Professional Organizing Tips and Resources.
A recent accident I had last fall brought something to my attention. Head injuries can be a very serious mater and the typical symptoms after a head injury are difficulty concentrating, remembering information and keeping track of events. For those that may suffer memory loss as a result of an injury or otherwise I want to share a little of what I know, as poor memory, to some degree, can be dealt with by learning to be more organized.
Yes, recently I suffered a motorcycle accident, I am lucky enough that I did not break any bones, yet I did manage to hit my head pretty hard in the fall and knock myself out for a few minutes.
I was taken to the hospital very quickly and treated for the lacerations to my face as well as being given a C.T. scan to check to see what damage may have been done to the 3.5 lb piece of gray matter between my ears. Well, as it turns out my head did take a pretty good blow and the C.T. scan showed that I had a small amount of bleeding in my frontal lobe. The doctor said it will probably be OK yet I needed to be watched for a few days to be sure I was ok. For the first day every two hours I was asked to repeat the details of my name, birthday, date and my location over and over as well as having physical checks. By the second day they spread these checks out a bit and as my condition improved I was able to get out of bed and walk around.
As I quickly learned while doing some light reading in the hospital, Head injury's can be a very serious mater and the typical symptoms after a head injury are difficulty concentrating, remembering information and keeping track of events. There are also other symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, anger and depression too. Lucky enough for me my injury was not too bad and I didn't suffer from any of these problems. Yet for the sake of those that do suffer I want to share a little of what I know, as poor memory, to some degree, can be dealt with by learning to be more organized.
For example the need for notebooks, calendars and personal organizers is more of a necessity than a convenience when you are apt to forget daily tasks and appointments. Memory loss can rob an individual of many things as they are not able to keep up the pace at work and or at home, forgetting valuable pieces of information, getting overwhelmed by too many tasks or distractions and more.
I feel in most cases that the effects can be reduced by taking steps to get you set up with an easy to use system that works. To help with this I would like to offer some suggestions and tips. These suggestions may seem basic enough but you would be surprised how many people I meet, that haven't even suffered a head injury, that still forget appointments and cant find documents they are looking for, so perhaps almost everyone can get something from being a little more organized.
I find that one of the best ways to stay organized is by writing yourself notes. It is best to write things down while the thoughts are still fresh. Write complete notes and keep your notes in one place. This means getting a good notebook and keeping it near by at all times. You can also use a voice recorder to help if you feel you need it. This can be a convenient way to take notes as you can speak into it while the thoughts are fresh in your mind, yet remember, you will have to transcribe them later on. What ever method you chose, be sure to keep it with you for when you need it. My other tip to you is get something of quality that you can use for a good long time. You are worth the extra cost and being more effective and productive as a result will have its own rewards.
Another simple yet effective way to help you remember things is to keep notepads close by in highly visible areas of your home or work, such as the front door and the Kitchen door. You can use these to make notes to yourself to remember to check that the stove is off before you leave the kitchen or that you have your wallet with you before you leave your home. Also be sure to keep a notepad handy by the phone as well.
The other one thing that I think everyone should have at work and at home regardless of how well or how poor their memory may be, is a fingertip file system. Simply put a binder that contains your personal calendar, your "to do", "to buy" & "to pay" lists, your expenses, receipts and even your contacts list. This fingertip file is an all-in-one daily reference which can help you to never forget an appointment or a payment again. I will not go into depth as to how this binder is put together within the course of this article, yet I will say it is relatively simple and it can easily be created to suit each individuals needs depending on how busy they are in certain areas of their life and work. Check out your local office supply store for all kinds of organizing options available to use in this binder, there are lots of great items available to make your binder to your liking.
An active "to-do" list is also very important to have handy as well. Write down all the things you need to do each day and review the list first thing in the morning or the night before, or both if you can. Prioritize what really needs to be done, figure out what the best order is and how to best fit the tasks into your day. Keep in mind geographical locations for places that you need to go for even better efficiency. It is a good idea to review your list with a family member too and when possible ask them to help remind you of important information or tasks you need to do. For even better efficiency try to schedule the important or challenging tasks for your best time of day, such as mid morning.
Recently I attended a speech given by Peter Legge, International Best Selling Author & Speaker, and he had some excellent advice about keeping a "To-Do" list, yet he called it his "Super 6" which I really liked. His advice is to write down the top 6 things you need to do each day in order of priority. What ever you don't get done one day you simply move to the next day and continue on. Like the name "Super 6" suggests, don't make the list to long. Add to your list as other items get crossed off. This way you are more likely to complete tasks more effectively and you won't start too many projects without completing what you have already.
So, there you have it, take notes, keep you files in order and keep a running task list and you are on your way to being more effective than ever. I hope that these tips and advice help you get started to being more organized today regardless of how good memory may or may not be. There are many great systems available to organize your space, desktop and files and home and work.
To some, the task may seem daunting at first but I can assure you that once you have a good system in place it is easy to maintain and you will have more time to do the things you really enjoy doing. Professional organizers like me are always available to help you get started as well.
Need help organizing? Michelle serves the Carleton Place, Lanark County and Ottawa areas.