It’s summer! Those two words make my heart leap. The promise of sunshine, fun with my kids and some downtime. And then…reality sets in. I’m self employed and work from home. I’ve done this since for 17 years and I’m here to but your mind at ease….not even I have this combination of kids and working from home down pat with no snags.

My life is all about organization. The “what” and “when” are the two answers that keep things humming along. Organization is not a secret. We can be the most organized person and still struggle to keep our ducks in a row. There is always one duck that is running in the opposite direction. And that is the duck that trips up organization.

The key to getting that duck back in it’s row is… PLAN. We can organize things all day long, but if we fail to plan – well you know the saying. Planning ahead can save the day.

Have a day trip planned for tomorrow? Make it easier on yourself and pack everything tonight, set it by the door and let everyone know what time you’re going to leave (pro tip – pad your time by 15 minutes or so to allow for last minute bathroom breaks or phone calls).

Have a Zoom call early tomorrow morning? Lay your clothes out tonight, clean off your desk, set up your equipment and get your coffee ready to brew tonight.

Have errands to run tomorrow? Make your list of stops and items needed at each stop today. Coupons together, gas card in your wallet and purse by the door as well as any items needed (think returns or reusable bags) in a tote also by the door.

Spending 15-30 minuets now prepping for the next day, the next thing, the next meeting…. saves time and maybe some stress or panic the next day. Seems easy, but it’s surprising how often we don’t do this. Ultimately, be gentle with yourself. There is not much in life that has to run like clockwork all the time but preparing today for what’s coming tomorrow will sure make for a better day.

I’d love to hear how you save time and stress by preparing. What are your best tips?