Thinking ahead is at the heart of organizing and it’s a skill that can be developed and enhanced no matter how scatter-brained you naturally are.
You’ve been waiting all day for a callback from your doctor/the IRS/the person who said they wanted to buy your ten totes of old baby clothes. When does it finally happen? When you’re out driving a few quick errands, of course. Not to worry, pull over in the library parking lot and talk. Shame you won’t remember any of the details since there’s nothing to write on or with in the car.
The solution lies within the problem, grasshopper
The trick is to notice each time there’s a situation that could be improved or eased by doing something ahead of time. Don’t just complain about it, analyze it. So it’s grumble, grumble, grumble, I wanted to take notes and I couldn’t. The question to ask yourself is, “What can I do so this doesn’t happen again?”
Every time something goes disastrously – or slightly – wrong, finish this sentence: “I wish I had ____________ .” In this case it’s, “I wish I had something to write on.” If you had the pad of paper but nothing to write with, it would be, “I wish I had something to write with.”
Don’t just burst out of the car when you get back and grumble about how you couldn’t take notes. Complaints without action are just annoying to everyone. Find a pad of paper and a couple of pens and put them in the car.
Now anytime you want to pull over and take notes on a conversation, you don’t have to root around for stray gum wrappers and try to write on them with a Chapstick. Points for ingenuity, though.
If you can’t find a pad of paper or a pen in your house, I can help.
by Lucy Kelly