Whenever spring hits, do you feel like you’re in a mad rush to get everything organized?
I know I do. I’ve often talked about the fact that I like to divide my year into three trimesters. Each one is carefully planned and although it starts completely organized, it ends in a chaotic whirlwind.
If you feel like you’re caught in an enormous tornado of tasks, not unlike the one from The Wizard of Oz, I want to help you step out of the chaos.
Focusing on what’s important and finding more planning time to eliminate some of the to-dos from your list will help you lead a more peaceful life.
In this episode, I reveal why you need an admin day. An entire day where you can go through your Sunday Basket and knock tasks off your list in one epic swoop.
Why You Need An Admin Or Errand Day
If you’re anything like me, you’ll discover a lot of administrative tasks when you go through your Sunday Basket. Things like forms that need to be scanned, scheduling doctor’s appointments, emails that need your attention, and so on.
The only problem is that a lot of these things can’t be done on a Sunday. The doctor’s office is closed, so you can’t call to make an appointment. Before you know it, you’ve got a stack of administrative tasks or errands you need to do on a different day other than Sunday.
This is why you need to assign an administrative or errand day (or both!).
An errand day is when you take a full day to do your errands. You’re probably in the car going from one place to the next. An administrative day is when you’re at home (probably in front of the computer) and you’re plowing through things that can’t be done on Sunday.
If you’re new to Organize 365, you’re likely wondering why I talk about Sundays so much. Well, it’s because I have this thing called The Sunday Basket System. This is where you can defer all your ideas, mail, paper, forms, and to-dos into a pretty box that sits on your kitchen counter.
Each Sunday, you systematically go through the basket. To find out more about the Sunday Basket and how it can help corral all your kitchen counter papers and to-dos, click here.
Getting Organized In Each Trimester
On the Sunday before the start of each trimester, I go through my Sunday Basket as normal. I pay the bills, update my calendar, and all the rest. But there will also be an exorbitant list of things that I can’t get done on Sunday. I need a full workday for these things. And you might, too.
If you work nine to five for somebody else, finding the time during the week for these things can be tricky. But it’s totally worth it to take a vacation day to do this. You can get a lot done with just one day off work.
So, the next time you do your Sunday Basket at the busiest times of the year, I want you to do something slightly different. Instead of putting everything that can wait until next Sunday, keep everything in front of you in a pile.
You’ll probably have a lot of index cards and papers you’ve repeatedly put back into the Sunday Basket and that’s okay. In previous podcasts, we talked about eliminating such pockets altogether in what I like to call Sunday Basket 3.0.
We also talked about decluttering obligations out of your Sunday Basket, and now we’re going to get into clearing all of the things you’ve been putting off time and time again.
Creating Your “Brain Dump” List
To help organize your time, I suggest making two lists. One for all the errands you need to get done and another for all the administrative tasks list. Or, you can combine the two.
So over on the errand list, you might have things like buying end-of-year teacher gifts, mailing that package to your mother-in-law, and things like that. The administrative list will be home to tasks like changing your passwords, replying to emails, making phone calls, and so on.
Make the biggest list you possibly can. Next, start crossing things off that you really don’t want or need to do. Then, grab a pencil (yes, we’re going old school for this one) and write down how long each task is going to take to complete.
When you’ve got that done, add up all that time to figure out how long you’ll need to complete the entire list. If it’s going to take you five hours, you’ll need to set five hours aside during the week to get those things done.
You might find that some things will take time and money that you just don’t have or want to invest in right now. That’s okay. Just cross it off your list.
Now that you have your lists cut down, it’s time to prioritize the tasks on the list in order. That way, you know what are the most important things that need to get done compared to the things at the bottom of the list that you can probably do later.
You’ll end up with a concrete list or plan that you can follow on your admin or errand day.
Give it a try! Go through your Sunday Basket, do a big brain dump, and make a list of everything you want to get done. Then, set an admin or errand day and work like a trooper to get everything on that list done.