Day Twenty: 40 Bags in 40 Days Decluttering Challenge – Are you Proactive or Reactive?

It is day twenty of the 40 Bags in 40 Days decluttering challenge.  You are half way through!  Have you accomplished fifty percent of your project goals?

It is amazing how fast time can go.  I am sure some of you wish you accomplished more in this time.  Perhaps there were set backs because life can get in the way.

One of my favorite books is the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Steven Covey.  My favorite concept in the book is to focus on being proactive rather than reactive.  What does that mean in when organizing?  Don’t let the unimportant interruptions of life distract you from your goal for the day.

For example, you may be sitting at your desk working on an email.  You need this email finished in the next half hour because you are on deadline for a response.  Suddenly, you get a text from your friend.  You stop the email.  Next, you read the text, respond to the text (because it will only take a second) and start going back and forth in a conversation that is not as urgent to answer as your email.  Twenty minutes wasted.

Now you look at a link your friend sent you to a new house they are thinking of buying.  From there you start surfing the web for a specialty light bulb you just remembered you need to replace.  Now it has been 40 minutes.  Suddenly you get back to your senses, look at the clock and realize you need to get to an appointment.  You didn’t send the email and you never found the bulb. Your only free moment to complete that email without getting behind schedule is gone.

If you kept your eye on the prize, your email would be out in time.  You would have read your friend’s non-urgent text and responded later.  Don’t let the unimportant distractions take precedent for what is important that day.  When you do, you are being “reactive”.

Set your priorities for the day each morning.  Schedule time on your calendar for each goal.  If you find that there is not enough time on your calendar, prioritize the most important and schedule the rest for the next day.

The reality is that we always have more to do than we can get done in one day.  But if we are smart about how we plan our tasks “proactively”  we will get so much more done.

Happy Organizing,


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