Did you know that 2 minutes are wasted on each lost item you’re looking for?  IF it’s only one thing each day, that adds up to 730 minutes a year or approximately 12 hours a year wasted IF you only have to look for 1 misplaced item a day!  I can find a lot better use of my 12 hours–a whole waking day- than look for my keys or try to find an important message on my email!!!!  How many times have you said, “If  I just had a whole day to do ……”  Well there it is, right in front of you.  These are some of the time wasters in our lives.
  • Losing tract of items at home(keys, slippers, jewelry, cell phone, pen and paper)or work (important papers, phone numbers and messages written on scratch paper)
  • Forgetting a special event (will cost you time and money, sending express mail, and can be embarrassing)
  • Passing the deadlines for bills (will cost you a late fee and maybe even a turn on fee)
  • Looking for messages or important mail on your email (could cost you money as well)
This is the thing– this is a different kind of clutter that the people around us sometimes can’t see. This applies to mismanagement that can clutter your BRAIN. You look and feel frazzled or at the least, dazed, by all this confusion.  Now, does this sound like a person who is enjoying life to the fullest.  I don’t think so!  FYI: Health Net, based out of Los Angeles, presents solid evidence that being organized is good for you. They seem to think that there is solid medical evidence that being organized encourages less daily stress, a sense of optimism, less overwhelm, reduced time pressure and more harmonious home and office environment.  
How often has the stress in our lives been related to disorganization?  How do you feel when you run across a bill that’s past due or a document that needed attention months before?  You feel stupid and irresponsible to say the least. How do you feel when you are late for an appointment because of mismanagement and have to apologize for this conduct. You’re embarrassed.  You might even get depressed. You might blame someone else for this happening to hide your feelings of shame.  Oh, my goodness, why do we do this to ourselves!!!?  Here are some ideas to help unclutter the space in your BRAIN:
  • Have a private place for personal items (i.e. purse / keys and wallet)
  • Have a specific place for coats, hats, gloves and boots when you come into the house
  • Have a place for mail 
  • Date bills ‘due date’ on the front of the envelope. Use a small bin the size of a large envelope or an envelope sorter or a file organizer to place bills in and when you pay them whether on line or by mail, mark down the date and file it back in towards the back till you get the next bill, checking for any errors, then discard. 
  • Go paperless, if you want to eliminate the stress of knowing you paid your bills on time.  You can then have your bill paid on the due date automatically from your bank account or you can get it sent to your email and then pay it through whatever source you would like to. It will surely eliminate the risk of paying late!
  • Open monthly Bank Statements IMMEDIATELY, check for any errors and file away OR check your statement on line regularly for any errors
  • Get rid of all junk mail IMMEDIATELY
  • Keep a calendar either on the computer or a paper calender (do NOT move the paper calender from it’s place), to keep important appointments or events AND their times in front of you
  • Put a clock in the bathroom so you can keep pace with getting ready
  • Use the timer on the store for short reminders, so you don’t pass the time up 
  • Clear up your emails. Send out a “cancellation to subscription” to those emails you never read, don’t need anymore or simply distract you by taking up too much of your time.  At work as well as your personal emails, do, delegate, delete or put emails in files under a title name.  It will feel like freedom!
  • Prepare for the day with a list of must-do or even better to make the list the night before
  • Make grocery shopping enjoyable with no mistakes by getting a 3X10 pad with a magnetic strip for the fridge and when you run out or low on a food, note it on the page.  Your grocery list will be all ready in a jiffy when it’s time to go grocery shopping. After all, no one likes to ask a neighbor for an egg to complete a recipe
  • Have scratch paper and working pens in various places to write down a thought or request at a moment
  • Carry a small note pad of paper to jot down info that is important that could otherwise get tossed if on a scratch paper. At work, keep a larger note pad on the desk for ideas or reminders and date it before you start the day
Take 15 minutes each day for a week or so and write down in your note pad of things that you need to start making a difference in your, let’s call it, Brain Space at home and work.  While some of these ideas I listed do not apply because of the age of technology, however, people are becoming dependent on their brain again to remember to put something in the computer which leads to brain clutter.  There will never be any such thing as paperless!!  Paper was a wonderful invention, bearing in mind that the alternative was stone and chisel.
Let me know what clever ideas you come up with to clear your brain space.
Happy to be

Gerri Gatto, your weight loss coach