There are many aphorisms that effectively deliver an important message in life: a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, you are what you eat, watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves. In other words, life is a series of small steps, decisions and actions that make up the whole.
If you want to be healthy, you can’t just eat one very big, very healthy meal. You have to eat in a healthy way most days. You also can’t run one iron man event every year and think you will be in optimum physical condition; you will probably die trying since you are not conditioned properly.
The same principle applies to organization. You have to establish an organization system that you follow on a consistent basis in order to have organization in your life. Good organization really does make life run smoothly. Unless you have an obsessive compulsive personality and you let the structure of your day take over your life, it is so much easier to get things accomplished when they are organized. Think about all of the hours of your life you spent looking for keys and what you could have done with those lost hours.
Always leave room for some spontaneity in your life, but in general you will be happier and more organized if you:
– Get up at the same time each day
– Eat a healthy breakfast each morning
– Schedule exercise each day
– Each evening, lay out what you need for the next day
– Keep a to-do list; you may want one for work and one for home
– Open your mail in the same place, next to a trash bag (remember, small steps); get rid of all mail that is not important
– Designate a storage spot for everything, and always put items back in their designated spots. This is one of the simplest, yet most difficult organizational techniques to implement and yet will probably save you accumulated years of searching, fumbling and aggravation.
– Hang a key holder, and always put your keys there
– Pay your bills once a week, on a designated day.
– Have a family meal at approximately the same time each day, and clean up right away. This delineates the day and signals that the evening is for homework, relaxing and organizing for the next day. Rushing back and forth between dinner, homework, and partial (and repeated) cleanups wastes time and causes stress.
This is the basic framework of an organized day. You need to incorporate your own lifestyle, hobbies, children’s’ school and sport schedules into it, but you will be amazed at how adding a structure like this to your life will organize and simplify it.
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