messy drawersI already know the answer.

I want to offer a story and a solution.

I was sitting at my desk yesterday before leaving for a hectic afternoon of coaching and meetings. I call the MTA to find out how to get the 30-day deal on my EasyPay card which can’t be inserted into the machines. Of course they’re experiencing high call volume, so while I’m on hold, I begin creating a personalized holiday card that includes a photo. Since the image is taking awhile to upload, and I’m still waiting for a human voice to pick up my call about my MetroCard, I start going through my inbox of 73 messages, many of which require a focused response.

Are you exhausted just reading this tale of busy-ness? I’m sure you can top it with your own. But, it’s not a competition, and surely no one wins.

A client told me on our recent call that she’d read an article about 10 ways to make your life easier around the holidays. One tip was to turn off Facebook and twitter on your phone.

I had an alternate solution. Don’t read articles about saving time.

In fact, make a decision to stay focused on one thing at a time and CHOOSE what that one thing is. I came up with this tip after feeling so discombobulated by my own earlier behavior.

Julie Morgenstern, the queen of organization, says that opening emails early in the morning opens up a different drawer in your brain. Yesterday it felt like there were three drawers open with wrinkly clothes hanging out, i.e. a mess. Just for today, turn everything off except the one task you’re working on. Complete it, and move onto the next one.

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