I took three deep breaths, summoning up all my compassion before opening the door.
On the other side was the consultant I had booked to measure and quote for new blinds. She was 40 minutes late and had messaged me twice, once to let me know she would be late and again because she was lost.
I was torn between frustration and understanding as she struggled in the door, clutching her sample books and folders while blurting out another sorry I’m so late.
I could tell she’d spoken these words many times before and expected to many times again.
Needless to say her presentation didn’t go well, she was rushing and had brought the wrong samples. I was frustrated and not all confident in her ability to deliver me the product I wanted.
Valuing my own time I quickly decided to cut things short and switched from being her customer to offering up a big dose of understanding and advice.
“Let’s save us both some time and get you back on track…. Have you got much more on today?” Her shoulders slumped as she nodded.
I suggested she return to the car to take a look at what she had next and take some time to reorganise her samples and quote books accordingly.
Your day is not over, you can pull it back together, were my parting words.
She managed to smile.
I wished her well and meant it, because I’ve been there too.
Disorganisation and lateness can creep in and add up to overwhelm very quickly for any of us.
You’re running behind so you take a few shortcuts, double up and multi task. Distracted you miss things, forget things and show up unprepared.
You shove a few things aside and don’t tidy up. That little mess breeds a big mess and soon you can’t find anything you need and your chasing your tail.
You didn’t write things down or put them in your calendar and you’re overcommitted or even worse double booked. You try to bumble through anyway, hoping it’ll work out…..It doesn’t.
Your time and energy are zapped as you apologise and struggle along trying to catch up and get it all done.
Instead of showing up as the incredible you, you feel like a dishevelled wreck and as I often say, the walking circus act.
There’s no easy fix for disorganisation. The only answer is to stop and invest the time needed to tidy up, reschedule and plan for a greater result in the future.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way that you can do whenever you feel overwhelmed and disorganised.
1. Review your entire calendar and action any overcommitments.
Go back through your emails and messages and add every event to the calendar.
Then reschedule, cancel, do what you ever you need to do to give yourself enough time to be at your best.
2. Tidy your work spaces.
Be it your desk, your kitchen bench, your office, your handbag, your car. Organise all the areas in which you operate.
Throw out empty pens, scrappy notes, and file away all your papers.
Broken pots, chipped cups, useless gadgets all belong in the bin.
Old lippies, crumpled tissues be gone. It truly makes a big difference.
3. Prepare in advance.
Avoid the dreaded last-minute panic.
Check in each night with what you have on tomorrow. Do you have what you need?
Plan your week in advance.
Write lists in your phone.
Pack your handbag and kids bags the night before.
4. Declutter your wardrobe and pantry.
Rummaging through clothes that you don’t look good in and never want to wear again absorbs precious time and energy.
If things are worn and tired and do not excite you, then get rid of them.
The same goes for your fridge and pantry.
Out of date and opened neglected packets of food do not support a healthy life.
Clean them out, wipe the shelves and make more room for vibrant, fresh, healthy food.
5. Be realistic and kind to yourself.
Don’t beat yourself up over what has already happened or by thinking you’re somehow a terrible organiser or destined to always be late.
Instead quit over booking and saying yes to too much.
Give yourself enough time to get ready, to prepare and to show up as the best version of you.
Think ahead and plan for your own success.
When you’ve fallen behind it can feel like you’re the only one who struggles to keep up.
Its’ just not true.
Everyone I know, including me, hits major overwhelm. Times when you feel like you’re drowning in to-dos and showing up like a crazed mess.
Don’t ever give up.
You can always pull it back together and create an environment that supports the person you know you can be.