50 Ways to Organize Your Life After 50 Part 5

opened book close up
opened book close up

Baby Boomers,

Today, we wrap up the 50 ways to achieve complete expert status in organizing the most important priorities in our lives.

Do you know what the best part of this exercise has been?

In researching this topic, I found a ton of new ways to improve my own life.

I am becoming a better person by following my own advice.

Hopefully, throughout the past four parts (READ HERE), you have found something helpful and interesting and have adapted it to your own planning routines.

If not, there is still hope for today.

If something I have written about works for you, please tell someone else.

You'll be surprised how good it makes you feel.

So, let's dive in one more time and look at my final 10 organization tips to help make your lives fuller and more efficient.


1. Just Say No

It's hard to do but people like me need to learn to say "NO."

It's OK to say "NO" to new commitments, to interruptions, to requests for help, to stop and talk... to just about anything.

This is one of the most valuable skills you can develop to keep you focused on your own commitments and give you time to work on them.

2. Unschedule

I love this advice.

Schedule all your fun activities and personal life stuff (the stuff you want to do) first. Then fill in whatever time's left over with uninterrupted blocks of work. Write those into your schedule after you've completed your fun activities.

Don't go overboard and make your entire day fun activities (Dammit) but put the non-pressure stuff on your schedule first.

Reward yourself after every block of quality, focused work.

3. Purge

I know this doesn't sound real sexy but regularly go through your existing commitments and get rid of anything that is either not helping you advance your own goals or is a regular "sink" of time or energy.

4. One Bucket

Minimize the places you collect new things in your life: your "buckets."

Ideally, you should have one "bucket" where everything goes.

Lots of people experience an incredible sense of relief when everything they need to think about is collected in one place in front of them, no matter how big the pile.

Spend 50% of your working day on tasks that advance your long-term, life goals, spend 30% on tasks that advance your middle-term (2-years or so) goals, and the remaining 20% on things that affect only the next 90 days or so.

Scroll over and left click on the "50-30-20" link to be taken to the blog by Steve Pavlina where you will find a more in depth review of this topic.

6. Timer

Focus and direct yourself to work on a project or task, and only that project or task, for a set amount of time. Set a timer (use a kitchen timer, or use a countdown timer on your computer) and plug away at your work.

When the timer goes off, you're done -- move on to the next project or task.

7. Do Your Worst

Give yourself permission to suck.

I found this very hard to do at first. Being a perfectionist, I spent way too much time making sure everything I was working on was "just right." It doesn't have to be. It really doesn't. Good enough, most of the time, is good enough.

Repeat after me "Good Enough is Good Enough."

Relieve the pressure of needing to achieve perfection in every task on the first run. Promise yourself you'll go back and fix any problems later, but for now, just run wild.

8. Keep it or Toss it

Avoid clutter by adopting a "replacement-only" standard. Every time you but something new, you throw out or donate something old.

For example, if you buy a new shirt, you must get rid of an old one. If you begin to feel overwhelmed by your possessions then try the "One in, Two Out" method. For every one thing you bring into your life, two must be removed until you feel complete balance again.

This way you won't wind up on the show "Hoarders."

Schedule time every week just for you. It can be "business" time or it can be "fun" time or it can be "focus" time or it can be "retrospective" time. You are the most important person to you. Put "you" on your calendar.

Consider the current condition of your life right now and ask your self some questions:

What's working?

What isn't working?

What mistakes are you making?

What could you change?

What are you doing well and how can I use this in other parts of my life?

Give yourself a chance to get to know you.

Take a few seconds and click HERE to be taken to the very cool "Lifehack" website to learn how to put yourself back in you.

I also recommend taking a look at the book by Maida and Alena Joy Berenblatt so perfectly titled "Make an Appointment with Yourself"

10. Email

OMG... excuse my French but does this "shit" take over your life sometimes or what?

If you are like me (see perfectionist in tip #7) you can't focus until your mailbox is properly cleared up. If you are going to "attack" your email file then decide what to do with every email you get the moment you read it. If there's something you need to do, either do it or add it to your "to do" list and delete or file the email. If it's something you need for reference, file it.

Make life simpler. Empty your email inbox every day.

So, what do you think?

This is a pretty big list.

Like I said at the beginning, if Paul Simon can figure out "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" then we can find 50 ways to make our lives more organized.

But this is not an exhaustive list.

The last space (or as many as you need) is left for you to fill in.

What works for you?

Are there any personal tips you would like to share with the rest of the Baby Boomer community?

It wouldn't be proper if I didn't finish this final segment of our "50 Ways to Organize Your Life After 50" list without a proper quote.

Well, here you go.

"If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done."

- Rita Mae Brown