I Can’t Believe It – What Happened?

Have you ever woken up in the morning and wondered, “What happened?” It seems all of a sudden there is more to do than you can possibly handle. You can’t figure out where to even begin. You just want to go back to sleep and forget it all.
You are not alone. This happens at some point to all of us – but what to do now?
First, accept that, yes, you are not going to be able to do it all and a lot of it is important. So, you do a little triage. If I only do 3 things today, what should they be?
Write them down and figure out how much time you will devote to each of those big three. Then look over your list and prioritize the rest of the big items. Are any of the tasks ones you can delegate to someone else, get help on, or hire out? If so, a first priority would be to get someone else to commit to helping or do the tasks for you.
Put the “last possible” or deadline dates by the rest of the big items along with how long you think it will take to accomplish the task. Calendar in hand, mark the due dates for each task. Then go back in and schedule the times you are going to work on the tasks. Remember, we are now in overwhelm mode, so we are not striving for perfectionism. We are just trying to get these tasks off our back.
As you work on the big 3 each day you will have a little time here and there to do minor maintainable tasks- eat, sleep, take care of pets, laundry, etc. Do these tasks when you can. If you work from home, they can become breaks between the BIG projects. If you are in an office environment, many of these tasks can be done at home when you are too tired or your brain is too fried to do the BIG thinking tasks. Don’t do the routine, maintenance tasks at your peak working times.
Now, this is not my favorite way to handle time management. I would much prefer to plan waaay ahead and be proactive. But when it comes to overwhelm time, this works best for me.
I would love some input as to how the rest of you handle overwhelm.
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Party Preparations

Summertime is a wonderful time to have a party. I love to throw a party every July for my special friends.
The very idea of giving a party can be overwhelming to some people. Like any event that seems overwhelming, it is not so daunting if you break it down into smaller, manageable tasks.
I start with my vision in mind. What do I want this party to look like and to feel like. I usually have a theme but the theme could be as simple as “catch up and have fun.” This year my theme is “re-purpose.” I will have everyone bring an idea or item that demonstrates that idea. I want people to have fun, relax, reconnect, and have dialogue. I want the atmosphere to be comfortable, casual, and connected.
Now I brainstorm as to what has to happen to make this work. I start with the guest list. Then I plan my invitations. I also look at what I want to serve and my party location. My list may look like this: make invitation list, design invites, print invites, address and mail invites, get person to help one day with yard work, pressure wash deck, have deck painted, prepare yard (3 Sundays), clean teak furniture, paint some deck furniture, plan menu, prepare/order food/beverages, put up tent, clean house, decorate, spray yard, put out food/beverage stations.
When looked at all at once, it seems overwhelming, but I break it down and do it over a month’s time. I will either hire out some help or ask for some help or usually both. One day I just put my invitation list together, another day all I do is design the invites, another day I print them off, another I address them and put them out. Now my intention is set and the party is on! The other items are mostly done on weekends and are broken up so that no one day is consumed just by these tasks. By the day of the party there is little to do but finish decorating, some last minute food preparation, preparing the food/beverage stations, and spraying the yard area for bugs.
When the guests come, I am ready to party with them.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Lemons to Lemonaide or Pecan Tree to Mulch

This was a sad week for me. The huge pecan tree that has sat in my front yard and partly on my driveway since I bought this home had to be taken down. Due to damage done serveral years ago when another tree fell on it, pulling the power line on it, and causing a fire that burned for hours, a huge part of the tree had rotted away and was now unsafe. This tree made my yard and home cool in the summer. This tree had been home to many birds and squirrels. People stopped to pick up the pecans and chat. At one point in my life I had placed a ceramic wizzard in the tree and the tree had grown around the wizzard. I always smiled to think of my wizzard living in the tree. But, the tree had become unsafe. My home and my neighbor’s home could be badly damaged if it fell.
There is a time and season for everything and this was the time to say goodby to my tree.
I had a wonderful arborist helping me. Gerry Korzi of Valley Crest Tree Care Services, gkorzi@valleycrest.com , gave me a lot of advice and support. He went way beyond the top with his service. He found someone in Clarkston who sold firewood and made sure that this person got the wood so that it could be used and not end up in landfill. He asked the crew to chip what wood they could and leave it for me as mulch. The crew cleaned my yard and my neighbors yard. Everyone was so professional and kind.
As many of my clients know- it’s hard to let go of things you care about, but sometimes one must just shed a quiet tear and look to the greatest good.
Goodby tree.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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Getting Help

I am a great believer in knowing your strengths and weaknesses and using your strengths to your advantage and getting help with those weaknesses. I am also a great believer in having a team of people who will help you be the best you can be for your clients. You see a picture of my tech helper, Nate Tate. He was here this evening and is scheduled to show up once or twice a month to help me with tasks on my computer that would either frustrate me, take waaay to much of my time, or that I just plain don’t know how to do. Tonight he put a link on Facebook so that people could sign up for my newsletter (full of tips and ideas). He also read the directions I received on a possible recall for my battery (could overheat and pose a fire and burn hazard- yuck!). He never knows when he shows up what tasks I have for him but he always comes up with answers.
I also use a graphic designer, Brenda Sanders of Sanders Designs, for logo help, ads, and now graphics for my book.
Then I also have a web master, Kelley Barbar of WebWeavers and I have used Jackie Goldstein of Creative Direction for branding, Brian Hilliard of Agito Consulting for marketing, and Wendy Watkins of Passion Fruit for business coaching. I use Judith Kolberg for a book coach and Sue Clements for proofing. I also have a Goals Group that meets once a month to support each other on our projects and goals. I love all the great ideas and support I get from this team and it frees me up to work more with clients.
I feel that we should all look for that help we need so that we can use our talents to help others.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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