk, I would grab another brand new notebook for these tasks. I started my new Kate Spade aqua-striped notepad for Carde Blanche custom orders. The gold and white striped Sugar-Paper LA notebook became the scribble spot for Candid details. And while a third notebook was the go-to for creative scribbling, I used any excuse to make a list on my Hello Note pad. What’s the matter with me?
By the end of the two weeks, I found four journals started and stacked. To make matters worse, I realized I also used a different pen for each one…as if that would facilitate neater handwriting or better ideas. So, here we are five days into the New Year and I already have to restart my reset button. For practicality purposes, I simply needed to compile my lists, tasks and designs into one journal/notebook. Ok, maybe two. So, this is what I committed to:
1. Choose and use one or two notebooks until every page is written in. Ponder the following before picking:
- will they fit in your purse?
- do they have lines?
- do you need lines?
- do they open flat?
2. Exert self-control when feeling the need to use a different pen with every idea (it won’t help). The practical process:
- pick a pen that’s comfortable and won’t smudge
- grab one highlighter for important notes
- keep a pencil and eraser near by for doodling days
3. Refrain from shopping at all office supply stores for the next few months. For this I may need to reset the navigation in my car for alternate routes through town.
4. Recognize that too much organization is counter-productive to productivity.
Committing to organization for 2014 isn’t the problem. It’s committing to one system that tends to derail me. I thrive with lists at hand, on my desk and beside table. I love checking off those little boxes…it makes me feel accomplished. It’s a personal measurement tool of whether I stayed the course that day. In order to guarantee mild success, I always start #1 with: Make Coffee. I’ll never get dressed or to #2 without it. Check!
PS Feel free to share your organizational strategies in the comments below. We can all use some extra tips for success.