Tips for DisOrganized, Scatter-brained Rescuers

Do you have the attention span of a puppy?   Then my tips may help get you on your way to a new life of controlled chaos.

Most of the volunteers and rescuers that we work with through the Equine Rescue 318374_2538971072404_1049542379_nNetwork have families and full-time jobs.  Their plates are full. Their barns are clean and their lives are organized.  How do they do that?  Seriously!

In addition to managing the Equine Rescue Network, I am a full-time single mother and have a full-time job as a professor at the New England College of Business.  I am perfectly labelled as the absent minded professor.  I am as disorganized and scatter-brained; yet I am highly effective and productive.

Are you like me?  Do you thrive in chaos and destructive workflows?  Do you procrastinate? Do you lack interest and motivation to complete a task until the deadline becomes almost impossible to meet?

NEVER throw any paper in the trash – Instead of throwing a document or paper into the recycle bin, stack them in the corner of your office.   Once a year recycle the stack.   I promise you will find yourself ferreting through the pile of papers on occasion looking for a critical note you scribble on a paper during a meeting.

Have a TEMP folder on your computer.  Same applies to electronic copies.  Put files in that folder that you don’t think you need or wish to delete.  Despite the name “Temp” – never delete the folder unless you back it up to a flash drive.

Have only ONE thing to lose.  I don’t carry a purse.  When I did, I left it everywhere; taxis, restaurants, conference rooms…  I decided all I really need is a debit card which fits nicely in any pocket.  However, this strategy is limited because the credit card is rarely transferred from yesterday’s pocket to today’s pocket.  I would find myself digging through piles of laundry or the washing machine looking for yesterday’s pocket and my credit card.   My solution is to affix one credit card to the back of my phone.  They make nice little glue on attachments for phones.  This way, all my organizational brainpower can focus one thing – not losing my phone.

Anything that you need regularly should be attached to your body.  I use a simple double ended snap to affix my office keys and car keys to my body.  I snap the keys to my belt buckle.  While I tend to lose most everything, I have yet to lose my pants at the office.

Cellphones are your biggest liability.  It is too big (and too nerdy) to attach that to my body.  I wish fanny packs were an acceptable fashion accessory because that would be a perfect solution to my cellphone problem.   I hate that feeling when you get in the car with your briefcase packed and all your necessities for the day, and suddenly can’t find your cellphone.  I am 99% sure, I have already packed it and it is in the car with me; but that 1% uncertainty causes me to dig through all of my packed stuff making a mess, and making me late for the train…which by the way means missing the train.

I have even found myself panicking that I can’t find my phone when I am actually ON the phone. 

While I don’t have an absolute solution to the phone search, I do have suggestions.  My phone is BRIGHT yellow which helps slightly.   Second, I no longer have any bags or briefcases that have more than one compartment.  My last briefcase had 6 different compartments for different sized things.  When I got the briefcase I was excited to compartmentalize all my things, but in reality the 6 compartments just meant 6 more places to looking inside.  Now, in one big bag its easy to find something that is bright yellow.

While keeping track of things is challenging, keeping track of time is even more difficult.  This is still very much a work-in-process for me. My old strategy was just to set my watch 15 minutes fast, but who wears watches anymore? I think they went out with the fanny pack.  Instead we use our phones.  Every day I arrive at 7:28 to catch the 7:28 train.  I am on time.  However, if you talk to anyone in the military, they will tell you that if you arrive on time for something, YOU ARE ACTUALLY LATE.  It doesn’t matter that I arrived at 7:28 and caught the 7:28 train, I was late!  When it was explained to me that on-time is 5 minutes early, I started catching more trains….Not sure why, but worth noting.

Lost your glasses?  Again?  My last suggestion may not apply, but for anyone who has experience losing eyesight with age, please take note.  I had perfect vision and no signs of aging until I was 40.  It’s interesting, as physical signs of aging have appeared on my face, my eyesight has steadily declined.  I wouldn’t know how old I looked unless I wore my glasses in the bathroom.  Therefore, my secret to NOT aging is NOT to ever wear eye glasses in the bathroom.   There is a interesting phenomenon about glasses.  If you spend $150 on a pair of Rayban sunglasses you will lose them in a month.  If you spend $5.99 at a mobile gas station for sunglasses those glasses will never get lost, never go away and you can guarantee they will be with you forever.  While expensive glasses fall apart overtime, you can leave the cheap-gas-station glasses on the hood of your car, watch them fall off in your rear view mirror, retrieve them on the way home and they will remain intact and unscathed.  This phenomenon on glasses applies to reading glasses.   One pair of expensive fashion or prescription glasses will disappear in weeks.  Instead, order a box of 20 inexpensive reading glasses from Ebay.  Sprinkle them everywhere; the kitchen, office, car, briefcase, bedroom ~ essentially everywhere EXCEPT the bathroom (if you are over 40).

Hope these tips help!

CaptureJJERN

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2 Responses to Tips for DisOrganized, Scatter-brained Rescuers

  1. lo warley-thatcher says:

    OMG>..this is exactly my life as an absent minded professor. You could not have been more accurate. Love this post !

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