The 2014 winter Olympics are under way. I am in complete awe of the athletes’ skill and total dedication. Ironically, we in the Northeast have more snow and colder weather than in Sochi, Russia! In fact, we’re in the middle of a nor’easter as I write this post.
Can you guess the common link between the Olympics and getting organized?
To become an Olympian, athletes must be the very best of the best in their sport. To be among the very best, athletes train with their coach. They practice hard every day. Their goal is to achieve perfection.
Conversely, achieving perfection is not the goal of getting organized. In fact, (non-Olympics) perfectionists achieve fewer results because the fear of not doing something perfectly overrides the desire to accomplish something. The goal of being organized is to have all aspects of your life function well — or well enough.
So what’s the connection between getting organizing and the Olympics? If you guessed practicing, you are correct! Like a coach teaches athletes, I teach you everything you need to know to get — and remain — organized. While we work together, you are in training. To change old habits, you must practice, consistently, what you are learning. It takes ~28 days to create (or break) a habit. So, in about a month, new habits should replace those that did not work well to achieve your goals.
Here are 5 tips.
1. Things that are not useful or enjoyable — that serve no real purpose at this point in your life — are clutter. Donate, recycle or toss them. You need to live in the present, not the past or future!
2. Break down overwhelming projects into smaller pieces. If they still feel overwhelming, make the pieces even smaller. Keep doing that until they feel doable. Example: If organizing your bedroom makes you want to go to bed and pull the covers over your head, focus on just the closet. Still too much? Focus on side or a shelf. After you tackle one piece, go to the next one and so on.
3. Put like things together. You know you have pads of paper all over the house. But you can’t seem to find one when you need it. You buy more. Instead, go around the house and gather all of them. (You may discover you have a lifetime supply!) Put one pad in each key area, then store the rest in one place in your office. When you need another one, you will know where to find it.
4. Purge the very instant you realize something is no longer wanted. Donate, recycle or toss it. In other words, get it out of the house. Don’t toss things aside for now because for now tends to become permanent placement.
5. These are common-sense tips, not rocket science. You know that. But, knowing them and doing them are two different things. You know that too. This tip is to motivate you to practice the above tips consistently for 28 days so they become your new habits. If four are too many, do three, two or one of them. Most importantly, to get results you need to get started.
Ignore the perfect images on TV and in magazines where bookcases contain a handful of books, some framed photos, a few knickknacks — and plenty of empty space. Those images do not depict real life in most homes. Bookcases I’ve seen (including mine) are filled — with books!
Write your results or comments in the Reply box below.
Product of the Month
In follow-up to January’s blog post on NoMoRobo.com which blocks robo calls at home, this smartphone app allows you to block unwanted calls and texts. Caller ID shows the name or company; you choose to answer, screen or block the call. You can even block entire area codes or enable the Do Not Disturb feature. Download the free app here for Android, iPhone or Blackberry.
Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. ~Peter Drucker