There are five steps for building your organizing mojo. Actually these steps are more like principles that provide the framework for organizing your life to increase order, calm, productivity and purpose.
1) Get in the right frame of mind. Be clear about your priorities and accept ownership for bringing order to your life. Understand that organizing is a little like whittling: small changes will be made over the course of time and some things will need to be adjusted as you go along. A certain amount of optimistic faith is needed that every small step is important to the whole. Not everything will work as expected but leave yourself open to learn from the experiences.
2) Develop routines. Routines automate the handling of the necessary, but mundane tasks of life and decrease the number of decisions needed to accomplish those tasks. Neuroscience has shown that habits and routines are handled in a different area of the brain from other tasks and that less energy is needed to accomplish tasks.
3) Write things down and look them up frequently. Memory regarding the mundane stuff of life is unreliable. Label the container. Write down the name of your friend’s book recommendation. Take note of a project deadline and its deliverables. Write things down in trusted receptacles like notebooks and planners –physical or digital – rather than random pieces of paper and consult the planner and notebook often during the day.
4) Embrace simplicity. Reduce the number of steps needed to complete a task. Limit a collection to fit a defined space. Assign homes for items where they are used. Decrease your possessions to just those that are useful and enjoyable. Cut out the activities that don’t fit into your priorities. Remember it’s easier to drink from a garden hose than a fire hose.
5) Think proactively but live for today. Be aware of what needs to be done today in order to realize your goals – in short, plan. Consider the consequences of today’s activities on tomorrow. However, be mindful and experience today.
By following these principles it will be possible to reduce the chaos in your life and your spaces. The order you cultivate will provide the space for living the life you want to live.