In today's hectic world, no matter what life you live, being organized is a skill that we all seem to have forgotten. Almost everyone has a half forgotten list of never ending tasks, a pile of something in the corner of your mind that makes you cringe every time you catch a glance at it. It takes an incredibly focused and attentive person to be organized all of the time, and these people tend to do very well in personal assistant jobs – i.e. Helping others stay organized. But anyone can learn to be organized for this times when you really need to get things done. It simple takes some concentration, some small but significant steps, and commitment to turn a cluttered and stressful schedule into a color coded end of day relieved sigh.
The first thing that you have to do, and this applies whether you are trying to get your home or social life organized, or whether your job is the messy part, is to prioritize. It's all very well making a 'to-do' list, but there's a different feeling between taking that shower and paying the mortgage. You need to figure out what is the most important. Ask yourself what you really want to achieve that day, what list could you look at and really feel satisfied in having finished it. We can all finish any number of small tasks during the day which may be useful but aren't essential, and still feel slightly empty in not getting that one task over with, that one thing that you have been pushing yourself to do for so long.
This is especially a problem for people pleasers. Often our own wish list gets pushed to the back of the line as we perform tasks for others. When it can be done however, you should stick to your own task first.
The 5 Minute Rule
This works particularly well for large tasks that you want to get done, but they are so daunting that you just don't want to start them. Here it is: You can do anything for 5 minutes. That's all you have to comit to is 5 meager minutes and then you can stop. That's all you need to tell yourself. Sit down and write for 5 minutes even if it's utter rubbish. Clean your room for 5 minutes. The momentum you gain in those 5 minutes can often lead to you finishing the entire task, and even if you don't finish it, it's 5 minutes closer than you were before. If you are really feeling adventurous you can up this to 15 minutes. It all works with exercise or practicing a musical instrument.
Make It A Habit
Making small changes in everyday life can honestly be all the difference you need. Small habits require small amounst of energy to get started. This is the same for small tasks. Larger habits are a different story. For instance if you were to try and live a healthier lifestyle, it is much easier to keep up the habit of drinking two glasses of water a day, than runing 5 miles everyday. Just the thought of how big that task is leaves you wnating to put it off, and putting it off stop it from becoming a habit. Small changes are where to start. It also might prove useful to examine the habits you already have and see if any of these are standing in the way of your goal – if they are, eliminate them without mercy.
For the lists and folders that you make to get yourself organized, there still things that may slip through the cracks. Taking a few minutes a day or at the end of the week to sort through these and remove anything that you don't need, whether this is clutter, a task you already accomplished, or something that doesn't need to be done anymore, getting rid of this both physically and mentally will feel like letting go of just a little bit of stress.
Forget About It
If there's something that still, after all your organizing, gets pushed back, it may be time to get rid of either. Either finish the task or end it once and for all. The energy you spend worrying about getting it done, or feeling ashamed because you haven't yet done it, is wasted energy. Just let it go.
Being organized is a continual on-going process. There is no button to fix it all in place, and that way never miss a meeting or push something around for the rest of your life. It is a mindset that requires energy and a willingness to do better. But this energy that is spent in organizing is nothing compared to the stress or anxiety of clutter and mess, whether this is figurative or physical.
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