Organizing our Time

Marla Dee is the author of “Get Organized, the Clear & SIMPLE Way”, along with other books and materials.

My three steps for organizing anything, including time are SEE IT, MAP IT, DO IT©. I am excited to share these three steps as they relate to TIME – our most elusive resource.

I – SEE IT. Having a clock is not enough. How do I touch time? How do I make time tangible – physical?

II – MAP IT. Why should I bother to write things down? How can I find time to use a day timer when I am so busy already – they just complicate my day?

III – DO IT. Lastly, how can I possibly fit everything into my day, much less make it simple? It feels completely overwhelming.

SEE IT – Making Time Visually Tangible:

Let’s talk about this. I need a way to SEE my day, to SEE the task in front of me. I need a way to make time tangible, a way that speaks to my body and my senses. My brain is always on overload and is not a computer capable of processing multiple data bases simultaneously. My all time favorite tool for this is the Time Timer (see The time timer shows me in a very physical way how much time in left for the allotted task I have set. The bright red section gives me immediate crystal clarity. Red is the color of the root chakra in the body, our grounding, our safety. Think about what eating red meat does for you, or a red stop sign. It is a powerful color that bypasses my need to “think about” how much time is left and just know. TT is especially useful for tasks where we get lost in a timeless zone. Here are some possible uses:

1. Sessions for homework. Email, writing, or reading. (I used the TT for writing this article)

2. Speaking, teaching, coaching or training

3. Measuring a conversation or how long it takes me to do something

4. Arts and crafts or hobbies of any kind

MAP IT – Mapping my day in a way that works:

As a professional organizer for over eleven years, I have found that having the right tool is critical for mapping and especially when it comes to time. Today I want to share one of my favorite that most people don’t know about since it isn’t in the office supply store.

The Planner Pad (see The planner pad is the most intelligent and simple “2 page week” format. It is designed the way most people think about the week ahead. Even though most of us like to have a month at a glance for scheduling, it is when we engage with the week ahead of us that it gets real. Our brains and bodies can only handle up to seven days at a time. That is why 7 digits in a phone number is easier than 10. This is why we have 7 days in the week. Also, it is easier for us to think about our tasks related to our roles such as mother, home care, client care, marketing, etc rather than a big long list of tasks. I have found that any individual can easily write down a simple list of what they need to do this week according to the roles in their life. The planner pad is designed to capture our week this way.

1. The top section asks:

a. What are the major roles in my life this week? (limited to 7)
b. What do I need to do for each role?

2. The middle section draws from the top and asks what I need to today? (limited lines)

3. The bottom section is for set appointments because that is the easiest to fill out.

** My TIP for families and for businesses is to take 30 minutes to do this together at the beginning of the week – Sunday night or first thing Monday morning. Then share it with each other.

DO IT – Living daily in a way that feels good:

We are living in complicated times, in a fast paced world that keeps increasing its speed and expectations. My passion in my life and in working with clients is discovering simple ways to show up for my day so that I can honor my personal rhythm, get done what matters most and truly enjoy my day.

I want to share my personalized planner (see and how I map out my day to keep the DOING simple and enjoyable.

1. I have chosen the Franklin Covey customizable format so that I can have the colors, the pictures and the quotes that inspire me. I am happy when I pull out my tool to map and use it throughout the day.

2. I have chosen the simple one page day to visually limit how many tasks I can write down. My practice and suggestion to you is choosing the THREE MOST IMPORTANT tasks for personal and for work life each day. Stick to those and do those first. You will then end the day with a feeling of accomplishment. This practice also teaches us to discriminate with time. It makes our day/time more tangible (touchable) and realistic.

3. Lastly, I have found that it only takes 5 minutes at the beginning and end of each day to open and close if I keep it simple. This is enough. Let go of trying to do it all or make it too complicated.

© SEE IT. MAP IT. DO IT. Copyright of Clear & SIMPLE, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Marla Dee, owner of Clear & SIMPLE, is the creator of The Professional Organizer Training Program, a member of NAPO and a Certified Feng Shui Consultant. Marla is known for transforming the complicated world of organizing into an experience of freedom and joyful growth. She is a passionate keynote speaker, published author, trainer of professional organizers and a consultant. She specializes is restoring freedom, order and clarity to all areas of life.

Marla Dee, President

Clear & SIMPLE, Inc.


My passion is to support you in getting organized, being present, and giving yourself fully!
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Marla Dee is the author of “Get Organized, the Clear & SIMPLE Way”, along with other books and materials. Visit for information about Getting Organized, Getting Help, or Getting Trained.

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