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Life can sometimes be pretty full-on, and if you’re anything like me, each week brings something different.
Let me say upfront that I’m not very good at routines, and it’s also true that I have a very poor memory; therefore I need all the organising help I can get. It can be hard for most of us to keep track of everything we need to remember on a daily, weekly or even yearly basis, but there are a few tricks that work for me.
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My most important personal organising tool is an A5 sized diary. It’s small enough to fit into my handbag, but large enough to allow plenty of space to write. I use this for everything such as tracking my work hours; appointments; pay days; due dates for bills, birthdays and other important dates. I also write in any errands I need to run, and phone calls I need to follow up.
If I need to make a phone call at a particular time of day, I set the alarm on my mobile phone to alert me.
At work I use my Outlook calendar on the computer not only for appointments, but also for reminders and to let my team mates know when I’m in (or where I am when I’m not.)
For those things that are harder to remember, generally because they’re annual or seasonal things, I use a wall calendar as well as my diary.
I buy a lovely new calendar each year - one that has plenty of space each day to make notes. At the beginning of the year I go through it and pencil in tentative dates for the following:
Known due dates for bills.
Annual check-up with my GP - around my Birthday.
Annual check-up for the dog.
Annual paperwork cull - around tax time. (This is also a good time to review your will and your insurance cover to make sure it’s still adequate.)
Twice yearly dates to change the smoke alarm batteries - to coincide with daylight saving. Also twice yearly dentist check-ups.
A reminder at the beginning of winter and summer to adjust the thermostat on the fridge, and to change the sweep direction on the ceiling fans (not all fans have this feature) - these are two jobs that are easy to forget.
Each three months to worm the pets and to vent the pressure valve on the hot water service.
Six-weekly haircut appointments.
Anyway you get the picture. This works really well if you can be self-disciplined enough, and it gets easier the next time you do it because you just transfer the dates from the old calendar to the new one before you toss it out.