So many people ask me how I am so organized. Sure, some of it is talent, but much of my organizing success comes from these secrets that I’m going to share with you. And guess what? It’s much easier than you think to be more organized this year and really make it stick.
Understand your barriers to organization. Most people need help organizing because they are too busy, not lazy. They’ve added too many things into their schedule and when they get a minute of free time, they collapse in a tired heap. Save yourself from this fate – you can stop the madness hindering your organization goals. When I feel stressed, I think about the things I am able to get done with the time I have by looking at my task list for the day. Try to accomplish one thing each day or organize something for just 15 minutes a day. You can get it done much easier if you focus on the little steps.
Organizing is not rocket-science. When you break tasks down into small steps, everything becomes more manageable. Every time I have a large project to complete, I write the goal at the top of the page and list 10 things that need to be done to make it happen. Sometimes my 10 things have sub-categories of additional things that need to be done. But even with all of those things written down, I never feel overwhelmed. Why? First, it’s written down and I don’t have to think about it in my mind. And second, because it’s much easier to do a small task like, “purchase jump ropes” than it is to “Reorganize entire fitness center.” It’s the little things that make a big difference.
Organizing is essentially efficiency and simplicity. If your goal is to make everything as easy to complete as possible, you’re winning. Your life and your organization don’t have to be this big difficult monster that you can’t overcome. Think about how to make things more efficient and simple. Sometimes the easiest route is the best route. When I’m sitting in meetings, I often think about our discussion and it comes to me, “Wouldn’t it be easier to do it this way?” and I make myself ask it aloud. More often than not, others agree and we’re able to adjust our plan for a better (and easier!) result. Have confidence in your ideas – you have good ideas – now be confident to say them!
You don’t have to be perfect to be organized. Find an organizing system that works for you and stick with it. We tried to organize our family budget and control our spending for years and nothing was working. The envelope method was a bust, paying with only cash was too cumbersome, hoping on a wing and a prayer didn’t get us anywhere. And then one day, my husband (the saver) and I (the spender) had a conversation about what would work best. I’m great with lists, so I asked if we could just do a list of our discretionary spending and tally our receipts after each purchase. Genius! We’ve been doing this for 3 years now and have reigned in our monthly discretionary spending to meet our budget goals. You have to do what works for you, because that is what is going to make you successful.
You can be more organized this year. Be confident in your ideas, realize how far you’ve come and think about what you’d like to accomplish. Your goals will be attainable if you put your mind to it, make a plan and focus on the small steps each day to make it happen.