Can I let you in on a secret? I like being busy. I don’t mean the frazzled, so busy I think my eyeballs are going to pop out of my head type of busy. I’m an active and outgoing person, and I enjoy being engaged in all different aspects of life. I honestly think it’s okay if you enjoy it and feel good. Whether you need an overhaul or just some minor modifications, here are 7 tips to stay organized when you are super busy. When the scale tips too far there is a problem, but most of the time we all just need some tweaking.



7 Tips to Stay Organized When You Are Super Busy

As a busy mom of 5 kids, a pastor’s wife, a writer and a speaker, people often ask me, “How do you manage it all?”

Here are 7 tips I use in my personal life that help me a ton. They might not all work for you, but you’ll find a great take-away or two. Keep reading, too, because today’s post is part of a series of posts about how to get and stay organized.


1.Use the One Minute Rule

A friend shared this and I’ve been using it ever since. If it takes less than a minute to do, do it right now. If it takes over a minute, you get a free pass. Table it to do later — write it on your to-do list.

One Minute Rule|The Holy Mess


2. Do a little bit now.

I used to wait until I “had enough time” to do things. I put off the laundry for weeks. I shelved projects until I could devote hours to them. The problem is that there is never a right time.

Instead, do a little bit when you have time. Clean the bathroom while the kids take a shower. The “notes” section of my iPhone has been tremendously helpful for jotting down blog and ministry ideas while I’m waiting in line or to pick up kids.

I just read that most novels are written in 15-minute sections, and this has been a huge motivator for me to start working on writing a book instead of waiting for “just the right time” that might never come.


3. Only put your hands on a piece of paper once.

Don’t set papers down with the intention to deal with them later. Put them where they belong the first time. By this I mean, don’t read the mail and then set the pile down somewhere. Put the bills in a file. Throw away the junk mail. Same with kids’ school papers. (More help for these in tomorrow’s post, 5 Steps to Organize Your Kids’ School Papers and Schedules.)


4. Have a place for everything.

It’s tough to put things away if there’s no place for it. Check the list below for help later in this series with sorting papers and how to get started going paperless. You don’t have to get complicated, but have a file for bills, insurance, personal paperwork, and to-dos.

We aren’t going to delve into budgeting in this series, but I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s programs for beating debt and building financial freedom. My husband and I have been through his program and use his online budget system.

If you are drowning in paperwork, I suggest you ask a friend to come over and help you get a system going. Those of us who are organizer-types like to geek out on organizing stuff. Send us to an office supply store with a crisp $50 or $100 bill and we are like a kid in a candy shop.

Even Family General or the Dollar Store have wonderful organizing options that are doable and attractive for every budget. Maybe you can trade some home-made freezer meals, childcare, or whatever is your gift.


5. Be decisive.

Some decisions will require more time and prayer so can’t be made immediately, but spending days or weeks on simple decisions is emotionally exhausting.

Don’t waste your energy by waffling back and forth about unimportant decisions. If it’s something that won’t have eternal consequence (say, whether the white of your bathroom walls should be “snow” or “ivory”), make the decision within 24 hours and move on with your life.


6. Begin your day reading the Bible.

Start each day by spending time reading God’s word. There is no other advice more helpful or important than this. I use the You Version app and read a devotion and section of scripture. It’s on my phone so easy to carry with me. I also like the “read aloud” option and have it read sections of the Bible to me while I get dressed and do my hair and make-up. Also check out this post with 25 of the Best Women’s Devotion books.

You are a busy person and give to other people. How can you pour from an empty vessel? Fill your own reserve so that you have what you need to give to others.


7. Habit, not willpower.

Humans are amazingly habitual creatures. Carefully craft your habits so that it feels weird NOT to be productive.

When I lost 100 pounds and started working out regularly, I hated exercise. I mean I seriously hated it but I love to eat, so I knew I had to work out. I built in every possible routine so that exercise was part of my habits. My workout clothes were laid out the night before. I had my workouts circled on the calendar and told my husband about them. I asked a friend to meet me at the gym. I paid for races well in advance. I invested in running clothes and shoes.

Make it so you put your paperwork command center front and center so it feels WEIRD to NOT file your stuff right when you get the mail. It would be STRANGE not to put the kids paperwork right from their backpacks into their files marked with their names. Of COURSE you will put the bills right in their appropriate file boxes, because that’s what you do every Saturday morning.

Be so boring and routine with this, you feel like you need to pull out the Mr. Rodgers sweaters and slippers.


Action Steps:

Day 2 in Calm the Clutter Series

  1. Choose one of the 7 tips for super busy people. Try using it today! (The one-minute rule is my personal favorite, but try one that works for you.)



7 Steps to Calm the Clutter

7 Days to Calm the Clutter|The Holy Mess

All this week we will talk about how to calm the clutter and stay organized. This series is full of tips, tips, tips!

Who doesn’t love quick tips and tricks? These are great take-aways you can use right away, or sign up for the emails to go at your own pace.

Monday – 7 Bible Verses for When You are Stressed and Disorganized

Tuesday7 Tips to Stay Organized When You are Super Busy

Wednesday5 Steps to Start Going Paperless

Thursday5 Tips to Organizing Your Kids’ School Papers and Schedules

FridayHow to Have an (Almost Totally) Portable Home Office

SaturdayAwesome and Amazing Products to Organize Your Home Office

Sunday7 Tools You Must Have to Stay Organized for Weight Loss and Fitness

Check back each day for fun and great ideas! Do you want to receive the whole series by email? Type in your email below.

7 Tips to Stay Organized When You Are Super Busy|The Holy Mess

Find an Organized You.

7 Days to Calm the Clutter.

* Make your home office portable.

* Go paperless -- for newbies!

* Organize for weight loss & fitness

* Daily action steps

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