10 Tips to Simplify & Be Organized Starting Now!
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” Albert Einstein
When your life is full you miss out on the precious details that make life enjoyable. Delicious tastes, enticing smells, loving hugs, a good laugh, a great thrill, the beauty around you, and sometimes what you want the most. Consider when you dine out. When you’re in a hurry you miss out on intriguing conversation, ambiance, savory smells, yummy tastes, etc. So why do we resist slowing down? We were raised to believe that hard work leads to success. We strive to keep up in a fast paced world. Yet growth occurs more easily when there is space to grow. So let’s begin creating space by simplifying and organizing. Think simple and let’s get started.
- What are your top priority zones? Keep it from 3 to 5. Your top priority zones are the areas of your life that are most important to you. Think of the different hats you wear throughout the day. What is most important to you? Some examples are faith, self-care, family, business, career, home, education, etc.
- Under each top priority zone list your top priorities in that area. For instance, under self-care an example would be exercise daily, take vitamins, eat healthy, look good, drink half my body weight in water daily. Through this exercise you will probably beginning to understand why you are overwhelmed. Keep thinking simple.
- Create a Time Map of how your week will look using a weekly calendar displaying hours. Consider how much time you need and how much you can commit to each priority. When is the best time of day to schedule it so that you follow through? Schedule large blocks of time for your various roles so you have plenty of time to focus on the priorities in each area. Customize the Time Map to fit your personality so you are more likely to take action.
- What are you willing to eliminate, delegate, or set aside? Are there responsibilities, tasks, goals, etc. that you are discovering you need to eliminate, delegate, or set aside until a later date? They don’t fall into a priority. Give yourself permission to let go, so you are more able to focus on what is most important to you now.
- Say “NO”! Once you know your priorities you will quickly be challenged by another opportunity. How does the opportunity fit into your priorities? If it does not honor your top priorities then the answer is “No” for now.
- Notice where you are wasting time or procrastinating. Be aware of how often you run back to the same place or area of town. Can you consolidate errands? How much time is spent watching TV? How much time is spent thinking rather than doing?
- Develop systems and/or a task list- Expert Professional Organizer Julie Morgenstern says that “organizing is not about changing who you are or throwing things out, it’s about designing a system based on your unique personality, natural habits and goals.” Is there an area that is not working for you? Chances are it is in need of a simple system. Another option is to create a task list. List all tasks that need to be completed in a particular area and take action. As a single mom who is growing a business, going to school, and running a household you can imagine my task list. I use a task list with 3 columns titled Personal, Business, and Home. I list everything that needs to be taken care of. Each week I decide what to work on that week. When I have free time I simply take a look and see what’s next. There is no way I could manage it in my head. Yes…the original set up took time and now it is easily managed. Of course the goal is to get so far ahead to be able to eliminate the task list completely.
- Focus on completion of one task at a time. When you get into handling each task take one step at a time. Focus on completion before moving on. Start in one small place, stay focused, and allow that feeling of accomplishment to build the momentum to continue.
- Get the rest and nutrition you need. Take regular breaks to rejuvenate and get plenty of sleep. Choose healthy energy sources vs. adrenaline for endurance. By the way…I hope you chose you as one of your top priorities.
- Reward yourself for the progress. Notice I said progress. Stop occasionally to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Don’t beat yourself up. I doubt there is an Olympic athlete out there who never missed a day of training. They get back and persist. Notice how good you feel with each step. Treat yourself!
If you feel overwhelmed to the point of paralysis then another option is to hire a Professional Organizer. Pat Rabon of A to Y Organizing in Missouri City, TX says that many clients mention feeling as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. They seem to feel proud and accomplished. A Professional Organizer can provide you the support you need to reach your goals. Check out the resources below to find the Professional Organizer for you.
Cheryl Richardson, author of Life Makeover, Take Time for Your Life, and Stand Up for Your Life, says “inaction=anxiety”. So get out of anxiety by taking action to create a change. In closing, I challenge you to the Dare to Take Action Challenges below to help you begin living an organized lifestyle.
Today’s Dare to Take Action Challenge:
Clean out one cluttered space (a small drawer, counter top, desk top, file, table top, etc.) that has been draining your energy every time you look at it before bedtime tonight…Starting Now! When you wake up notice how great you feel when you look at that space.
Tomorrow’s Dare to Take Action Challenge:
From part one of Fly Lady’s 27 Fling Boogie. Do this as fast a you can. Get a trash bag, walk around the house and throw 27 items away as quickly as possible. Close the bag and pitch it! Don’t look inside!!!
www.juliemorgenstern.com Learn more from organizing expert Julie Morgenstern at her site or read her books: “Organizing from the Inside Out” and “Time Management for the Inside Out”
www.cherylrichardson.com – To organize your life in a different sense consider Cheryl’s book “Life Makeovers”.
Please send your comments and tell me what you want to read. l would love to hear from you! Copyright 2003, Beth A. Tabak, All rights reserved.
Beth Tabak is a Professional Life Coach and owner of Starting Now. She coaches small business owners, professionals, divorcees, and those who want to play a bigger game to create a business and life they can be excited about now. She works with clients to prioritize, systemize, maintain focus, and take action. It is through this interaction of support and accountability that clients take more action and accomplish more with less stress and struggle.