What does it mean to get organized? For many people it means de-cluttering or tossing things they love and “hiding” most of the other stuff. They think that when their house is in a perfect state (which only lasts for a short time) and they are “organized” then all will be right with the world. I think there is much more to getting organized and so I call it organizing life.
Organizing life goes beyond having a place for everything and everything in its place. It is also about being able to find what is needed when it’s needed, doing what needs to be done (before it is due) and still having time to do what you want to do. It’s about gaining control over all your responsibilities (big and small) and it is a major juggling act unless you have a plan.
Making a plan takes about thirty minutes. Sunday afternoon or evening works well for many. Taking the time to plan can make a big difference in the stress level of your week. Do you want to bring a sense of calm to your typically hectic week? Then I suggest you start with your calendar, planner or pda (dust it off if you must) and check the upcoming week for appointments or promises you have made. Now gather all the sticky notes, napkin doodles and little scraps of paper that you have written reminders on. Schedule anything you can. Is there a birthday, graduation or wedding coming up that you need to shop for? Schedule it in.
When is that report due and how much time will it take you to write it? Work backwards to schedule when you need to start work on it so it will be finished a day ahead. Then plan enough time (double your estimate) and schedule the days and times you will work on it. Now when are you going to do the weekly things like grocery shopping, laundry, etc?
Last but not least, what would you like to do this week? Find a place in the week for whatever it is that will make you happy and schedule it in. Then be sure to do it.
Review your plan of the week to make sure your time estimates are realistic and your plan doable. You will still need to be flexible as life is often unpredictable, but having a plan will help minimize the surprises and the stress.
And the benefits of an organized life? Monica Ricci (known for her role on HGTV’s Mission Organization) says it best in her recent blog….” the most important benefit of living an organized life is this… it allows you the freedom, the mental and physical space, and the energy to live the life you were meant to live, and do the work you were put here to do. When you’re so bogged down in the minutiae and overwhelmed by the day to day chaos of your own life, how in the world can you tune into your purpose and put your life’s work into action?”
Here’s to an organized week and an organized life!