Human beings are creatures of habit, which can be good when organizational systems work successfully and not so great when they don’t. And nothing is more evident of bad habits than our repeated attempts to “get organized” throughout the year.
Do you recognize yourself in any of these four scenarios?
Scene | January: This year will be different. This year I’m going to get organized and get my life together so that I can actually enjoy it.
Scene 2 | Spring: I am ready to get organized! The weather’s warmer, it’s time to pack away winter clothing. This is a great time to get rid of the clutter and excess and start fresh.
Scene 3 | The end of summer: This school year is going to be completely different. The children will know where everything is, schoolwork won’t go missing, and everyone will get to school and work on time without screaming and tears.
Scene 4 | Holiday season: This year I’m not going to get stressed. I’m going to plan ahead so that I can enjoy the holidays with my friends and family and not worry about the details nobody else even notices.
And yet each year, we find ourselves trapped in reruns of this 4-part cycle of “getting organized.” Organization has to be baked in, not sprinkled on: You can’t just label a bunch of stuff, create a to-do list, set up routines, and buy some storage containers and expect to be done.
Organizational systems only work when you follow a plan that is related to the reality of your life. Things tend to go awry when you work without an intentional plan. Being organized is about:
- analyzing the systems you use
- evaluating the systems and identifying how they meet your goals and where they fail to meet your goals
- making changes and adjustments to streamline systems
- reevaluating the systems on an ongoing basis
PRODUCTIVITY TIP: Don’t waste time on things that don’t need to be improved upon.
Image courtesy of Gualberto107 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net