Thursday, February 16, 2017

3 Keys Thursday: 3 Tools You Need to Organize a Dream

Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile
Yesterday, I shared some of the tools I use to keep track of my writing projects so that when I get time to tackle them, I can jump right in. Not all of you are writers, I'm sure, but I suspect that most of you are busy and/or have a hobby or dream you'd like to pursue if only you had the time.

One way to maximize the time you have available is to be thoughtful about the way you organize your supplies, ideas and materials. There's nothing worse than carving out an hour to spend on something you love doing only to have to spend the first fifteen minutes getting organized.

As a writer who also works a day job, I have, over time, created a system for keeping track of my projects (yes, that's plural) so that I can jump in with minimal preparation. In addition to my writing calendar and book bible, I need:

Well-maintained, accessible tools. For me, this is my laptop -- in most cases anyway -- which has its very own spot (a home) on my desk. Making sure to plug it in so it charges when I'm not using it is key to its availability when I do need it. Creating and consistently using specific homes for tools that are essential to your hobby is a key time saver, as is making sure they're always in good working order. 

A place to store supplies. Whether it's my laptop, my calendar and book bible or the manuscript pages for my works-in-progress, keeping key tools within easy reach is also a time-saver. Using style-friendly tools is important, too. I have a file cabinet in my office, but I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what's in it. As an I need to see it person, I keep key items either visible or in specific (often labeled) locations (homes) whenever possible. Sometimes, I do both. If your supplies are organized when you're ready to use them, you'll be able to devote all of your time to your activity of choice instead of wasting part of that time sorting out what you need.

A place to store ideas. Remember those folders I loved (from the same dollar bins)? One of them has been pressed into service as a catch-all for the notes and article ideas that would otherwise be scattered across my desk. The bright color is eye-catching, which works for my I need to see it style, and the fun theme keeps things light. In addition, it's easy enough for a drop and run organizer to drop a note into the file folder.

Whether you're organizing supplies for a hobby or details for a dream job or destination, a little organization can ensure more fun and less frustration. 

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