This is part 2 of a two-part post, to read part 1 click here: https://goingoutwordsandinwords.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/the-art-of-organizing-part-1-of-2/
Please note: All of these suggestions are simply what I find useful in my own life.
6. Meditate in the mornings. Starting the day with a few minutes of meditation helps to lay the groundwork for a more solid and stable platform in which to build your day upon. Having a regular meditation practice allows us to strengthen our inner muscles of resiliency, concentration, solidity, ease, patience, openness, and equanimity, all of which serve important functions in our day-to-day lives. And being well-organized internally translates, over time, to being well-organized externally, too.
7. Make self-care one of your priorities. I believe that for a person to be well-organized and have it be a sustainable and prolonged way of living, one must find ways in which to replenish their own energy tanks. If self-care is ranked low on the list of importance, the chances are good that eventually we’ll burn ourselves out and become stressed, overwhelmed, and utterly exhausted by all of the things we choose to do with our time. In an effort to address a common misunderstanding, self-care is not the same as being selfish or self-indulgent. For me, investing in acts of self-care has to do with understanding how my well-being affects that of those around me – when I’m taking good care of myself I am also taking good care of others, there is no separation. I practice to care well for myself in order to care well for those around me, and to continue being active and productive in all the ways I want to be without getting overly taxed and depleted. Self-care will look differently for each of us – for me, since I live with chronic pain and illness, I’ve found that taking a short nap most everyday is vital to my ability to function optimally and manage my pain levels. I also make sure to set time aside to do the things that I most enjoy, such as: writing, playing music, volunteering, going on retreats, paddle-boarding, and photography. It’s important to investigate what self-care looks like for our own individual needs and to practice not feeling guilty about making it happen.
8. Don’t compare. One of my favorite quotes is from Theodore Roosevelt: Comparison is the thief of joy. To continue with his train of thought I’d like to add: Comparison is the thief of time and energy. From an efficiency standpoint, getting stuck in comparison games is a huge waste of time and energy that could be much better spent elsewhere. When we’re constantly weighing, judging, and re-evaluating what we’re doing in comparison to what someone else is doing, it often leads to second guessing, hemming and hauling, and non-action. Drop the tendency to compare and strengthen your confidence in your own capacity to take decisive action.
9. Practice belly breathing. When breathing, many of us use primarily our upper register to inhale and exhale, aka: our lungs. When we practice to deepen our breathing – bringing it from and into our belly – there are certain very practical and helpful benefits. Deep breathing aids us in raising our mental clarity, focus, and alertness – all of which, of course, are key to being well organized. It also helps increase circulation, reduces fatigue, lowers blood pressure, improves digestion, and bolsters our immune system.
10. Take responsibility for your life. It’s easy to operate in such a way where we feel life is rather heaped upon us, as though we were a victim of all the things needing to be taken care of. But the truth is, the life we lead is made up of our own volition, consisting of the results of our choices and decisions we make. The quality of our lives is up to us – we can either view challenges and difficulties as opportunities to grow or as occasions in which to complain about and blame others for, the choice is ours.
11. When something changes, say: “New plan!” Impermanence is the spice of life. People, places, and things will always be of the nature of change. Instead of begrudging or fighting against life’s unexpected turns, practice saying New plan! jovially and out-loud to yourself when something occurs that you didn’t anticipate or otherwise sets your plans akilter. Being able to switch gears and respond to changes when they arise is of great value to being and staying organized – if we fall off the boat every time a big wave comes, we’ll never get our sea legs and learn how to captain our ship in inclement weather. NOTE: In my experience, saying it both jovially and out-loud is where the magic happens.
12. Strengthen your ability to mono-task. Being organized and efficient involves not only the ability to multi-task but also the ability to mono-task – different situations cause for different skill-sets. If we ignore the importance of mono-tasking, we risk getting things only partially done and not fully completing any one task or project and seeing it through until the end. Mono-tasking comes into play when we need to concentrate and focus our attention on one single action or idea, with the diligence and dedication to not get sidetracked. If we find that we are especially unskilled in this department and need some practical ways to flex our mono-tasking muscles, try learning something new – such as taking up a new language, hobby or class – or doing walking meditation, gardening, cooking, yoga, tai chi, swimming, weight lifting, running, sewing, reading a book, doing a puzzle…the list goes on and on.
13. Develop a proper sleeping & eating routine. The last idea I’ll share is the most basic principle to follow, and the easiest to lose sight of: we need to sleep and eat well. Oftentimes, our sleeping and eating patterns are the first things to waver when we’re feeling busy, stressed out, overwhelmed, upset, or anxious. It will only serve to further compound the difficulties we’re feeling if we stop sleeping and eating well. Be diligent and steadfast in keeping a regular sleep schedule and eating healthfully, it goes a long way towards our capacity for optimal functioning.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Enough said!
I hope this 2-part post offers some helpful tools, my friends. Happy trails!