By Sunny Simon

Yesterday a mystery package arrived at my door via UPS. Not celebrating anything in particular I wondered about the timing of this gift box. My excitement mounted as I dove into the package. Tucked inside, along with an array of gifts, was a note from my friend Jennifer explaining the contents.

One item was something she meant to give me during my last visit to Michigan, but was somehow misplaced for the past two years. Another part of the mystery box was in celebration of my birthday 10 months ago and the third item, a Christmas ornament, was intended as a gift for last year or perhaps Christmas, 2015? She left that to my discretion.

I smiled as I thought of my dear friend. Although highly talented in numerous ways, Jennifer has been known to misplace things and easily lose track of time. I think when the late Dr. Suess penned the line, “How did it get so late so soon?” he probably had my friend in mind.

Like many other individuals, Jennifer has some organizational and time management issues. Actually, much of my coaching practice is composed of people who want to raise the bar and sharpen these skills. Granted it is not always easy. David Allen, productivity guru and author of the international best seller, “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity,” admits to losing his focus sometimes just like Jennifer and the rest of us. Why? Because even a finely tuned, time management focused day can go south when the schedule suffers unexpected interruption. We all get derailed, but those who possess solid productivity practices do bounce back quicker.

Time management and organizational skills are kissing cousins in my mind. Highly organized people not only work smarter, they save precious hours and dedicate that time to accomplishing even more. What is the key to being orderly and getting things done? Many experts will tell you the secret is designing routines and systems. To that, I add three key elements: Deal with all items each day in one manner or another. Either act on it, table it for another day or take it right off your “to do” list. Number two, pay attention and work in sync with your body clock. If you are a morning person, work on the most difficult tasks in the early AM. Lastly employ technology. Find the organizational tools that work for you and use them.

I hope these suggestions work for you but secretly I hope Jennifer never changes. After all, who doesn’t like Christmas in July?

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at

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