There is no such state as being 100% completely organised. The day you feel you have finally got everything in its place and tied up all of those loose ends in your life, you receive an invoice, emails to answer and phone calls to return. It all builds up again much too fast! Your ‘to-do’ list will always have something on it.. that is the nature of this crazy life we lead. I cannot stress enough, the importance of realising that organisation is a journey and not a destination. As much as we would like to, you do NOT arrive.
In saying that however, here are four things that you can do today to create more space in your brain. We do not, in fact, need more hours in the day but rather, more psychological band-width.
CLEAR YOUR WORKSPACE
Unless you’re a very successful sewer rat, working in an untidy, dingy, dank cave of an office is not going to make you feel motivated or productive. Take a few moments to clean up, clear everything off your desk, put things back in their place and water those thirsty plants! Get into the habit of doing what I call a ‘superman clean’ every night before you leave the office. This simply just means getting everything out of your zone and back into its home as fast as you possibly can. If you’re doing this on the reg, it shouldn’t take longer than 3 mins.
A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING, AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE
If you allocate a place for every single thing in your home and workspace then you are much more likely to be able to find it when you need it. This sounds simple I know, but it is always the first aspect of organisation to go when we get busy. Not only should you be putting away tangible objects, but digital files need to find a home as well. Think about it as supporting the homeless-everything on this earth deserves some shelter.
IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT
I am the polar opposite of a hoarder. I am ruthless and I hit the delete button with a fearless smile. I would rather get rid of something and have to buy it again than hold on to it just to have it gather dust and clutter my life. If you’re umming and ahhing over whether to keep something there’s a good chance you don’t need it. For those of you less reckless with your belongings, my advice would be to keep a ‘maybe’ box in your house. If you’re undecided on whether to throw something out, or just simply can’t part with it today but know it should go, throw it in the ‘maybe’ box with a date on it. If, in 6 months time, you still haven’t retrieved the item – ditch it. It’s time to let it go.
DO A BRAIN DUMP
On average, we have 60,000 thoughts per day. I’m sure you agree that some of those 60,000 are boring to-dos, worries, brainwaves, niggles and rounds of mental chaos playing like a broken record on repeat. They can make you feel overwhelmed, disorganised and even chaotic or depressed. So grab a blank diary or piece of paper and, with pen poised, do what I call a massive brain dump – a projectile thought-spew, if you will. Get it all down on to the paper and out of your head. Make lists, spreadsheets, mind-maps, whatever you need to do to get it out of your broken record of a psyche.
Hopefully these tips help you to clear some space in your life and do what actually needs to be done. Hell, you may even find that you score an extra hour back every week! But remember to be patient with yourself. As I said earlier, organisation is a journey and Rome was, indeed, not built in a day.