Get Organized By Paying Attention

I am becoming increasingly convinced that being successful in life (not to mention happy) is largely dependent on good organization skills.  This unoriginal light bulb moment happened for me last week when I hung up a key hook by the door.  It was simple move, but one of great significance for me.

Do you know how much time I have spent searching for my keys?  I am glad no one has been tallying the minutes because to know exactly how much time I have wasted would be too depressing.  It happened multiple times a day, almost every single day.  Not too long ago I even left my keys in the front door overnight.

But the funny thing is that I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting until I hung up the key hook.  Sure, it was inconvenient to search for keys every time we were heading out, but it didn’t seem like that big of a deal.  After I hung up the key hook, I noticed a big change.  It was so much easier to get out the door because I didn’t have to plan on 10 or 15 minutes of hide and seek before we could leave.   This got me thinking about other areas in my life that could use a bit more organization.

In order to identify where else in my life I might need some refreshing, some organization, some better time management, I carried around a notebook for a few days.  I wrote everything down – what time I got up, what I ate, where I went, everything I did and how long it took to do it.   The results were surprising to say the least!

I eat more than I think I do.  I often skip meals (I know, I know) so I think that because I didn’t have breakfast or lunch it is certainly within my bounds to eat a cupcake (or four), and maybe a handful of crackers and nuts, and I’m not one to turn down a bit of cheese here and there (and everywhere).  My notebook showed me that I may in fact be eating a bit more on the side than I would if I just ate meals like I should.

I found a lot of ways I could be saving time – really, I wasn’t on Pinterest for just a second or two?  I identified things that a bit of organization and simplification could make run smoother, like the pantry for mealtimes and my closet when I get ready in the morning.  I even found a few things I could pat myself on the back for, which is always nice you know.  As it turns out, I spend a good amount of time studying scriptures and playing with my kids.

So, if 90% of success is being organized and managing time well, I think the other 10% is paying attention.  After a few days of paying close attention to my habits and routines, I am on my way to making small changes and big improvements.  It is as simple as a notebook, a pen, and a commitment to pay attention.

Try carrying around a notebook for a couple days and see what you can learn about yourself.  It’s not one more thing to do, I promise; it’s a shortcut. 

Have you tried this before? 
How do you keep track of what is working and what’s not in your life?
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