By Judi Light Hopson /Tribune News Service
Do you get upset because you can’t accomplish what you want to?
For instance, you might want to clean out your closets or write that novel you’ve been putting off.
Maybe you try to focus, but you feel overwhelmed.
Finding control boils down to one simple strategy: developing the habit of being organised. This means you’ve got to think ahead.
When you can get organised, keep things under control, and live a neat life, you can work faster and think more creatively.
These tips can help:
* Take a few minutes each day to de-clutter. Use small bits of time to clean out just one drawer or toss clothes to donate into a cardboard box.
* Get in the habit of buying organisational tools. Don’t buy every basket in the store, but do purchase containers for storing mail, pens, bills to pay and more. Buy hanging hooks for robes and coats.
* Group similar tasks. Make several phone calls back-to-back. Or, clean out the refrigerator while a roast is cooking. Don’t jump back and forth from room to room or jump from one task to an unrelated one.
* Pay attention to your methods of living and working. Remember that people who are very organised can “see” what needs to be done. They visualise the closet all neat and tidy before they remove the clothes to toss and sort. They “see” how they’ll shop efficiently for groceries by making a list and planning an orderly route up and down the aisles.
An author we’ll call Paul wanted to write a book for 10 years. But his home office was messy and his habits weren’t conducive to getting things done.
“To get organised, I decided I’d neaten my home office first,” says Paul. “I spent an entire weekend sorting and tossing papers on my desk. Next, I vowed to write every weekend for three hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday.”
Paul says he was able to complete his book, find a publisher and stay on track all the way. Within 10 months, he’d completed his project.
“What I learned in the process,” says Paul, “is that my wife and I now need to organise our home – plus get our family photos in order, along with our wills and estate planning done – in order to feel in control of our lives. All of our plans for travel and retirement will flow better if we get organised.”
Paul emphasises that de-cluttering should be a top priority for every family.
“We’ve thought about buying another house,” says Paul, “but once we de-clutter, I believe our house will seem twice as big and more livable.”
Getting organised should extend to your activities outside your home or office as well. Putting everything in order leaves you a clear calendar to plan for more activities with friends, co-workers, and extended family.
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