Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Organized

This is me, taking steps to amend my New Year's Resolutions for the past 15 plus years....and counting. I'll be the first to admit that tracking purchases and balancing my checkbook is about as exciting as watching a roof leak. It brings up pretty much the same emotions, frustration, fear/dread and rebellion.

I consider myself to be a cre8tive, free flowing being. Like my Ki energy, one water/three tree, I'm attracted to colorful adventure, schedule free days and love of the unique. That said, I'm coming around, growing wiser or just generally in a real funky location as I am (taking a deep breath) getting the left-brained, linear, sequential aspects of me, in-line.

Perhaps it was sitting through many evenings of "receipt punishment" explaining to my accountant (aka Chad) what I spent, why, where and how much. I have an excellent memory and yet, sadly, some expenses did escape my realm of consciousness.

It was enough of a "wake up" call that I have been working for days to come up with a more suitable plan for tracking expenditures and receipts. I had made it easier on myself, in the present moment by piling everything neatly by the stereo as I emptied my purse/bag. I then neatly carried the pile downstairs and plopped it near Chad's computer. And the stack neatly grew and grew, and grew. When it came time to input the information, Chad's was all neatly added, filed and stored. Mine..........looked like a paper blizzard. I'm ashamed to admit that for someone who considers herself to be fairily organized, this was an epic fail.

I vowed that I would come up with a better system, one that would actually make it easier for me and for my accountant. I purchased a small coupon holder and divided it into various categories; food, clothes, gas, kids, dining, etc.  These receipts will then be filed in a monthly pocket folder with a copy of all expenditures. Chad can then grab the file notebook at the end of the month and head downstairs where he'll input and file them. I had found a cool "mom file" at Target for $17 bucks, which gave me the initial idea. I opted to use a similar style of folder at home, buy a pack of 8 pocket holders for $8.00, and punch some holes in 12 old copies of expense pages. At the end of the month I empty the blue coupon file, clip the receipts together in order of use and pop them in the pocket for Chad to take to his office downstairs for input. Perhaps this will mean a more "friendly atmosphere" in the craft room of Casa Johnston next January?!

In the short time I've been searching for a system, I've discovered the key to uber organiation is to clean out recepits first thing Monday morning and/or as soon as I return home at the end of the day. Like house cleaning, a continual effort creates efficiency and goodness knows I need to be an excellent time manager these days. My days are packed to the gills. In fact I would go so far to say that because of my intensely busy daily schedule, that I have HAD to become more aware of time management, prioritizing, task identification and completion. I guess I had it in me all along but it did take a change in my environment (inside and out) to really activate these organization skills.

Am I super organized? Oh heck no! I'm not even close. I am taking conscious steps to help me bring additonal order and balance to my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual levels. These organizational skills have lain dormant for many years as I may or may not have housed the belief that "organized is boring". Since I've been writing about change I can say that my new belief is "organization is essential if we are going to be successful and productive". To do what we want to do means that we will need to slow down long enough to complete what we feel we have to do. Do I like having to keep track of how much money I spend, on what items and when.........the answer, quite honestly is NO! That said, it does help me to recognize trends and tendencies and become more aware how much is going out.........(note to self: need to change that real soon!)

Are you super organized? And if so, what excellent strategies do you employ that help you make the most of your time and talents. Feel free to post in the comment section below.

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