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Get Organized Now! NEWSLETTER
By Maria Gracia
July 8, 2017

  Today's Feature

When You Have a Lot To Do, and Little Time to Do It

For some people, summer is a season of relaxation. For me, July is always a bit hectic. This is mainly due to the fact that I visit my family on the east coast in July...and it takes me away from my personal TO DOs and business TO DOs for about 10 days. Besides briefly checking my email, I don't do any other work while I'm on vacation...which essentially means I have to get 10 days of work pre-done before I leave. How do I get this accomplished? Here are 5 organizing concepts I use:

1. My number one starting point is a list. With everything I have swimming around in my head, my written list keeps me on track and ensures I don't forget anything. Everything I have to do goes on the list. No exceptions.

2. I divide my list. Some of the items on my list have to be done way before I leave, like arranging for a house sitter, finding substitutes for the fitness classes I teach, and getting all of my newsletters written and set to automatically send. I highlight all of these in yellow...and handle these first. Once those are all accomplished, I can tackle the other tasks closer to my vacation departure date.

3. I ADD a little more work and SUBTRACT a bit of leisure prior to leaving. I'm generally a stickler for not allowing work time to invade my leisure time. Prior to leaving for a trip though, I do sacrifice some leisure time. This means A LOT LESS time: browsing Pinterest and Facebook, TV time, trying out new recipes, reading for entertainment, lunch dates with friends, and so on. There will be plenty of time for all this when I return. Yes, my life is a bit more grueling before a trip, but a relaxing vacation awaits directly afterwards, so it's worth it. This all being said, I do make sure that work doesn't cut into my 7 hours of sleep...otherwise, my immune system will be compromised and I'll be sure to end up with a cold before leaving...something I definitely don't want!

4. I give myself extra-tight deadlines. Have you ever heard of Parkinson's Law? It points out that people usually take all the time allotted (and frequently more) to accomplish any task. Think about two college students. Both are given two weeks to write a paper. One takes all 14 days to slowly write it and enhance it. The other waits until the final 48 hours to start. Both complete the paper in time. When push comes to shove, when you give yourself tight deadlines and are committed to them, it's amazing how you can get something done in half the time, or less, that it would normally take. Note: This is just an example. I don't recommend waiting until the last minute to do anything important.

5. I eliminate and streamline. As it begins to get closer to my departure date, if I find that I'm running out of time to get every last task done, I take a realistic approach. Some tasks definitely have to be done before I leave (like being sure the mail is put on hold and delegating tasks and projects to my assistant). Other tasks aren't as important. I remember meeting with a woman who was leaving for a 7-day trip and was in a panic with all the TO DOs on her list. I grabbed her list and immediately crossed off 10 of her 20 listed tasks, which included TO DOs like, clean under the fridge, catch up on filing, and trim the bushes. Yes, all these things have to be done, but really, they could all wait until her return without having any major impact on her life.

Today is July 8th and, following these concepts, I'm right on track. I'm way ahead of where I'd normally be on my list if I were working at a regular steady pace, I'm not feeling stressed out, and I'm looking forward to some time off. Yes, I'm missing some of my fun leisure time for sure, but it will feel so good to have the important stuff done...and I'll actually be able to relax on my trip.

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  New on our Web Site!

Article: 10 ideas for using your space effectively

Cleaning Secrets: Roll your way to a cleaner house

Dirty Little Secret 1: Packing for a trip? Ao this to keep your clothes clean and fresh...

Dirty Little Secret 2: Here's my secret for drastically reducing ironing time...

Dirty Little Secret 3: You'll never see trash in my car. Here's why...

My Life: My 5 favorite ways to make things happen in my life

Mini Challenges: Who wants to be stuck in the house in July? That's why I've come up with 5 super, duper, easy challenges. But just because they're easy, doesn't mean they won't have an impact. Here are five easy organizing suggestions that will make a big difference in your world.

In ADDITION, on our home page, you'll also find lots of NEW and featured STUFF including...

Social Media Spotlight: An easy way to cut down the volume in an overfull clothes closet

New Web Poll. What are your favorite things to do at the beach. Take a second and vote in our web poll. You'll be able to see immediate live results

Theme of the Week: Sunshine. Enjoy our home page quotes, that reflect our theme, for added inspiration and motivation this week

GON Monthly Checklist: Summer is a wonderful time to get organized...and to reward yourself for your efforts. Check out our July 2017 Organizing Checklist

  TO DO This Week

Week Beginning July 8th

1. Clean off a shelf in your laundry room. Choose one shelf in your laundry room, empty it completely and wipe it clean. Discard any junk, relocate anything that doesn't belong there, and return the keepers back to the shelf.

2. Change the sheets and pillowcases on one bed. Ideally, sheets should be changed once a week. You can stretch it to two...but if has been longer, it's time to get it done.

3. Say goodbye to something unhealthy. Pinpoint something you're eating and drinking that isn't nutritious, and eliminate that food or beverage from your house. It's less tempting if it's not easily accessible.

4. Empty one surface of random paper. Focus on one surface in your house that tends to accumulate paper. Empty that surface completely. Recycle papers you don't need...and put the keepers in your filing system or action file if there's a TO DO to be done.

5. Discard old food. Discard old food from your fridge and pantry. If you're tossing away a lot, you're buying too much. Buy less and finish what's in there before you buy more.

  In Closing

'Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss....' He turned to me. 'But every once in a while, you find someone who's iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.'

--Wendelin Van Draanen, Flipped

I'd love to hear from you.
Comments, suggestions, or just to say hello. Just REPLY to this email with a short note.

And remember...Being organized creates a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life!


Maria Gracia
Get Organized Now!

How to Use This Newsletter

In this newsletter, you will find stories, ideas, inspiration, links and more to help you live a less stressful, more organized, more fulfilling life. We encourage you to apply these ideas to your own life AND share them liberally with your family, friends, and fan base via email, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, other social media outlets, and in person, of course!

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Thank you for helping to spread the gift of organizing far and wide! -- Maria

(c) Copyright 2017 by Maria Gracia, Get Organized Now!

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-- Maria Gracia