My name is Dee, and I am married with two adult sons and live in New Hampshire. I have always liked writing but never knew what to do with it until recently. I was teaching a friend how to do something that came simply to me but was a struggle for her. And then I thought, why don’t I just write it down and share it with others. I love learning from others, and maybe someone would like to learn something from me. This is how it all started.
So, here I am writing articles on topics that I struggled with at one time or another. Whether it was how do I make an artichoke the perfect way my “nana” did, or how I manage to homeschool a resistant teen. I found simple steps to overcome those challenges, and my goal is to share what I learned with those of you who share same interests and difficulties.
So, here it is.
HOW TO ORGANIZE AND SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE IN 8 EASY STEPS
Step 1: HAVE GOOD HABITS
We all know that good habits lead to good decisions, and good decisions tend to make your life a little easier in many ways. It is recommended to start with small adjustments or what some people call “baby steps”, be positive, commit to your decisions, identify obstacles, think about what is holding you back, use failures as learning opportunities, create a plan for success, check in with yourself to stay on track. That is basically it in a nutshell. It sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t.
You want to go to the gym but there is never time to do it. Or, you have time but you can’t bring the plan to fruition. Instead of making excuses, you can make small changes and set up a small area with minimal equipment to get you started on your journey in the comfort of your own home.
The fact that you implemented the first step will motivate you to keep moving forward. Once you are comfortable with your new schedule, and your new time commitment, you may want to move on to get a gym membership to use bigger and better equipment. This will help you achieve a higher level of success.
Again, it's all about making small changes and being consistent. I can’t stress that enough.
STEP 2: MAKE A SCHEDULE
Making a schedule will certainly help you prioritize your days and activities. For me personally,
It gets my plans out of my head and onto paper. I then just check my calendar daily, check off tasks as I do them, and am not constantly thinking that I forgot to do something. Oh, and I always have stickies all over my desk. LOL.
That process works for me and lessens stress for sure. We are all different and you just need to find what works for you. If planners don’t work for you, maybe phone apps are your thing. There are apps for everything! It’s personal preference. Just find what works for you the best.
Always leave time for flexibility, because as we all know things change at the drop of a hat.
STEP 3: PLAN AHEAD
Planning gives me peace of mind. I understand you can’t control everything that happens but planning ahead as much as you can lessens stress and keeps you organized. You will become proactive and foresee roadblocks that may come your way. You will face them with confidence.
Personally, I plan personal and professional goals separately. Usually, I go over my goals for last year, identify the wins, and the areas that need work or that I did not meet. I then plan for the next year, revisit and adapt goals if they are still relevant, or I make new steps to meet new goals. I know this probably sounds a little obsessive but keep it simple and plan basic steps to meet the goals you have chosen. It’s very effective. Don’t forget to celebrate the “wins” no matter how small. It is still an accomplishment, and it will motivate you to stick to your plan.
Passing an exam to attain a degree needs to be done in steps. Everyone knows that. It is not easy; I have done it. So, you would create objectives such as designating study time, study groups, or publishing an academic paper in a year. You get the point.
But think of the end goal after all your hard work, consistency, time, and effort! You did it. CONGRATS
STEP 4: DECLUTTER YOUR ENVIRONMENT
I know you may be thinking, “How am I supposed to declutter my environment if I can’t organize anything”? Don’t fall into that thinking, just take a breath and make a plan of action.
I’ll tell you this over and over, it's all about baby steps.
Look at the big picture of what you want to accomplish. Choose one thing you want to focus on right now. Write it down and continue a small list of maybe five realistic goals. Let’s say you want to organize the baby’s nursery.
So, you start with the type of furniture you want for the room. You focus on that. When you are all set with that. You move on to #2 on the list. You just continue with this process, and you will be done with the nursery remodel before you know it! Don’t forget to celebrate your wins! A little motivation goes a long way. Now its off to remodel the kitchen.
STEP 5: EMBRACE YOUR NATURAL INCLINATIONS
Personally, many times in my life I have felt pressured to have a certain job, or certain career, or have a certain look. You do not have to fit into societal expectations of who we should be, what we should look like, or how we should be doing things. This really doesn’t have much to do with organization, but it’s super important and learning it will help you grow.
My point is to find your own way to be productive, find your niche’, but be happy doing it. Don’t spend half your life learning that lesson like I did. Life is too short for that!
Even though we live in a world focused on productivity, we should use our natural inclinations to help us be productive. It seems like in every job it’s all about rules and regulations. That can make us feel rigid and joyless sometimes. You must find a balance and knowing and embracing your passion makes it even better!
You need to know what time of day you are most productive and make that work for you. I am more motivated at night, and I am most certainly NOT a nine-to-fiver. I tried that and failed.
I guess this is the part that explains how the above points fit into my “organization” talk. One who is productive, working at their greatest potential, doing what they love, happy, and has more time for priorities, is a valuable asset and decreases stress in your life. That sounds pretty organized to me. Work will be happy with you, and you will be happy at work. It’s a win…win situation.
STEP 6: BE CONSISTENT; NOT PERFECT
First, being consistent and being a perfectionist are two different things. Let me clarify that. Consistency is critical for effective learning, organization, and success. It helps bring order to your new skills and this will help you meet your objectives and goals. This in turn makes things simpler and easier for you.
Don’t fall into the “all of nothing” mindset. You need to leave room for error. Be consistent BUT plan for failure at the same time. Most of us learn from mistakes, they need to happen occasionally. That is how we learn and grow.
Perfectionism on the other hand, creates unhappiness due to constant worrying about failing to meet your impossible and unrealistic standards you set for yourself. Avoid this, it causes roadblocks. There are many roadblocks in life already, we don’t want to create any more. When we hit roadblocks, we pause briefly and move forward!
STEP 7: MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS; KEEP IT SIMPLE
When I say, “measure your progress”, I mean to just be aware of the goals you have set for yourself and how you are doing regarding them. Make a mental check. When things get complicated, we tend to not follow through sometimes. So, a mental check in can help you stay focused and on task.
Like a mentioned many times, start with small steps and keep it simple. It certainly helps to keep a “minimalistic” mindset, be consistent, stay in the moment, prioritize what’s important, slow down, and remember to make time for yourself!
STEP 8: FIND BALANCE
Finding balance is not an easy thing for sure. I still struggle with this every day. There is no easy fix. I just focus on my priorities, try to have a good mental attitude, and be consistent with all the tools I shared in this e-book. It takes time but many people have found a true balance in their lives.
I believe that if one is truly happy with themselves and their lives, they will have a sense of true fulfillment and meaning in all they do. My husband is a true example of that!
I am the master organizer, and he is the pillar of positivity and true balance. LOL.
Until next time……………………………………..
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Dee