June 2008 News
“I am so ready to get organized, but I just don’t know where to begin, and I feel overwhelmed!” Sound familiar? One client told me she felt like a sailboat dead in the water until I put wind in her sails. This month I will attempt to provide you with a “tide” of inspiration and to carry you on a “wave” of encouragement. OK, so I’m getting a bit carried away with the nautical thing. But let’s start at the beginning. I know you are anxious for tools and systems to try, but just like an illness, we need to determine the cause of organizational challenge before we can treat it.
Organizerism for June: The root of organizational weakness is indecision.
We are not born organized. Organizational challenge is not a disease traceable to a virus, nor is it a genetic defect. Organizing is a skill we learn if our desire (which comes out of need) is great enough to compel us to make a decision to invest our time and energy in it.
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but the light bulb has got to want to be changed. (grin)
Think of reasons you believe you struggle with organization. Some familiar ones are:
- I can’t decide if I want it.
- I can’t decide where to store it.
- I can’t decide to let it go.
- I can’t decide to act on it rather than procrastinate.
- I can’t decide to ruthlessly change my habits, such as to “just do it,” or put it away now and prevent piles.
- I can’t decide to manage my time differently to allow time for ordering my life.
- I can’t decide to stop the incoming. I can’t decide to resist buying more.
- I can’t decide to delegate or to enlist the help of my family, or to give up control or micro-managing.
- I can’t decide how to store things, what systems or containers to use.
- I can’t decide to settle for less than perfect. I can’t meet my own expectations so I just don’t do it at all.
- I can’t decide to live with less; to be courageous enough to lower my standard of living to raise my quality of life. …and so forth.
Once you identify reasons you cannot get organized, take them one at a time and work on reversing them. For example, if you feel you don’t have time to get organized:
- Schedule a time. An unscheduled appointment more than likely will not happen. Treat it like any other important appointment or it will easily get “bumped” for almost anything else you would rather do.
- Work with your circadian rhythms. If you are a morning person schedule early in the day; if you are a night owl choose an evening hour. When scheduling, choose a time when you are most energetic and least physically and emotionally vulnerable.
- When scheduling, always allow more time than you think you need to accomplish the task. We often self-sabotage because we begin the project but run out of time to finish it.
We have established that indecision is the beast that de-rails us, so:
- Enlist help. This should be an objective person with heart (your spouse is usually not too objective?) who can help you focus, keep you on task, encourage you and help you in the decisions making process. This person can also keep you accountable for the appointment! Sandra Feldon, author of the “Messie Manuals” says, “I alone can do it, but I can’t do it alone.”
It is also helpful to identify my organizing style, so I will present a profile each news note. We begin with:
Profile of the Organizationally Challenged for June: TheThinker.
We all know one or more, or you might be a thinker yourself. The thinker’s gift is the ability to focus on things that require intelligent, introspective or analytical processing. They are able to turn out a brilliant dissertation, or come up with profound thoughts, ideas or solutions.
For the thinker, much of life goes on in the mind so they don’t like to be disturbed with (or don’t even notice) the day-to-day details of life. As a result, they put up with dripping plumbing or broken appliances because getting them fixed is just not that important to them or doesn’t even occur to them. They live without enough light in strategic places because correcting the problem is more of an effort than living with it.
Thinkers often are not very quick on visual uptake. They can tolerate a great deal of clutter and remain focused on what they are doing because they are not as sensitive to visual things as organized profiles who are visually alert and need to see clear, uncluttered lines to concentrate.
Helps for the Thinker:
- Don’t overload yourself with too much information. The more choices we have, the more difficult the decisions will be. Resist the compulsion to keep every resource or bit of information that you most likely can find later, especially in today’s electronic age.
- Get an assistant to change the burnt out light bulb, to file or to take care of other life details that get missed.
- Take the time to set up user-friendly, easy, places to hold thoughts and information. If a system is easy and available we are more inclined to use it. Thinkers often find well labeled stacking bins helpful as they can simply drop items in the appropriate tray to be found, sorted and/or filed later.
I am committed to limiting these news notes to no more than two pages, so until our August edition, happy summer and I wish you success in ordering your life!
Saturday May 31- 9 AM to 3:00 PM
Fredericksburg Parks and Rec
“Disorganization: The Cost and the Cure”
Dorothy Hart Community Center on Canal Street
To register: www.fredericksburgva.gov or 540-372-1086 Ext. 217
Saturday September 27 – 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Winding Creek Community Church Stafford Virginia
“Applying God’s Order to Your Chaotic World”- The seminar
Save the date and watch for further information in August.
More classes will be offered in the fall of 2008. Stay tuned!
The first step in getting organized; The Sacred Art of De-Accumulation