Organization and Productivity as a Parent

Originally I started this post for my personal blog till I got thinking when it comes to organization parents have to take it to a WHOLE other level since they organize not only their own but their munchkins’ lives too. I’ve been on a purge of sorts lately, driving Mark nuts with all the things I’ve moved out of the house in the past couple weeks. Ever since I’ve moved my office back into our SMALL brooklyn home I’m in one space not only playing mommy but trying to run a company also. After a couple weeks the lack of space and mass of clutter just got to me. I’ve started having these crazy purging episodes where nothing is safe. My TV and half my dated wardrobe has fallen victim and who knows what’s next till I get in “the mood” again.

We’ve done a really great job of raising Baby G so far minimalistically. She has few “possessions” but endless amounts of love and activities. I’m now trying to bring that into our entire life. There’s something to be said about focusing on the quality of your possessions over the quantity and living more simple. This does mean there’s some changes to be made around here such as myself taking less items from the “sidewalk gods” (except books I’ll NEVER turn down free books) and learning how to be OK with spending a little more on individual items that will last a long time, not to mention the research and thought put into every purchase from here on out. I’m starting to think organization is a lifestyle not an event. It feeds into everything, when my life is organized I feel like a super hero being able to be a productive parent and business owner.

I was recently reading an article in my fave magazine “Ready Made” in which they interviewed four “productivity pros”, one of these pros stated how he often sees when people get their homes and work spaces organized purging many un-needed belongings they start to loose weight (as in pounds off their bodies not emotional weight). Now granted I started up on a good yoga routine and I’ve been eating pretty good, but last week I went on an epic purge in my living room/office space and since Saturday I’ve lost 6 pounds without even trying. Six pound below pre-baby weight, odd huh?

To a certain extent I feel like I’m “organizing from the inside out” as one pro put it and you know what, it feels great! When the time comes and we move (which I’m hoping is sooner rather then later) the move will be so much easier with less things to drag along. Honestly loosing all this stuff is making this small apartment doable for the time being but I can’t WAIT to have more space. Now if I could just get out of the habit of having ten to do lists running all at once I’ll be a productivity monster!

What’s your best organization or productivity tips?

Here’s 8 productivity tips from that article:

- Cut to the chase - When you pick up the phone, say, “This is Tim. I’m in the middle of something, but how can I help you?” It’s guaranteed to cut down on conversation time.

- Outsource Life - Figure out your hourly rate by dividing your annual salary by the number of hours you work. If you can pay anyone-the kid down the street, a virtual assistant in india - less than your own rate to do a time consuming task, you’ve just freed up time to make money.

-You Only Have The Space You Have - Measure your closet and shelf space to figure out objectivly how many shoes, pants, shirts, books, etc., you can fit. Once you have to appropriate amount of stuff, for every item that comes in, one must leave.

-Throw Stuff Out - Follow the rule of keep two, purge one when sorting and purging.

-Start With What Works - No matter how disorganized you are, you have one system, storage area, or task that works well. Figure out why and build on it.

-Follow The Zones - Each room in your house should have three to five different zones for different activities (sorting mail and paying bills etc.) each containing the materials you need for that activity. Allow no more than five zones per room.

-Maintain order - As soon as you think of a task put it on a to do list.

-Context Matters - Organize your to-do list by contexts, such as “at computer,” “at grocery store” or “on phone”

What’s your best tips?