Organization does not exist in a vacuum; it influences your home, your workspace, and your overall everyday existence! If your home is disorganized, then more than likely your workspace is disorganized, and in addition, your overall day is disorganized. A jumbled life is a less prolific and fulfilling life. To bring balance to your life and create order across all areas, start by organizing one area of your life at a time.
Time management—otherwise known as planning your day—is key to living an organized life. And, quite simply, an organized day is a more productive day. The easiest trick for staying on your schedule is adding downtime and padding your scheduled appointments with “oops” time. These few extra minutes allow for unforeseen occurrences like traffic jams, or unexpected errands like stopping by the grocery store to pick up milk. Commit to scheduling by adding it to your evening routine. Let’ s face it, once you are out of bed in the morning, the craziness of the day begins, and the likelihood of sitting down to plan is slim. Ending your day with scheduling is surprisingly calming, and you may even sleep better knowing your plan to tackle the next day. In the end, the prize in planning is your new proactive approach to life.
Once time management is mastered, move on to organizing your workspace. Brian Tracy, who specializes in the training and development of individuals and organizations, reports that in a survey of executives, 90 percent would not promote a messy person. Your desk is the focal point of your office or workspace, so start by the simple task of straightening your desk. Make it a regular part of your routine. You may straighten your desk every morning upon arrival or at the end of the day just before you leave to transition from “home mode” to “work mode” or vice versa. One of my clients organizes her desk before presentations or going to a meeting. This routine gives her time to collect her thoughts and focus her attention. When your desk is neat and tidy, you can easily access files, reports, and even a pen. Taking a few minutes out of the day to put your desk in order gives those around you the perception that you work harder and are more on top of the tasks at hand.
Working in clutter results in a less productive career, but living in clutter fogs your mind and agitates your mind and body. Your home should be your sanctuary for peace, where you can escape from the chaos of the grocery store, traffic, crowded streets, etc. If you walk through your door after a hard day at work and are overwhelmed by clutter, your mind and body cannot relax. The same principle of an organization routine implemented at the office can easily be applied to your home. A half hour before you go to bed each night—prior to scheduling your next day—put away clothes, toys, pot and pans, etc. Making this a part of your routine not only keeps your possessions organized but also relaxes you prior to bed. Just knowing your home is clean and your next day is planned gives you the peace to go to bed with confidence that tomorrow will be a better day. Organize your life to clear your mind and welcome in harmony.
- Manage your time; don’t let it manage you. When creating your schedule, only make time for the essentials and outsource or delete the non-essentials. Surely there are things on your “to do” list that can be crossed off or that you can ask others to help you accomplish.
- Be in control at work. By being in control of your workspace, you project a sense of confidence and control. It is time to get rid of those piles of paper, pens scattered around your desk and floating in drawers, and clippings and random notes covering every surface area. Buy a filing cabinet for important documents, pencil and pen containers, and one notebook to write notes.
- Find peace at home. A place for everything and everything in its place. Take time to evaluate which belongings need a place to live. Are magazines on various tables around the house? Do you have a stack of books next to your bed? Choose storage items—baskets, bookshelves, and boxes—that can store those items. Make the effort to put them away to keep your home clear and harmonious.