People who go through transitions encounter a variety of emotions due to various circumstances. Often, there is a lot of positive energy with a new baby, new job, graduation from Graduate School, getting married or moving to a new home. Alternatively, there is an entirely different mindset with, serious illness, death, divorce, forced downsizing due to illness or dementia, or job loss.
Each of the situations above can cause a flurry of activity forcing us to shift our priorities to “On Demand” tasks. No wonder TO DO LISTS become an alien force to be reckoned with, which is not a serious problem until it puts you in OVERWHELM. So, the working TO DO LISTS needs to be strategically thought out in advance when possible.
Below are some tips for a few transitional phases in life:
Tips for some Transitions
- New JOB SEARCH. If you’re searching for a new job, you will certainly want to be organized from the get go. Your home office or breakfast table will be your workstation. Treat it like a career place you would go to every day. Come dressed and fully prepared to focus on the goal of finding a job. Start with a list of things you need to do such as set up a file system and calendar, either paper or electronic. Label or name files for your strategic plan such as Contact List, Web Links, Resume, Bio, References, Appointments, Follow Up, Industry Articles, etc. I cannot make the contacts for you but the above system should take some of the stress off your shoulders.
- Getting Married! If Wedding Bells are ringing, you need a plan for that event. Some people hire an Event Planner, which is an excellent way to save you time if you are planning to throw a LAVISH AFFAIR. If you are a DIY kind of person, you need a plan, even if it is a small wedding. Get your TO DO list in order. You will need of course to think of Date, Guest List, Location, Rehearsal Dinner, Invitations, Dress and Tuxes, Honeymoon, Home, Calendar clearance with your boss or clients, Gift Registry, Bridal Party, Hostess and Bridal Party gifts. Depending on how fancy you want to get, a photographer, florist, make-up artist, or videographer might also be on that list. Next, set up your files and your calendar accordingly. Don’t sweat the small stuff. The most important part is making sure you are marrying the right person. Everything else will fall in place, though you might need some help organizing all those gifts you get for your wedding post ceremony, not to mention the piles that have accumulated during this entire production.
- New Mom New moms can be birthing for the first, second, third, fourth, or possibly more times. Each child is a new creation with a different personality. If you have more than three children, you probably have your routines down pat, but there are things you can do to save your sanity. Before the new babe arrives, have your list of things that need to get done before and after the baby pops out. If you have several other children, give them age-appropriate assignments to help with home duties. Get friends or family to help with routines or hire a Professional Organizer to help keep you in control. I remember my Pediatrician telling me not to worry about the cobwebs those first few months. He promised me they would not go away (LOL). Your physical and mental health are of utmost importance! Remember the Oxygen Mask instructions from flight attendants. Being organized from the start helps you breathe more freely. It takes a Village to help a BUSY MOM.
- Downsizing This can be either to pare down the items in your current house or for moving to a smaller abode. See my blog from September on Ways to Organize Your Home: An Empty Nesters Guide to Organizing for Downsizing. You will want a plan for this type of transition. Get your pad or electronic book out and start planning yesterday. You need a move or completion date and then work backward with things that need to take place such as purchase supplies, design a game plan and make appointments on a calendar. The calendar will be the glue that holds everything together, presuming you adhere to the schedule to tackle your zones.
- Illness Set Backs We all like to be in control of our daily lives. That is a fundamental mental health need. Life does throw curve balls, and with the blink of an eye, we can find ourselves in the position of dealing with our own setback or a loved one who needs our desperate attention. While in the throes of these situations, it can be difficult to wrap our arms around what control even means anymore. Ideally, there is someone such as a family member or good friend who is stepping in to be your point person. There have been times when my services have come in handy as a paid Professional to help a family member deal with an unanticipated downsizing move or just managing the documents and appointments for a loved one.
- SEEK HELP. This is not the time to be proud. Reach out to resources. Once you can get your feet back on the ground, do not be surprised by the OVERWHELMING state of your affairs. You can regroup by starting with zones in your life that need your attention. Create a manageable plan that will gradually get you back to the space that makes you feel normal or as normal as you can feel given what you have experienced. In some cases, you might need to seek Professional Clinical help. Contact your Religious Institution, Trusted Friends, Doctors or Community Agencies to steer you in the right direction.
So, I have touched on a few transition Organizing Tips to help Keep You On Task, On Track and On Time! Now go forth and put your list into action!
By all means, reach out to appropriate resources to help you deal with life-altering transitions.
Let me know if you have suggestions or questions by commenting on this blog.