Whether you are single, a stay at home mum, working, wealthy, poor (the list is endless!) it makes no difference to the fact that being more organised WILL benefit you to some extent.
Do you find yourself saying any of the following throughout the day:- “I want to get organised”, “I need more time”, “Where did I put my…”, “Where do I start!”, “I am so sorry, I forgot…” etc….?
I challenge anyone to not say yes to at least one of those!
The best way to get started is to understand what questions to ask, and get an overview of how it will help you and what you need to do. Being aware of the overall picture will help you to stay focused and motivate you to get to the final destination.
Of course, the “What / How / Why / Where / When and Who questions and answers that I will look at in more detail below will be different for each of you, but its the asking (and answering) that will lead you on your organised way.
I hope that the following helps you to focus on what you want, how to get there more quickly, and how to stay organised for life. It should at the very least make you think about things more closely!
Organising will help you to live life to the full, whoever you are!
The “Why” of Organising:-
Why should I get organised? Why do I need to get Organised? Why will getting organised help me?
Look at the list below and see if you relate to any of them:-
- I am constantly losing things and wasting time trying to find them
- I am late for meetings regularly
- My house is only ready for guests after I spend a day cleaning and tidying
- I seem to do everything around the house
- I can’t remember the last time I simply had chance to relax
- I am always sending belated cards to people
- My mind is constantly full of information of TO DOs etc…
- My children leave it to me to tidy up after them
- I constantly double book myself
- Planning for Christmas / birthdays / holidays is always done at the last minute
- I am always chasing my tail and never seem to get ahead
If you have ticked even just one of these, then your life would benefit from being more organised (and you’ve probably identified a good place to start as well!)
“Getting Organised” is such a wide reaching phrase, and can mean different things to different people. The key is to define what it means to you, and to work towards that (this reason will be your motivation)
- Do you want a clutter free home?
- So you want to set a good example for your children?
- Do you want more time?
- Do you want all the above, and more!?
Define your reason – the “Why” – and you will be able to more clearly see how to get there. Sort out the “Why” first.
The “Who” of Organising
Who would benefit from me getting organised?, Who am I getting organised for?
You may think that it will only be you that will benefit from you getting more organised (and indeed you should only do it if you are totally invested in it, or its not likely to work), and this is not so.
The butterfly effect (from Chaos theory) states that every small event creates large events (if a butterfly flaps its wings, then a few weeks later a hurricane is formed.
As such what you do everyday can affect your whole life. The little things add up to form large things. Small bad habits, small amounts of wasted time looking for things – all create large amounts of time and effort and energy that you have simply lost – just by being disorganised.
What you do everyday also affects so many other people as well. It stands to reason that therefore everyone benefits from you getting more organised.
You become a better partner, parent, friend, sibling and child all by developing more organised habits:-
- You will feel more able to have people over as your home will be guest ready
- People will be able to rely and depend on you more
- You will be on time for things
- You will remember important events
- You will appear more relaxed, and therefore be someone easy to be around
Basically, you benefit so much from getting more organised and so does everyone you interact with.
The “Where” of getting Organised
Where should I get organised?, Where will benefit most from me being organised more?
There are some people who are really organised at work, and not so much at home – whereas some people have everything in its place in the home but their car looks like a bomb site.
If you can easily see where needs your attention the most, then it will serve you well to pick an area within this to start with.
This could be your home, your office, your hobby, your car, an organisation you belong to, your garden, your social life etc….
This is purely your high level overview of your life – and will give you a good insight as to how balanced it is as well.
Of course, you may be disorganised in the majority of your life areas, as such you will need to look a little more closely…
The “What” of getting Organised
What specifically should I get organised?, What parts of my life are disorganised?, What should I start with?
This links very well to the “where” and is the next stage of working out your organising plan.
You need to be specific with what you want to get organised, as then you will know exactly what to focus on the most, and you will start to see your goals more clearly.
Your “What” should be something that makes your life run more easily, and that has a positive effect on you (and others as well most probably).
Things to consider would be:-
paperwork / finances / daily habits / clutter / time / systems and routines….
And there are lots of theories to consider on exactly how to choose what to get organised:-
- Start where it hurts the most – what do you get frustrated by on a daily basis? The positive of this method is that you can see results quickly.
- Start in the most disorganised space – do you have a really cluttered room, or simply too busy a social life to keep up? Again the positive of this method is that you will make a difference very quickly to your life, and be more motivated to continue
- Start small and build up slowly – there is a train of thought that suggests that starting with something small like a drawer or a cupboard will give you enough to get started, but not overwhelm. While this is correct, it may be too insignificant for you to feel a big difference and your enthusiasm may wane over time.
- Start and finish one room / area before going on to the next – The problem with this is in how you define “finished” – nothing is ever perfect, and so you may find yourself stuck in one area trying to reach perfection.
All these methods are good, mainly for the reason that they all get you started – and thats the main goal here – to simply START.
I always go for starting somehere where I feel really needs sorting fast, as long as its something I will see everyday. This way I will see the results and build momentum to keep going. I also make sure I split it into manageable chunks – which means that I can start with a big project but not get overwhelmed. This method covers the majority of the ways to start listed above, and works well!
For example – this past weekend I really got stuck into sorting out the families paperwork.
I have had a lot going on in recent weeks, including an influx of work projects, family changes, and general busy-ness. As such the paperwork has ended up being neglected and piled up (only that which isn’t too important of course).
I also have in the back of my mind that I am writing an ebook soon to be available on this site – all about the perfect way to organise all the paperwork that comes into your home (WATCH THIS SPACE!). As a result I want to be able to go through the process from start to finish to ensure that I think of all the possible niggles in my system so I can sort them out and ensure the system you get is great. Thats the aim! However, this project takes time to do, and as such things had been building up.
I simply got started, and felt so much better!
I took everything out of the corner where I intend to set up my system, and then sorted everything out into specific piles – allocating a file or a space in a drawer for each part. Then I put everything where it should go.
The results? I can now find everything I need, I have the beginnings of the system I want to create, and can now see it working properly before I invest more time into getting each part of it sorted. Its enough for now, and it the first step.
I now feel more relaxed when I deal with my paperwork , as I know the system is in place and working for me – even with some tweaks to make. I also know where to find everything quickly and easily.
Its all too easy to fall behind in your organising when you’re busy or waiting for other things to happen, but just getting started will help so much!
The “How” of getting Organised
How do I get organised?, How can I stay organised?
So, we have now looked at the “why”, the “who”, the “where” and the “what”.
We have a plan of action but we don’t as yet have the tools to do the job.
The reason you have chosen the area of your life to get organised that you have is because you are to some extent disorganised and need to change what you are currently doing – because thats the only way you know how to do it.
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got…
You now need to find new systems, strategies and habits to ensure getting organised is sustainable and will work specifically for you.
My key to getting organised is as follows:-
Good Habits+Systems+Routines = Organised
It’s a way of life and not a quick fix, and must always be focused on how YOU live.
My “HOW” is that I like to have an ongoing process, where some things are in maintenance mode, some are just starting to get organised, and some are in between. This ensures that I am not leaving any areas untouched, and allows for new things to come into my life and be integrated into the systems I already use.
It also means that I’m not getting overwhelmed by starting too much at once.
The “When” of getting Organised
When should I start to get organised? When is best to get organised?
There really is no time better than right now.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
Don’t delay, if you put things off until you have more time, lets face it, that will never happen. When was the last time you woke up and thought to yourself that you had a few hours gap in the day!
Think about it, do you have time to take time off work? Probably not, but if someone close to you fell ill and needed you 24/7 for a few days, then you would be able to make the time.
Give work to a busy person and it will get done
I definitely seem to get more done when I have more to do. Weird!
Once you create that starting point then momentum will drive you and you really will thank yourself! Make getting organised a priority and you may just find yourself with more time than you know what to do with…….