The beginning of a new year is a great time to work on your productivity. While there are many resources—books, articles, TED talks, etc.—it is often hard to determine which ones are helpful. Will a new morning routine help you do more work? Or, perhaps it’s your Sunday rituals that need to change. Maybe you should lock your cell phone in a drawer for hours a day or purchase an app that blocks the Internet. Are you planning your time well, or should you focus more on your energy?
The promise of being more productive often lures me into reading yet another book or article. Until I read Deep Work, by Cal Newport, however, all of the ideas seemed to be more add-on systems than a way to rework how I think and do things.
How is back-to-school treating you? Are you on top of your assignments and after-school activities? Is your room a great place to relax and work, or is it a pile of piles—of clothes, of papers, of toys, of … stuff? It’s hard to relax, have a good time, and get decent grades when your chaos works against you.
Right now, it may seem as though it’s just too much to take on, but once you get in the habit of treating your time and space as valuable, you will find your days can be much less stressful. No more running late, losing important things in the piles of unimportant things, or procrastinating on projects. It’s not hard. It just takes consistency and a gentle push in the right direction.
Getting It Together (A Smart Girl’s Guide) shows you many of the habits that can depress your day and then tells you how to change them without ever being super judgmental. Whether you are a clutter queen or time management is your tyrant, this book can be a huge help in improving your day-to-day experiences.
Linda Clevenger is a professional consultant who works with homeowners, business owners, entrepreneurs and mompreneurs to organize their space and lives.
Linda lives in Spotsylvania with her husband and oldest granddaughter. She has been married to her husband Marty for 33 years and has three grown children. Grandchild number five will arrive in November.
Why did you decide to start a professional organizing business?
After several decades of working in corporate America, I decided that it was time for me to do something for myself. So, I took the combined 30 years of experience of traveling with my husband’s Marine Corps career and my management experience in the financial planning, as well as international unions, and decided that it was time to do something that I loved—organize.
For the last nine years, I have been assisting local area businesses and residents to cut through the physical and mental clutter that causes stress and anxiety and overwhelms.
A more organized you may be just a click away. Here are some free organizational apps to help fight your case of chronic disarray.
Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution to clean up my house. In reality, I just needed to attack the horrific mess that used to be my garage. I needed to be able to walk the length of it and get out the other end, unscathed. This grand task sounded great on paper, but unfortunately I had made this promise many times before. From reading countless articles about New Year’s resolutions, this time I knew how to make it happen. I needed an outline of specific steps. I needed to let others know about my goal. And I needed to set aside time to make it happen.
As we all know, life has a habit of getting in the way. There are bills to be paid, grocery shopping to do, meals to be made, and appointments to keep. Let’s not forget about work, house repair, yard work, and general cleaning! All of these unfortunately take precedence over organization and sorting through clutter. But I was determined to make it happen. I took one day this summer to clean out the garage, giving my husband the baby and playing “invisible” for a day. We ended up with a much neater looking space and a generous truckload of items off to Goodwill and various recycling entities. But a few months later – yup, you guessed it – the piles were back and the garage was nearly impassable again.