Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Show and Tell

Linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday.

Today's topic is Organizational Tips and Tricks.  There is no theme here, just some general tips for life!
I am nothing but super organized and put together that I can just swing at the playground because I have so much free time (can you sense the sarcasm?).

Cooking -  Plan your meals in advance.  I blogged here about how we do this.  Having planned in advance, I always have our coming meals in the back of my head so I know if there is anything that could be planned ahead.  Last week when we had our Portobello, Kale and Gouda Paninis I made the kale mixture the night before so it was simply a matter of assembling the recipe for supper on the night of.  It's also good to poach chicken ahead of time, brown your ground beef, or cut up some vegetables.

Working - As I mentioned before I do not like the term "Time Management", but that doesn't mean I don't try to manage my work day.  I often write out a schedule for my day marking off blocks of time for different files and tasks.  I include five minutes periodically to check my emails, or ten minutes to grab another coffee, but every minute is scheduled.  This helps when I am overwhelmed with a lot of work or even when I am not very busy and it's tough to get motivated.  Knowing that I only have a certain amount of time to work on something means that I need to focus for that 15 minute or 45 minute period.  And even if I don't have that task completed when it's time to switch to another one, I have still made some good progress so when I come back to it later, it's easier to finish up.

Party Planning - When we have a party or invite people over for dinner I make a list of everything that we will be serving and then break it down by ingredients, including garnishes for drinks, so I can make a grocery list.  Then I work out what can be prepared in advance, and what needs to be done the day of.  I have been known to type this up in a chart, but I can also work with handwritten notes.  Here is a picture of my plans for our Christmas Party. I try to be conscientious of my guests' dietary restrictions and include dairy-free or gluten-free options if I can.  I love having people over for meals so I like to make a lot of things myself, although from time to time I do accept offers to bring something.

Travelling - When we travel to a new city, we make a Google Map of that place.  We lay out the airport or train station, our hotel, and then start plotting out the sites we want to visit, as well as restaurants in those areas.  This helps a lot when you want to see a lot of things so you can group together certain high points by geographic location, and you don't spend all day walking from place to place instead of visiting the places you want to see.  We have done this since our honeymoon when we went to Rome, Venice, Interlaken, and Paris.  We also did it for our London and Dublin trip.  And for Boston, Vancouver, Lima, Cusco, and New York.

Living in Toronto - I know that I have to leave about 45 minutes to get somewhere.  This includes driving or taking transit to my location, and finding a place to park or walking from the subway/train/streetcar.  When I first moved here I would get so annoyed by the length of time it took to get everywhere and I hate being late!! Now that I know the timing, pay attention to road closures, and determine if it's better to take the car or transit, and plan accordingly. Having accepted the size of this city, and its surrounding areas, I consider the travel time part of the experience, and I'm much happier about it.

I'm looking forward to reading the other posts participating in this link up.  I could use some tips on some other household chores, storage, and reducing clutter.

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