Category Archives: Time Management

The organization continues…

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m a bit of a slob. I’m always losing things, which causes my stress to skyrocket. Things are eaten by my purse, my suitcases, my desk, and my bedroom because until recently I have never, EVER put anything back. I’ve always been very relaxed about where things go, but lately I’ve been realizing that “controlled chaos” isn’t gonna fly for much longer.

So when I found a free minute at work, I got to work on the ultimate symbol of my affinity to sloth.

Behold, Meghan’s purse.

Image

My once beautiful Tommy Hilfiger handbag is now a bastion of unneeded baggage- the place that projects go to die, if you will. I cart it with me all day, every day. At its worst it weighed 10 pounds. Also, my purses were never, ever emptied. When I get tired of the clutter, I switch the essentials over to a new purse. I also have a vintage Coach, a current Coach, a Nine West, various small clubbing purses and one brown handbag I got for $3 at Payless.

Before, I didn’t care how much stuff I carted. When all of my purses were filled to the brim with random odds and ends, I rejoiced. I would just run out and buy another bag!

Now my time is worth money. When I have to spend 10 minutes digging for my iPhone in my purse, that’s a problem. In a lifestyle where every minute is accounted for, I have no time for scavenger hunts caused by disorganization. Besides, I’m uncluttering my finances as we speak; why not unclutter the rest of my life as well? Let’s not forget that purses look much sleeker when they aren’t bulging at the seams.

Altogether, I find that I look a lot better and have higher self esteem when I’m projecting an image of being put together. When I’m not physically organized, I’m not looking my best.

I dumped everything out and did an inventory of everything I had crammed into a space too small for any computer larger than a netbook. If you’ve read the Harry Potter books, Hermione’s expanding beaded handbag comes to mind.

I found:

  • 4 pens
  • Headphones
  • 2 iPhone chargers
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Wallet
  • Nicorette gum and patches
  • Money Sense and Cosmopolitan
  • A gift certificate to a pub that my grandfather gave me 3 months ago
  • Tons of papers including credit card statements, pay stubs, to do lists, subscription offers, and mail that was never sent
  • A notebook
  • Cheque book
  • Kobo e-reader

Image

This is my baby. I carry it everywhere. It holds up to 1000 books. It’s a bibliophile’s wet dream.

Out of the depths of organizational hell also came my makeup bag. So I inventoried the contents of that too, just for kicks.

Image

  • 5 lipglosses
  • 2 mascaras
  • 1 liquid eyeliner
  • 1 pencil eyeliner (not shown)
  • 1 perfume stick (Clinique Happy, love)
  • 1 concealer
  • 6 eyeshadows, all in various shades of pink and brown
  • Eyeshadow brush
  • Blotting papers
  • 1 compact which is actually from Russia, and is probably one of the coolest things I own.

SERIOUSLY? I carry that much stuff every day for basically no reason? WHY ON EARTH DO I DO THAT?

I can’t put the papers left over where they belong until I get home, but it’s all now in a folder and I’ll be going over it all tonight. After some toiling, my purse looks much better. I believe that if my friends from high school could see this, they would agree that I’m no longer worthy of the nickname “Bag Lady”.

Image

This year I have realized that I have to run my life like a machine. Everything in its place, everything with a purpose and everything contributing to a goal. Anything that hinders my goals gets tossed. Otherwise, the machine breaks down and it’s a costly mistake. The analogy is true whether I apply it to my career, my health, or my finances.

Does anyone else have a similar outlook?

Advertisements

How do you handle stress?

Lately, I’ve been under quite a bit of stress.

There’s my 40 hour work week, two classes a week for 3 hours each as well as an online course, assignments and studying for said courses. That adds up to over 60 hours, but that’s nothing new. I’ve been doing that for a year and a half now.

However, now that I’m moving, I’ve been dealing with an extra 10 hours or so a week dedicated to packing, figuring out logistics, downsizing my stuff, making decisions on what should be purchased first, etc. Everyone seems to have an opinion on how I should be doing things, which I haven’t necessarily been taking well.  I went away for the weekend because I couldn’t handle being at home. S**t got too real, quite honestly. Since I’m so focused on preparing for my life after July 15th, when I no longer have to answer to anyone, I’m finding the nit picking I suffer through and having to walk on egg shells in my own home is getting really old. That’s why I tend to go away on weekends, and why everything has to get done during the week. After the entire week at work with my family, staying at home would drive me up the wall. My stress levels skyrocket the second I walk in the door at night. I am literally more stressed out at home than I am at work or school. I know it’s hilarious that my last post was about appreciating them, but let me be clear- I do appreciate them for what they have done for me. I just don’t appreciate always being blamed initially for things that are not my fault, not being apologized to when they’re proven wrong, not being given credit for the things I do, and getting screamed at over absolutely nothing.

So, I had a meltdown on Friday, and took off. I was still simmering all weekend. When I got home last night, I went straight to my bedroom and cleaned for an hour straight. I did my laundry, cleaned up my bathroom, packed anything on the floor that was still without a box, emptied my closet of the clothes I won’t need before the move… everything I could find went somewhere. After I finally had nothing left to do, I felt good. REALLY good.

It’s been a longstanding joke that when something needs to be done around the house and I don’t feel like doing it, I’ll call one of my exes and they’ll piss me off so badly that the place is sparkling once I’m done with it. I don’t know whether I clean to purposely  forget what I’m mad at or if it’s that accomplishing something makes the pill go down easier, but either way, stress makes me really productive. When I’m stressed over a mistake at work, I take 15 minutes and clean my desk. When I have a fight, I rearrange my cosmetics “display” in my washroom. When a customer calls me just to complain, I get some homework done. It’s funny- in high school and university I used to have SERIOUS meltdowns where I would sob for half the day and be useless until the next morning. Now that I’m too busy to go MIA for 24 hours and I don’t have smoking to curb my stress anymore, I’ve noticed I just distract myself with something else. It may not even be healthy. I’m not sure whether I’m bottling, or handling frustration in a productive manner. Either way, it’s REALLY helping this month.

All I know is that I’m counting down the days before I can call my own shots, and tell everyone else to go to hell if they don’t like it- at home, not at work, of course.

Just 27 days to go.

How do you deal with stress?

My Life is Nuts

Wow, I’ve been absent for quite a bit. I’ve been so busy with schoolwork and exams that I’ve been feeling really run-down. Last week I had two exams and a business plan due. I did my business plan based on this blog and what I could build off of it, which is hilarious considering I neglected the blog and my finances to write the paper. THEN my computer didn’t save it properly, so I ended up having an internal meltdown at work and taking Wednesday off as a vacation day to go home and write it all over again. Needless to say the second attempt wasn’t as good as the first because I was rushed, but I got it done and handed in on time, and that’s all I care about. The teacher is an easy marker anyway, and I guarantee she hasn’t seen anything like my planning before.

This weekend was insane. I used to do nothing but do homework and go to Jay’s. Friday I ended up going to my friend’s house and having a few drinks, Saturday I went north to M’s house for the night, then yesterday I came home, dealt with Jay crying about how he wants me back (I didn’t give in, by the way), then went to see The Lucky One with my friend S, courtesy of Air Miles. I know I’ll never accumulate enough to get anything substantial, so I’d rather get little thing every now and then. After almost two years with my credit card I only had 450 air miles. Considering how much I used it, it’s not exactly impressive.

I got paid Friday, and will post my current numbers tonight when I get home. I paid extra on Credit Card #2 this pay, which I will explain. The budget has been shot to hell- I’ve been having too much fun the past couple of weekends, it seems. However, I’ve always had enough money in my account after payments to survive, so it’s possible that until my debt is paid down I might just go without a budget and transfer any money I know I’ll need into my savings the second I get paid. I have great intentions, but my schedule just doesn’t allow for the kind of planning I want to do. I’ll have to figure it out.

School is winding down finally- my last exam is on May 3rd. I start my next semester on the 7th. I’m taking Macroeconomics, Management Information Systems, and Operations Management. I know I should take a break and only take one class, but a) I don’t want to lose momentum and b) I’m pretty used to working this much by now. When I get too exhausted I just ignore the homework and crash for 12 hours, then I’m good for another couple weeks.

Anyways, what have you guys been up to lately?

The Girl Behind the Curtain

At this point, anyone who has been reading along knows a lot about my finances, but not much about me. On the personal side, I’m pretty average. I have a younger brother and a younger sister, and my parents are divorced. Both have remarried in the past couple of years. I live with my grandfather, because my mother and I have a MUCH better relationship when I don’t live with her. I rarely have spare time, but when I do I read, exercise (not as much as I should), play around with Excel, and hang out with friends. Up until a couple of months ago I went out to clubs and bars a lot, but I don’t have time for it anymore (not to mention I can’t afford it). I’ve been with my boyfriend Jay for 10 months on and off. In April we’ll be celebrating a year together.

WORK AND COLLEGE

I haven’t exactly been secretive about what I make every month (some quick math should give you an idea), and many people I know ask me why I don’t make more, since the industry average for my job is approximately $34,000. My salary doesn’t even reach the bottom of the industry pay scale.

There are two very good reasons for this.

  1. My company is pretty small.

Okay, so why don’t I leave and try my luck elsewhere?

Well, I can’t. Not just because it’s my family’s company, but because of my second reason for not being paid what I should be.

2.   I’m not technically qualified to do what I’m doing.

When I left high school, I wanted to be a history teacher. I went to WLU for an Honours History program. For a number of reasons (the school was overcrowded, the classes were not what I expected, I became extremely depressed, and I preferred taking shots over doing my assignments), I left after the first year and moved home to live with my dad. I spent the next month trying to find a job but wasn’t hired anywhere, no matter what I tried. Eventually, my mom called me and offered me a job. I began working in the warehouse for minimum wage. A few months later, I was trained to work in finance for a few weeks, because our A/R person had a family emergency to attend to. That employee never ended up coming back, so the job was mine.

I was only trained for A/R for a week. Literally. After that, I was on my own. My supervisor helped a lot at first, but I needed to adapt very quickly to succeed. I knew that if I didn’t do my job properly I’d be exiled back to the warehouse and they’d hire someone new. So I worked my ass off to prove myself, and I still do. A couple months into the promotion, I got bumped to salary with a small raise. A year later, I have had the highest raise percentage for two years running. I also started classes for an Accounting diploma. As of April, I’ll have 10 of the 35 credits I need to complete. After I finish, I’ll hopefully be able to bridge into the third year of a Bachelor of Commerce university degree, which I need to be admitted into the CGA program. My hope is that after I’m completely finished my education (with a conservative end date of 8 years from now), I’ll be able to become a controller and rake in some serious cash. It’ll be a long hard road, but I’m totally willing to do it if it means I’m secure in my future.

For now I’m okay with my salary, considering my company pays for my schooling. However, it’s not enough for me to live independently at this point- rent in my town is insanely expensive compared to the next city east. Maybe once my debt is gone and I feel comfortable with my savings, I can find a friend who isn’t crazy and/or broke to move out with and start up on my own. As it is, I have consistently gotten raises as I become more skilled and am able to take on more responsibility, so I really hope that continues- at least until I finish my diploma and can negotiate a little more.

Has anyone else gotten an education while working full-time? How long did it take?