If I Only Had Spare Time, I’d…

PostIt Organization

How many times have you said that? Has it ever worked? As a professional organizer, people often tell me they don’t need professional help – they’ll clear their clutter or organize their paperwork on their own in their spare time. No, they won’t.

Waiting to find spare time to accomplish things is unrealistic. To organize your office or write a report, you must schedule the time.

But periodically we get Time Opportunities, as I call them. They pop up unexpectedly. A two-hour meeting is canceled at the last minute or the morning’s phone conference is rescheduled.  Poof…Time Opportunity!

Your client texts to say she will be a few minutes late for your lunch appointment. A meeting ends 10 minutes early. I call these brief periods (up to about 15 minutes) of unexpected free time as Small Pockets of Time.

These periods of time can’t be counted on because they’re due to last-minute changes. You don’t want to wait for them to occur to carry out your work. But it’s helpful to be prepared every day with tasks you can accomplish during unexpected Small Pockets of Time or Time Opportunities.

Here are 6 quick tips to get you started.

  1. Organize the top of your desk
  2. Organize a desk drawer
  3. Complete additional tasks on your to-do list
  4. Chip away at your reading pile
  5. File papers
  6. Walk around the office for exercise and to clear your mind

This year we get 24 bonus hours. Leap Day, February 29, is tomorrow. We get this extra day every four years but it seems we treat it like any other day.  Should we? Maybe we should honor Leap Day and spend at least part of the day doing something meaningful.

We all have spare time! Unfortunately, most people fail to notice Time Opportunities and Small Pockets of Time and unwittingly waste a lot of time. Effective time managers pay attention. They recognize and use them to boost productivity. So can you.