You know you want to get your life in order, but where do you start — especially when you have more than one area to organize?
Build Your Own Vision
The first step is to decide to get organized — not just want to. Think about what you want to achieve and why. What will you be able to do by getting organized that you can't do now? Once you discover the value of getting organized, you'll have the motivation you need to keep at it.
The next step is to prioritize. Tour your home or office and make a list of what disorderly areas drive you crazy. Then rank your top three projects.
Be sure your priority projects are those that will make the most significant difference in your daily life. Straightening a random drawer that sometimes irritates you might make you feel good, but ultimately it's procrastination when you're putting off something more important — like the piles of paper in your office (or kitchen) or the clutter in your entryway.
Here's another hint: don't mess with what's already working, even if it's not perfect. Your time is much better spent fixing what's not working.
Still unsure where to start? When I work with a client to create a customized action plan, it often helps clarify priorities to ask:
- Where do you spend most of your time?
- What area would make you feel best if it were organized?
Secrets to Getting it Done!
Make a written plan for your number one project. Break it down into smaller steps. Less than five percent of us write down our goals, but success comes to 95 percent of those of us who do. The more specific your plan, the more likely you'll complete it. Give yourself an incentive and write that down, too.
Remember: The results have to be important to you and realistic for this stage of your life. Be honest about how much time you will take to complete it, but push yourself at least a little. Just be sure to allow enough time and flexibility for yourself and others to adapt to the changes.
Post your plan where you'll be sure to find it. Celebrate your progress along the way with big checkmarks or highlighting. Don't forget to follow through with your incentive when you're finished!