Daze of Our Lives . . . on 3-by-5's!
by CEO (Cynthia Ewer, Organized)
Editor, Organized Home
Although it's difficult to see it from behind the clutter of pizza boxes, mounds of
laundry and piles of newspapers, getting organized is more than just housework. While Pam
and Peggy got household organization off to a good start in "Sidetracked Home
Executives", the sweet rewards of personal organization come with the personal growth
concepts of The Happiness File
One of the best of these is the Daily Journal Card. No bound diaries with a little key
for us! (Besides, my little sister could spring that thing with a bobby pin, every time!)
Pam and Peggy suggest that S.H.E.s keep a journal on, what else--a 3X5 card.
Do I hear a chorus of wails, out there? Like most of us, my previous attempts at
journal-keeping ended in abject failure. With grandiose plans (and with an eye toward my
eventual biographers) I entrusted florid prose to the first few pages of a long line of
books--then, years later, embarrassed at my youthful literary excesses, I'd cringe
whenever I saw them.
For a Sidetracker, though, a 3X5 Journal Card is just the thing. Here are the nuts and
bolts of Pam and Peggy's idea:
First, fill out your Journal Card the morning after. During early-morning quiet time,
you have a better perspective of the trials and triumphs of the day before. If you're
following directions and getting up before the main body of the family, you'll have those
uninterrupted two or three minutes you need to fill out your card.
Turn the 3X5 on its side, date the top, and just outline your day. Hit the high points:
did you feel happy? Proud? Peaceful? Loving? Put it down! Don't censor the low points, but
with your early-morning perspective, you'll be able to present a balanced view. If you
can't finish the front of the card--no problem! Have a long, exciting day to record? Let
your writing spill over onto the back!
Pam and Peggy don't stop there! Keeping a journal isn't something to do just because
"it's something nice to do!" Use your journal as a very powerful organizing
In this vein, P&P recommend that you give each day a 1-to-10 Happiness Rating. As
they put it:
"A score of one we compare with being strapped to the flying blades of a Cuisinart
for twenty-four hours. A five-point day is comparable to being the drapes at a Ramada Inn,
and a ten is like having Johny Olsen tell you to 'come on down' for 'The Price Is
Right.'" Happiness File, p. 51.
Over time, Routine Cards will help you develop an idea of where your day-to-day
happiness lies--and you'll have a better idea of what areas of your life are out of whack.
A Journal is a potent organizing tool, not just a gimmick to keep the house picked up.
A Journal is a lamp to illumine the pathway of your life. In a Journal, you've kept
a tangible record of where you were, what you were and who you were as you move through
the stages of life. After a few months, you have some data for comparison. You can look
back and see, "Yes, I do feel more down and gloomy when the weather's bad!"
In that knowledge is power. Power to understand, to change, and to grow. Power to
become even more the woman you were born to be.
Tomorrow morning! Let it be the first day of the first Journal you've ever kept. Turn
that white card on its side, get ready, and . . . get organized!