How to find order in chaos

How to find order in chaos

I’m underneath a thousand pounds of clutter! This month just felt overwhelming. Everywhere I turned there was a pile of STUFF!  Usually, I’ve said I live in organized chaos because I know where everything is. It didn’t seem like a big deal. Piles were like vertical file cabinets and naturally, the most important things were generally on the top. 

Lately, my system didn’t seem to be working as well. Things that were important were not on top of the piles, much less in the piles. It took forever to find things, although I could still find them. I felt behind. I felt disorganized. I was starting to miss emails, forget tasks and more. It was frustrating to not be able to get traction on my projects, but everywhere I turned was another pile! If I tried to clean up one area, it was difficult to not just move the stuff to another area that had piles already. It was honestly, a bit exhausting. I wanted to be organized, however, it was getting more and more difficult to argue this was really “organized” chaos and not just chaos. 

It was time for a change. I knew the tricks. I just was resisting doing them. They seemed hard and unnatural for me. It felt like so much work, however, the work of my mess was starting to rival my disdain for the energy organization took. 

I could do it. There are lots of people in the world who are not naturally organized. Take the ADHD person who learned organization to help them focus. Take that speed demon who used to just get things done that developed disciplines so they could work their way to executive leadership. Take the “pig pen” who cleaned themselves up to become top in sales.  It was clear it was a decision. While organization is clearly natural for some neat freaks, it is not natural for many successful people. They just make a decision to do it. So can I.

My Commitment to be organized: 

  1. AM HABITS. Each AM I will get up 45 minutes early to 
    • Get focused, clearing the clutter from my mind 
    • Review my goals 
    • Review my to-do list 
    • Read something that makes me better (grow) 
  2. THROUGHOUT THE DAY 
    • Touch it once. If the task will take less than 2 minutes, take care of it at that moment (file it, trash it, sort it, put it away, etc) 
    • Have homes for things in bins that are labeled to remember and maintain order 
    • Have the same label/file system for my email, desk and soft folders (i.e. home, finances, team, leadership, xyz project, etc.)
    • Declutter as I go. If there is something that is piling up, take 10 minutes to sort it and take care of it.  Make it a project task 
    • Block time on my calendar for MY key tasks and commitments 
  3. END OF WORKDAY HABITS
    • Clean my desk off
    • Clear out my voicemail and email box
    • Make a list of all tasks undone & update my to-do list
    • Prioritize my to-do’s for the next day.
  4. PM HABITS. Each night before I go to bed I will:
    • Check any email that came in and get rid of the junk 
    • Do a 10 min clean sweep by walking around the house and picking up odds and ends. 

This is a good start. It is a lot and I might not hit it perfectly, but if I could do 50% or more, I would be on the road to getting on top of the clutter, piles, and madness.  I know I can do it! Anything I commit to is possible! 



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