Welcome to Week #2 of the Revamped and Revised 52 Week Prosperity Plan!
Last week, we talked about taking the first step—getting organized. We went through steps we could take to get our paperwork in order (including shredding all of our old stuff), figured out the grand totals of our total debt, listed our bills and due dates, and did whatever else was necessary to get ourselves organized. So how’d you do?
I’m somewhat pleased with my week. I listed out all of my bills that are due in January, balanced my checkbook, figured out what paperwork I still need to complete this year (life insurance and will), and my husband got everything together to prequalify for our next mortgage. The one place I failed—and I knew I was going to fail here—was in cleaning up my paperwork.
I am a mess. I have papers everywhere. My desk, my purse, my coffee table, and my writing notebook is filled with paper clips, post its, and a variety of lists. The harder I try to organize them, the more paperwork appears. It’s like Gremlins only I’m positive I didn’t throw water on it or feed it after midnight. In order to get this taken care of, I’m going to need a system. Fortunately, creating a system is the task for week #2.
Why a system?
Systems are important because they help keep us on track with staying organized. Systems are a way of establishing a routine, consistent method to keep us focused and on target. And once in place and perfected, a system keeps everything running smoothly. However, it’s important to note that systems are fluid and need to change as our needs change. If you find that a system you’ve created isn’t working for you anymore, change it. Change it to one that suits your needs, schedule, and budget.
Systems are also important because they help us find balance. If you’re like me, you’re juggling more things than you can handle and most days, you feel like you’re screwing up at least one thing. If I do well with keeping up with blogging, I’ve let my house fall into disarray. If I finish all my household chores, my blogging suffers. And let’s not even discuss the disaster that is my full-time job. But over the last few months, I’ve begun developing a system to manage all of these things.
Creating a system
For an excellent example of creating system, visit The Flylady. I don’t personally use her system, but many people do and they often sing her praises. Although it’s primarily focused on creating a system for housecleaning/housework, the basic tenets apply to creating other types of systems. For instance, she advocates starting one step at a time, and jumping in where you are. That’s extremely important. You need to start where you are. If you start comparing yourself to someone who’s been working a system for months or years, you’re going to feel inadequate (believe me, I know. I do it. All the time).
Your job this week is to focus on one area of your life that needs a system. Is it in striking a balance between work and family? Do you need a system for working in exercise? How about a system for ensure your bills are paid on time? Figure out where you are floundering the most, focus on that area, and create a system.
Some steps to help get you started:
- Make one small change. For instance, set aside 1 hour a week to deal with your bills.
- Write it down. Using the same example, once you decide on which hour per week you’re going to deal with your bills, write it in your calendar. Make it a scheduled appointment, just like you would a haircut or doctor appointment.
- Tell someone. If you are married or have a roommate, tell that person what you’re doing. If you live alone, find a friend or co-worker. Ask him or her to help hold you accountable. By saying out loud that you want to change your habit, you’re more apt to do it.
That’s it. That’s what you need to do this week. Create a system. Good luck!