Combat A.D.D: 5 Awesome Organization Tips
Time is free, but it's priceless.
You can't own it, but you can use it.
You can't keep it, but you can spend it.
Once you've lost it, you can never get it back.
- Harvey MacKay
Do you ever find yourself starting something and 2 hours later, wondering what you really accomplished? Or maybe you begin with one task in mind, and o man, you are really focused! But then that task is interrupted, which in turn leads to 30 other avenues of interruptions to pursue and at the end, you have successfully started 25 things, finished nothing and feelings of being overwhelmed sweep in. So what do you do? In my case, I work more in an attempt to clean up the mess, but others shut down.
That could very well have been the story of my life...then.
But this is now and with the amazing time saving tools I’m going to show you, which you can use/download for free, there are many ways to be mobile and in control. Translation? MORE FREE-TIME for YOU and INCREASED ORGANIZATION. Whether it be for personal organization or professional organization, these time saving tips will benefit you.
Further translation: being organized gives you freedom. “How?” you ask? Have you ever lost a key document and had to do the bureaucratic paperwork shuffle to get another copy? Or maybe for the post college goers here, have you had your first encounter with the insurance companies? Prevention from having to spend hours on the phone arguing conflicting information to get what you need is MORE THAN ENOUGH incentive for me to be organized, cut the fat and liberate myself from paperwork hell and over-detail lunatic syndrome.
People underestimate the importance of organization and as lifestyle design artists, it's key to carving out that neat life with less worry and more relaxation. Organization is not micro-management of the mundane, at least not to me. It isn't walking into your room and deciding that you want to organize your button collection just for the hell of it and p.s., you have 1,000 buttons.
Shoot me. Really.
My family laughs at me, because if I hate doing something and cannot justify the time or energy spent on the task, I don’t do it. For a dance recital not too long ago, the dance teacher instructed us to decorate our costumes with pieces of small sequence. That immediately said to me,
“You have to go to the store, buy the stuff, then take the time to place them elegantly on the dress, glue them and dry it. Total estimated time to accomplish task: 2+ hours.”
No. Not happening. So I paid a fellow dancer $10 to buy the glue and sequence and to keep the remainder as payment for a job well done. Problem solved. No headache for me and he did a far better job than I would have ever done. Lazy? Not to me. It’s called lightening focus. I know what I like and don’t like and the opportunity to make money in my business takes precedence over sequence 101. Remember in the last article ("Enough is Enough") to fight for right to make decisions? Remember how I highlighted that feeling overwhelmed started out with not being able to say no to smaller tasks, i.e. sequence duty. If you cannot take action with small decisions with not so large implications on your life, it will most likely be problematic when you take on larger tasks.
The following suggestions have helped me immensely in my pursuit to combat A.D.D., become more organized and more focused. Increased organization and focus have many benefits, most of which have to do with increased time with loved ones and less stress by overworking myself.
My superwoman tools to be really awesome: Don’t believe me? Try them! They’re free!
Evernote allows you to save, organize and store information in digital form (pictures, videos, html, etc) and retrieve it easily through the tags you’ve assigned to it via the Internet. Think of all those tabs you have on your web browser to save info you like and those notebooks of quotes, information and key information you’re saving. This sorts, saves and organizes all that. The result is less clutter. I’ve used it to do quick research on people I’m going to interview. All I do is pull up the website I want with the person’s info, send it to Evernote via Shareaholic (2 clicks total) and then go into Evernote and save it with keywords I will later use to pull it up (e.g. interview, Greg Rollett, internet marketer). I later go back to review the info and because I can edit it to my liking, I highlight the important info. Super quick. No paper. No mess. Easy to use and so functional it’s ridiculous.
Shareaholic: With a single click of a button, you can DIGITALLY send ANYTHING to ANYWHERE on the internet. For example, let’s say I’m reading an article and want to save it. I click the shareaholic button on my web browser and click Evernote. It sends the exact copy of the page I’m looking at to my Evernote account, where I can edit it to my liking. Two clicks. Twenty seconds. Bam, Done.
I’m using this as I’m writing this article! Eggtimer has to be one of the simplest sites I've ever seen, but it’s genius lies within its simplicity. Eggtimer is a web browser timer. You open up e.gtimer.com and put in the amount of time you want to spend on an existing task. It then begins a countdown for you. For example. I know I only want to spend 15 minutes on email. I set the Eggtimer for 15 minutes and begin the email race. When my 15 minutes is up, it rings! For those who lack focus, try it. It even has an Eggtimer for brushing your teeth!
For people who have a lot to accomplish in the day and wonder where time goes, this is for you. Rescuetime will show you via a weekly report where and for how long you’re spending your time. It tells me how much time I spend on certain projects and tasks (e.g. writing a blog article). At the end of the week, I can see that 20 hours on Facebook is not productive and realize I need to make better use of my Eggtimer to limit mind-numbing activity. You tell Rescuetime which activities are productive and which are not and it will give you a weekly score of how you did. You can even track specific projects and it will track your goals (e.g. Less Facebook time).
Dropbox is a way to virtually backup your information via the internet and then retrieve it via ANY computer. In the case that your computer was to crash, any information you placed in your dropbox on your computer would be saved and unharmed. You can also store commonly used files, pictures and information to access them from any computer, anywhere in the world. No need to access your info via YOUR computer. Simple, free for 2gb of storage and highly functional. Using Evernote and dropbox, all-important information is accessible via the internet using any computer.
**Disclaimer: By using that link above, I get more GB of free space on my dropbox.com.
**Disclaimer #2: I don’t sell my soul to make money or in this case, free GB of virtual backup space. So, know that this WILL benefit you.
Try the sites out guys!
Leave your feedback and let me know how it works out!
If you like the suggestions, repost them so others can benefit too :)