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Date Posted:11:36:57 03/10/02 Sun Author Host/IP: 208-168-147-26.citynet.net/18.104.22.168
Having a child with disabilities is an all consuming job, both
emotionally and physically. It's very hard to get and stay
organized.For any of you who are having problems getting organized,
here are some tips I find helpful.
Maintain your priorities: No more than three at a time.
What really matters in your life?
Say no when possible. Don't let others bog you down in what they
Get rid of everything not used in a year, unless it's a seasonal
Don't acquire stuff: Make a 30 day list of things you may not need in
the future and review that list in 30 days.
Identify the incomplete projects in your life.
Make 5 lists: To Do, Projects, Next actions, Waiting for,
day or maybe.
To Do: things that need to be taken care of today and can't wait.
Projects: Things that must be done within a specified time period.
Set goals for yourself and your loved ones.
Next actions: Steps to get the project completed.
Waiting for: Things that depend on someone else before you can
complete your project.
Calendar: Daily specific tasks and appointments. Organize your
time so you won't be rushing around at the last minute
trying to get something done that needs to be done in
an hour or less.
Someday/Maybe: Discretionary tasks: Maybe someday you would like
to take a vacation, add a room on your home, etc.
Have three boxes: In box, Hold, Outbox.
In box: empty daily. Take one thing out at a time, determine an
action, Never,Never put it back.
Hold: Things that go on the Waiting For list.
Outbox: Complete, mail or file.
Use the two minute rule. Anything that takes two minutes or less must
be done now. Not such an easy task when you have a family demanding
you constant attention, but can be done.
Weekly review: Take 30 minutes on Friday afternoon or Monday morning.
Review and update the list process, loose papers and notes and review
your upcoming notes. Make your next TO DO list.
To CAll: Calls that must be made. Set a time each day (or if
possible, twice a day) to make or return phone calls, send e-mail or
take care of other contacts.
Doing things that need immediate action: Ask yourself, "What action
is needed? What is the simplest next step? Then, do, delegate or
Operate with a broad vision. Create procedures to deal with surprises
or the everyday crises that come with having a child with special
Don't get bogged down on one project or one problem. If it can't be
taken care of immediately, go to the next one. Sometimes I find that
if I take a walk or go to the gym the solution to a problem comes to
Brain storm during the hours that suit you best. You will be more
Decompress: After an emergency or demanding task, take a break and do
something for yourself. Take a hot bath, exercise, read.
Set limits on people who take too much of your time. Tell them you
only have 10 minutes.
Keep you schedule loose so you can be spontaneous for unplanned
conversations or those little surprises that emerge.
Step back and ask yourself if you are accomplishing anything. If a
project or meeting is wasting your time, end it. Special education
and agencies love to hold "do nothing" meetings so they can make
themselves look like they are doing their jobs. Don't be afraid to
tell the person holding meetings that you resent them waisting your
Welcome interruptions--They might be important.
Hone your juggling technique. Breakdown complex jobs into simple
Get comfortable with failure-you learn more from failures and mistakes
Breakdown tasks: then, judge the best way to proceed. Finish the
task and forget it. Don't lose site of the "big picture" by focusing
on little steps. Look at things from every possible direction (this
takes a lot of practice.)
Balance: respond to unexpected change. There is no perfect balance
in life, so don't expect it and you will stay in control.
Expect the unexpected: be flexible. Develop a sense of humor. Good
things can come from these moments and you will fell a lot less stress.
Bad habits = big consequences and cheat you of success.
Get over false expectations.
Grasp different jobs in different ways.
Understand the characterisics of things that are coming at you.
Don't take simple things for granted, these can become your anchor.