Prioritizing Organizing in 5 Minutes

Prioritizing Organizing

Try Prioritizing Organizing in 5-minute increments for a more simplified life

Good time management is accomplished in small bits of time. The exercise of mapping out a daily/weekly/monthly plan is important to stay on track.

Successful people plan their time by writing everything down. But it’s hard for some to understand. I get it. Time is such an abstract idea. It’s hard to do. How long will each task take? How about the commute? What can you do while you are waiting for the meeting to begin? I tell my clients that a successful calendar is ‘full’ of notes.

Whether you use a paper calendar or an electronic version practice noting everything you want to accomplish in your calendar. It is very important to schedule how long each task will take. By sitting down in the morning (or the night before) and mapping out your day with a list, you are less likely to be surprised with extra to-dos and you will also accomplish a lot more. It’s like making several appointments with yourself in one day.

Good time management is accomplished in small bits of time. Click To Tweet

As you get comfortable with this exercise, you’ll find that it will only take 5 minutes. Plan your day, then follow the plan.

In conclusion, try it – prioritizing organizing in 5 minutes.

Organize Everything – Simplify Life

Do you struggle with getting and staying organized?

Are you afraid to start an organizing project just to be overwhelmed or lose motivation in the middle, to be left with even more chaos? You are not alone. That’s the fear of most people who don’t have time to allot to a big organizing project.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Janet Barclay on April 5, 2021 at 8:51 am

    This is the hardest part for me! I have a well-organized list, but you can’t tell at a glance which tasks will take five minutes and which will be spread out over several days. Sometimes I break the large ones into subtasks, but it’s often more trouble than it’s worth (I think!).

    • Janet Schiesl on April 5, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      I try to identify just 3 things I need to do each day. So even if they will take a long time I can hopefully get them done.

  2. Seana Turner on April 5, 2021 at 9:37 am

    I find “chunking” my tasks together can help with managing time, such as all my errands, all my computer work, the household “walking around” chores, etc. I definitely write everything down or I totally forget. I mean, I have to write it down right away!! Alas, thoughts seem to fly in and fly out a bit more quickly these days.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 5, 2021 at 7:03 pm

      Same here! But I also think writing everything down helps to get things done. I like to chunk tasks I don’t like to do, like making phone calls.

  3. Ronni Eisenberg on April 5, 2021 at 10:24 am

    I like to think of tasks that can be done in five minutes, 10, 30 or even an hour. It’s manageable that way and less onerous.
    I met with a client recently who had a difficult time completing the project we were working on . She needed to take breaks every 15 minutes. It took us much longer to finish the project but it did get done. The end result was terrific!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 5, 2021 at 7:07 pm

      Congratulations Ronnie. I like the idea of writing down how long tasks will takes on your to-do list or calendar.

  4. Lucy Kelly on April 5, 2021 at 11:03 am

    I’ve learned to plan for each time taking longer than I think it will in my planner – if I think something will take five minutes, I block out ten. That way I have some “noodling” time if the task really did take five minutes and I’m not behind if it takes the full ten after all.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 5, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      That’s a great idea Lucy. I usually block out 15 minutes at a time, but like Seana mentioned, I batch tasks, so usually I’m blocking 30 minutes or 60 minutes.

  5. Sabrina Quairoli on April 5, 2021 at 11:05 am

    I love this idea! And, totally agree with it! I am a pretty detailed person and love to take the time to write down everything I need to do before doing it. I find that it reduces stress and motivates me to take action because I have a clear picture of what I need to do.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 5, 2021 at 7:14 pm

      I agree with a clear picture that writing a list does. I love a list!

  6. Linda Samuels on April 5, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Generally, I have a good sense of how long things will take or the shape I want a day to take. I have a daily list of things to accomplish that get coordinated with time blocks in my calendar. But I don’t detail things out to the minute. Visually, I’m able to see when the various things will get done. When possible, I try to organize the items that need a “fresher” brain in the morning, when I’m most alert. I leave the easier tasks for the late afternoon or early evening because they don’t need as much mental energy.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 5, 2021 at 7:17 pm

      I’m the same as you. My most productive time is the morning. If I don’t get it done in the morning, it usually doesn’t happen!

  7. Diane N Quintana on April 5, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Time management is so hard to teach. It is easier to wrap your mind around if you can spend a short amount of time doing little tasks.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 5, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      Diane, I love teaching time management. Making improvements on how people manage their time is life-changing.

  8. Julie Bestry on April 5, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    I time-block so that I can get into flow and work on one kind of project or in one area at a time. Unlike how Linda has a fresh brain in the morning, I’m useless until after lunch, so my tiny tasks go one after the other in the morning, where I can do the least damage, and my big projects (anything where I need 90+ minutes of focus) go in the mid-to-late afternoon or the late evening. I write down everything I have to (and want to) do, but I don’t schedule most tasks (rather than categories of tasks) because I know that I won’t do a scheduled task if I don’t feel like it. (I’m such a rebel!.) Time blocking is just flexible enough that it *makes me* “feel like it,” in a way that calendaring a specific task does not. Thus, my daily/weekly plan homes where different types of tasks, plucked from my task list, can go. Mondays are marketing, Tuesdays are finances, Wednesdays are for problem solving, and so on. What I accomplish within those areas varies, but as you say, good time management gets done in those small blocks.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 5, 2021 at 7:23 pm

      You are so funny Julie. I have tried having theme days, but it didn’t work for me. Glad it works for you.

  9. Amy on April 7, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    I do my best work when I just take care of the less than 5-minute tasks immediately. But the hazard can be that I avoid the big tasks that require more deep work.

  10. Janet Schiesl on April 8, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Oh, Amy. I do the same. It’s crazy how you can stay busy all day but not accomplish much.

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