Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Four D's Will Save You - Delete, Delegate, Decide and Defer

I was trying to figure out what to write about and realized that I never posted this blog to my site when I wrote it a few weeks ago...hmmm, must be busy or something!

Okay, I had as a goal to blog at least once a week about something organizing related, but I have felt over busy lately with both my work, volunteer and personal lives. Yes, I should know better being an organizer, but like everyone, I have these too busy episodes too. Don’t you hate when everything seems to be a priority? I hate the feeling when I get this way because I am not as productive as I want and need to be. And of course the first thing that goes off my schedule when I feel this way is exercising – the very thing that helps me keep stress in check. Okay, enough whining let me tell you what I’m doing about it.

The last time I blogged I was getting ready for our neighborhood yard sale that I was instrumental in coordinating. This was supposed to be the first of two neighborhood events, with the second being a block party on June 11th. The yard sale was a lot of fun, especially watching my son and his best friend sell their toys and laughing with my neighbors as we swapped our stuff around. Going through this experience (i.e. increase e-mail load, getting volunteers, promotion, etc.) made me realize that there was no way managing a block party could happen on the 11th and I was absolutely crazy to think I could do it right with everything else going on. Another major factor that played into postponing the block party is I am chairing the end of year picnic for my kids’ school on June 10th and it is a very large event to coordinate. Why would any sane person sign up to chair both events?

I got in this bind because I sometimes underestimate the amount of time it takes to do something (very common, by the way), and I should have never committed to managing two large events back to back. So getting one off my plate was a move in the right direction.

The second thing I did that has helped me get back some time is going back to basics – planning and prioritizing tasks and projects. Instead of hyperventilating and thinking that everything has the same level of priority, when I actually take the time to think calmly about what I have to do, I see things more clearly and realize I do have enough time.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation where you are stressed and feel overwhelmed with your schedule, remember the 4 Ds - Delete, Delegate, Decide and Defer. Delete items off of your to do list that aren’t important now, delegate what you can, decide what you need to work on now and defer what you can to a later date.

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