One recent day I had to — I didn’t really want to — but felt I needed to — complete a bunch of tasks/To Do’s/chores that weren’t exactly exciting. Truth be told, the thought of doing these To Do’s annoyed me but I understood they should be done. Additionally, I felt I would feel better when I could get them off my brain.

So I coined this day in my calendar as my PIA Day (Pain in the A_ _ ) and here is a quick list of my PIA’s that day:

  • Go to the municipal building and renew the dog license
  • Get an oil change
  • Go to the jewelers and fix the broken clasp on a necklace
  • Order more checks
  • Confront the insurance company on a doctor bill I didn’t think I needed to pay
  • Return used printer cartridges to Cartridge World

These To Do’s took me realistically half a day. Then I thought, as I often do as a professional organizer, we all need to make time for PIA tasks. Because when they are done, we feel resolved. Using the example above, after completion of these PIA’s:

  • The dog is now legal and registered in our town
  • My car has another 3,000 miles of proactive maintenance
  • I can wear the necklace again that my husband gave me
  • I now know that I do not owe the gastroenterologist $789
  • My office floor is cleared of printer cartridge boxes and I can order backups and have room for them

Scheduling PIA blocks of time will make one feel productive and organized even if we don’t like doing those To Do’s while we are doing them. Additionally, if these mundane and non-date specific tasks don’t get done, they pile up, turn into physical and time management clutter and can cause us bigger problems down the road if we procrastinate too long on them. For example:

  • I get a fine because the dog gets lost and the police find her
  • My car breaks down
  • I can’t wear the necklace my husband gave me on our first anniversary for our 20th-anniversary dinner (3/19/19 by the way…)
  • I’m out of checks and the washing machine repair man doesn’t take credit cards
  • The gastroenterologist statement goes to collection
  • My son trips on the printer cartridges and falls into my desk and gets a bloody nose

PIA Day Tips

  • Keep a running list of PIA To Do’s handy on Paper or Digitally
  • Plan a convenient time on your calendar to accomplish these PIA’s
  • On the appointed day of your PIA time blocking, “Just Do It!” as Nike says. Then reward yourself with something fun afterward, like treating yourself to a cappuccino (or your favorite beverage splurge)

This idea was probably what most people’s old-fashioned Saturday morning used to look like, but life has gotten complicated. Somehow lots of other “things to do” have made it to our very full weekends. So do yourself a favor and PLAN time to get the non-priority chores done before they turn into a hot mess.

Taxes – Another PIA

Ok, chance are if you breathe, you pay taxes. In today’s world filing one’s taxes can be high up on someone’s PIA list. In case you don’t remember what you should keep or for how long, here is my updated Record Retention Schedule.