September is the back-to-school month, the reboot moment, the get your ducks in a row time. Though I have to admit that I love to organize, I am not raring to go at the start of September. It takes me some time to ease into that “get back into action after the summer” approach. The unusual warm spell we have been having lately doesn’t help. Nonetheless, around this time of year, whether it is clothes in my closet, papers on my desk or files on my computer, I enjoy getting everything in order. Even more I love to organize my thoughts and actions—and that’s the stuff that really drives life. Not surprising that I’m a life coach. Life coaching is all about organizing your life from the inside out. You can pick any aspect of your life and organize to make your life more fulfilling. Here are some organizing themes to get you started.
This is the work of professional organizers and Feng Shui masters who know that a physically cluttered world will clutter your mind. Going through all your belongings and making chaos more functional can have huge ramifications on your everyday life. Think about all the little frustrations you encounter in your day-to-day. Like when you can’t find something you need or when it takes you twice as long to do something because your materials aren’t organized orderly. You can fix this with or without professional help. Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and her TV show and videos are all the rage. Check her website for more info.
Organize Around Time
Days can go by so quickly that one of my favorite recommendations for organizing is around your time. Organizing helps to make your time more efficient. For instance, you can organize your activities in your working day to maximize your energy level. Try blocking out chunks of time in your calendar for your most concentrated thought work based on your own body. I always find I am most successful at writing in the morning so I keep that scheduled on my calendar. You can also organize your time by day-of-week. Maybe you find that you are most excited about working on tough projects on Mondays and prefer light work on Fridays, so schedule accordingly.
Organize Using Goals
A great rule of thumb that helps to organize your priorities in life is to consider short, mid- and long-term goals. I like the 3-3-3 rule. What are the three short-term goals you have for the day, the three mid-term goals for the week and the three long-term goals for the quarter? You can substitute months and year for mid- and long-term if that suits you better. Then organize your activities for the day, week and quarter to help you meet those goals. Make sure that you revisit and revise your timing based on your outcome. For instance I review my goals on Mondays and if I haven’t completed something from last week, I get it on this week’s calendar. As you can tell, I rely heavily on a calendar to organize my life. It is a structure that works for many people so you might want to give it a try.
Organize In Your Own Style
Being organized doesn’t mean that you must stay in the bounds. While having an organizing principle will help you to get things done and help set a direction, you shouldn’t feel constrained by it. Treat these as guidelines not rules. Unless you find rules easier to follow. There are huge individual differences when it comes to following instructions. Some prefer detailed rules and regulations while others are more rebellious. For instance, I keep open and unscheduled time on my calendar and I am not rigid about getting something done at a particular time or day. Get to know yourself and follow what works best for you. Some people love to have post-it notes everywhere and a large calendar on their wall for visual cues. Others prefer electronic calendars and audible reminder bells. Find what suits you best. If you struggle with getting organized on your own, ask for outside help. Whatever approach you take, being more thoughtful and organized in how you go about your days will help you to stress less while you enjoy life more.