You might wonder what a post about organization is doing in a spiritual blog. Just continue reading and you will soon understand…
But before I start, I would like to give you a small introduction to my relationship with being (un)organized: As a child, teenager and young adult I was horribly messy and unorganized. My room would always look like a war zone, I was always late for school and I constantly forgot everything. Over the years, the situation has slowly improved, but it was only this year that it has improved considerably. In this post I will share with you the steps that according to me have helped me getting organized.
1. Be aware of the consequences
I guess everyone agrees that being organized is a good thing. But I wonder how many people actually understand how not being organized inherently makes you unhappy.
First of all, it drains your energy to constantly think of all the things you still have to do. In fact, the thinking about it probably is more exhausting than the actual doing. Be aware of your mind making things bigger than they actually are. That’s why you feel the relief after you have done it: your mind can stop thinking about it and has space for more creative, loving and wholesome thoughts.
Secondly, being unorganized lowers your self-esteem. You might start to judge yourself as being immature or lazy. On the other hand, being organized gives you a feeling of pride and empowerment.
I will share what happened recently to me and what made me write this post: This week after work I was looking for my bicycle to go home. It turned out the municipality had taken my bike, because I had parked it somewhere I wasn’t allowed to. The moment I realized what had happened, I could have slapped myself! Fortunately, my own post about the inner critic came to mind and I cooled down.
For a split second I considered just going home. The previous night I didn’t sleep much and I was tired from work. But then I started picturing myself at home, thinking about the bike and when to get the bike back. Just the mere thought about me incessantly thinking about my bike already drained my energy.
So, I got myself together and went to the bicycle depot (which by the way is pretty far off and to the exact opposite side of the city to where I live). Once I was there and I saw my bike, I suddenly forgot about all the hassle. I was just so happy and relieved to have my bike back.
On my way back, I caught myself smiling and being really happy. I started to wonder where this happiness came from? Didn’t I just loose time and money? I strongly felt that the positive sides of this story outweigh the negative ones. I felt immensely proud of myself for not having procrastinated. Curiously enough, I felt so liberated from my old unorganized and lazy self.
2. Clear emotional clutter
Before you can start organizing the practical things in life, you first have to organize your emotions. This step is probably a bit unexpected. But for me this was definitely the # 1 reason for success! Since I am speaking of my own experience, I can’t give you scientific reasons for what I am going to say right now. But all I know is that being unorganized does not only influence your emotional state, but your emotional state also influences your organizational skills.
In fact, I never really tried to get more organized. I was far too occupied trying to get my emotions under control. But once I had mastered my emotional turmoil I suddenly realized how organized I was. The more emotional clarity I gained, the more organized I got. After some while I realized there had to be a connection.
Obviously, not having too many other things to worry about, it’s easy to do more practical things. But even if you are falling back into an emotional turmoil, you will want to stick to your organized life. You will know that letting go of your organized life style will eventually only create more of an emotional mess.
3.Write things down
Ok, now let’s talk about the practical side of this issue 🙂 Writing things down is a very effective way of helping yourself to get organized. For some reason, things stick to you once you have written them down. Every Sunday I make a weekly plan of the things I want to have done for the week. In the morning I look at my plan which makes it almost impossible to forget.
4. Don’t procrastinate: Just do it!
You might think this is the cheesiest advice you have ever heard, but I guess there is a reason to it: It works! The moment you think of a specific task, do it right away. Full stop. If you are not able to do it straight away, wrote it down set a reminder.
The problem with waiting is that your mind will start making you feel a certain way about a specific task or will try to give you reasons not to do it. So make sure you do things before you can even think about them. If you want to read more about this topic and how to “just do” things, I can recommend “The 5-second rule” from Mel Robbins.
Procrastination will only make you forget about the matter until it might come back to you in the form of a big bill or some other creative reminder from the universe to get yourself together.
Now that I know what influence my emotional state has on my organizational skills and vice versa, I don’t only focus on my emotional balance anymore. I actively look for ways to get my life more organized, knowing that this will bring me great happiness and clarity! I hope this article has encouraged you to tidy up, respond to important mails and keep your promises not only because you feel obliged to, but also as a way of personal growth!