If time feels very fluid, too fast and too slow at the same time, if it always feels like Thursday (never making it to the fun part of the weekend), you are not alone. Time has little meaning these days. Days run together. Familiar appointments are on hiatus. Zoom calls feel endless. I don’t know about you, but I have given up trying to decipher my kids’ A/B, Day 1-4, reverse 8-5, traditional/block synchronous/async schedule. (I wish I were making that up, but it really is that crazy.)
It is within this reality that I’ve been helping my own kids understand this timeless proverb:
If you are early, you are on time, and if you are on time, you are late.
How many times in the last months have these things happened to you:
Tried to join or host a Zoom call, only to realize you didn’t have the link?
Tried to log on, and your computer spontaneously rebooted or required a software update?
Ordered something online, only to find out that shipping or inventory delays were way longer than you expected?
Tried to drive somewhere this summer, and got caught in ugly, lengthy construction delays?
Visited a store and had to wait in a really long line to check out?
Had a deadline on a project (or even just returning a library book), but missed it due to being sick or even just a little sad or depressed?
You did absolutely everything right, but there was a network outage, someone got booted off a meeting, or an email was lost, and because you were already rushing and stressed, it made you physically sick?
I promise you, these things are happening to us all, even the organized among us. 🙂 How do you think I could come up with this list so quickly? It’s happened to me, too!
Back when this all started, I wrote that the pandemic was changing everything about how we relate to time this year. Experts tell us that the sooner we accept the idea that things may never get back to normal as we knew them before this year, the sooner we can shift mentally and live happily in the now.
How do we embrace this new normal? Would it surprise you to hear that getting and staying organized is the key to sanity this year? Here’s a short list of things to help:
Log onto online meetings 10 minutes early. You can leave your mic and camera off, but at least you’ll be there on time.
Keep your computer software updated. Reboot your computer and phone at least weekly by turning them all the way off.
Recharge all of your devices every night. If you don’t have a countertop recharging station, make one.
Expect shipping delays. Order things before you need to. Buy locally if you can in order to support your local businesses.
Call before you visit a store. Make sure you know what their hours are, and if they have the items you want to purchase.
Expect road delays. Many towns are doing more construction to keep employees busy. Start your trip an extra 15 minutes, and check GPS for roadblocks.
Have a plan for what happens to your family, your bills, your job, and your business if you get sick for a few days (or longer).
Don’t wait for deadlines.
At the start of each month, I post this little list of quick monthly organizing maintenance routines that can make you feel like you’ve got it all together. Sometimes I don’t strictly do them on the first day of the month, but I wait until the first weekend of the month. Even if you don’t do them all every month, taking care of a few is better than feeling like you are always behind, right? Post this list and see how many you can check off over the next few days.
October starts the last quarter of the year, and even though it feels like we’re kind of frozen in time, the end of the year will be here before you know it. Now is a good time to:
get caught up on business bookkeeping (schedule an appointment with yourself or your bookkeeper)
check company HSA/FSA account balances and make medical appointments, if needed
take care of home maintenance projects before winter weather arrives
plan for holiday purchases, travel or events
Remember when you recently finished a project, organized a closet, or turned in a report on time? Revisit for a moment how that made you feel. It felt good, right?
Step 5 of SORT and Succeed is rewarding yourself when you complete any part (even a small part) of an organizing project. If you do any part of this article today, be sure to reward yourself with something that makes you smile. You deserve it. Post a comment, and I’ll send you a smile.
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