Thursday, November 29, 2012

systems of organization

image found here
I am really struggling* right now with organizational systems. On the one hand, I feel like now that Margot is one, sleeping pretty much all night and generally a lot easier, I have more energy to tackle projects and stay on top of things. And to an extent that is true. For the most part things are running smoother than they were 6 months ago. However, on the other hand, now that I'm out of that new baby fog I can really see all the things that need to be improved. There are a lot of pieces I'm juggling and every single one seems to get more and more complex. I think the right organizational systems and time management concepts could really help but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what those are. I need both a system for each of the following pieces and an overarching time management/system for balancing the whole:

Work: multiple projects and several campaigns plus ongoing operations, department budget, and research
Home: keeping it picked up and organized, menu/groceries/cooking, laundry, household errands
Budget: making and keeping the budget, bills, managing investments

Maybe it's just wishful thinking...but...I can't help but believe there is a way to manage my time so that I'm not always running around like a chicken with their head cut off. And in my head I keep coming back to this idea of organizational systems. For example if my office looked like the above photo...or...was simply better organized, if I always kept the files on each campaign sorted and immediately categorized position papers and reports into the correct electronic files maybe I wouldn't spend 15 minutes looking for that report. The challenge is finding the time to tackle the giant mess my electronic files have become.

The home piece may be less about organization and more about time management. If I unloaded the dishwasher every morning while my tea is boiling then I could do the dishes that much faster after dinner.

The budget one is really stumping me right now. Our budget has gotten so much more complicated. And I seem to spend so much more time keeping track of it all. I know I need to balance the check book on a weekly/daily basis rather than once or twice a month but what else? is there a better way to track spending throughout the month?

So what are your thoughts? How do you create organization systems for these pieces of your life? Do you have an amazing budget tool to share? Do you feel like you have it somewhat together or are you too running around like a chicken?

*Okay I totally want to acknowledge how much of a first world problem this is aka not actually a problem but rather a manifestation of my obsessive type A nature. Problems are not having enough food, not being able to pay bills and having a sick kid and so on. But on my personal never ending quest to improve myself and my life this is my current "struggle" and it's a good subject for conversation since the work/life balance is something so many women are striving for.


  1. I'm a fan of for budgeting. There's an app for it too if you have a smartphone.

  2. Ooh! You've touched on one of my absolute favorite subjects. In my dreams I'm either a lactation consultant or a budgeting counselor. I love Dave Ramsey (have we had this conversation?). I need to get back in track personally since baby seems to have suck all my free time too. But nothing motivates me like sharing with others. I make my own spreadsheets and it really takes only 1-2 hours per month. We could ditch the babies and talk sometime.