How do you know you have had a productive day? What benchmarks do you use? Is it a to do list?
Productivity is much more than just ticking off projects and assignments. Yes, it's one element, but to really "be" productive you have to have a sense of accomplishment despite the obstacles in front of you.
Take house projects. I have always said that any house project:
Tell me I'm wrong.
There are times when the productivity goal does not get achieved the way we initially intended. No, we were not able to fix that leaky faucet, but you did learn where your water turn off valve is in the basement because the one under the sink doesn't work. You also learned that sometimes if you can't open something by turning it to the left (lefty loosy, righty tighty) that turning it to the right a little first might help loosen the fitting. And you learned that a little water can do a lot of damage and you won't wait to fix another leaky anything!
So were you productive even though you have to start on that faucet again tomorrow? Certainly because the intangible knowledge that you gained was you benchmark in productivity.
To your organizational success!
Now that you have edited out as many items as you can, challenge yourself to add 10 more items to your donation/giveaway pile.
Think you can't possibly get rid of anything else? Consider your space.
Of course you can cram a lot of stuff in a space, know where everything is and say it's organized, but rarely is that the truth.
"The elephant may fit in the room, but will it fit comfortably?"
-Dianne Gambrel, Professional Organizer, MN NAPO
To your organizational success
Of course we know this isn't true for most of us. We have plenty. We just get tired of what we have. Yet ironically, we keep it, and a plethora of other items, and then complain that we have no where to put it.
The first rule of storage is to reduce the amount of items to be stored. Sounds easy enough, but in order to optimize the purging process, you have to be in the right state of mind. Your intellectual mind has to be more powerful that your emotions. Even when you think you are really ready to purge without emotion, it rarely ever happens that way.
One way to put the emotional side at ease is to think of someone who would really appreciate it. Think of the good energy that it brought to you and pass that energy along to someone else. And even if it has bad energy for you it might bring good energy to someone who wants exactly what you had just lying around the house.
It's been said that the kitchen is the center of the home. It's where we meet and where we prepare food for out loved ones. It's the gathering space. Ever notice how everyone ends up in the kitchen? And ever notice how every THING ends up in the kitchen or on the table? And how many times have you been asked where some food item is? Since the kitchen is the "go to" spot in so many homes, it is essential to keep it organized. That means keeping certain items in and other items out.
Establishing the purpose of a space will dictate what items are allowed in it. If your kitchen is also your office or homework space, it is important to dedicate specific drop off areas where items can reside until it's dinnertime. Some solutions could be having a drop off space in the entryway, a mobile office that packs up each day, hooks for backpacks in the hall or closet or even individual bins for each member of the family.
Once the purpose has been established, the next step is to keep your toolkit stocked. As shown in the photo above, keep pens, scissors and homework supplies handy if they are always in use. Or make an arts and crafts mobile toolbox that resides in a cupboard.
Finally, don't forget the fridge. . Ok, not the most exciting, but keeping your refrigerator organized can help you keep your sanity. Especially if you are a family on the go.
The more you keep yourself organized, the more you are centered and the more you are able to be your best. Clearing the mental and physical path allows the emotional path room to expand. And when it does, you are able to share more of your most wonderful you.
To your most centered and organized home.
When you think of organization, what image comes to mind? For most people it's a bunch of neatly labeled bins or boxes all lined up. But organization goes way beyond labeled boxes. It's an entire mental, physical and emotional process.
Think about an area in your home that you would like to get organized. Now stop. What are you feeling emotionally? Are your neck and shoulders tight? Are you smiling? Frowning? What is your breathing like? Is your heartbeat just a little quickened?
Organizing takes energy from all areas of yourself and that's why it's hard. Often we say that we don't have the time, but it's really that we don't have the energy to get organized. We are tired from our jobs, family and other commitments. Our mental and emotional entities tell us that there is no more energy to give to that task. It's the body's way of protecting itself from getting hurt. No matter how much the mind can say "just go and do it", the emotions will resist twofold. Think of two children on the playground. One little child hits another and says he's a jerk. What will last longer, the bruise or the memory of being told he's a jerk?
The question then becomes how do you get over the initial challenge of getting started? How do you get over the emotional "Stuff" The same way you start anything else - set aside the time to do it. This will allow you to mentallyIt can be small chunks of time. (read last weeks post). Any positive energy that you put towards your organizing task is a step forward. If you get stuck ask yourself this: "What's the worst thing that would happen if I didn't have this anymore?"
To your organizational success!
My challenge to you this week is to find three time slots of 15 minutes each and find out what you can accomplish!
Time expands or contracts depending on how much of it you have. Ever notice when you only have 15 minutes before your favorite show starts that you have your beverage and snack all prepped?
The same holds true for getting projects done. Setting your timer for 15 minutes is a great motivational tool for accomplishing tasks.
You only have to endure the task for 15 minutes:
Pick any task you dislike and acknowledge that you are only doing it for that amount of time. If you wish to continue your project after that 15 minutes, you can! If not, you get the satisfaction that you did your project for the full 15 minutes, and that's a success!
It breaks down big projects into smaller ones:
It's easy to put off those big projects because you just don't know where to start. By chunking up the task into smaller segments, the scope of the project is the same, but the sizes (time doing it) is smaller.
It forces your to focus:
Everyone wants to beat the clock. When you set a timer, you consciously know you can't dilly dally. Ever had someone call and say they are in the area and are going to swing by? What did you do in that 20 minutes? I would venture to say you got a LOT done!
It reduces the enormity of the task:
Did you know that even hikers who climb Mt. Everest do it slooooooooooooly, with persistence, intention and focus? It's true! After each step there is a brief rest. So when your project feels like Mt. Everest, remember it's one step at a time.
Welcome to my blog. I am glad you are here to read the musings on organizing and finding balance in your life. I hope you find them inspiring and motivating.