Janelle's Blog

I’m Too Busy to Get Organized-Part 2 of 3

Last week we talked about the difficulty of getting organized. Even for those who find it more natural, it can be tedious and time consuming. Look back at my blog,
I’m Too Busy to Get Organized-Part 1 of 3
for an intro into the first step of moving past chronic disorganization into a well-balanced life. Marilyn Paul, Ph.D. from Yale University and M.B.A. from The Johnson School at Cornell, gives these three structured steps on organization in her book, It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys:

  1. Getting to Ready
  2. Creating New Habits
  3. Building Effective Systems

Once you have gone through the process of “getting to ready,” the next step is “creating new habits”.

Dumping the Old Habits

If you think about your most annoying habits, likely they are the same ones revisited each day in different settings. For example, the chaos of misplacing your keys, blackberry or phone can throw you into turmoil as you are trying to get to an appointment on time. Routinely dropping them off in the same place each day is the most obvious answer, but let’s look beyond that.

The point about “getting to ready” is that you clear the clutter of your mind and space to prepare the organizational process. Identify those habits that are making you stumble and think about why you are clinging to a bad habit as though it is your best friend. Ask yourself what you are getting out of the old habit that makes it worthwhile. Then find a substitute for it that gives you the same payoff without damaging you.

I have heard people proudly say, “I know my place is a mess, but at least it’s mine.” Why can’t it be clean and still be yours? Do people hold onto their chaos because they identify with their right to do things their way? There could be a bit of rebellion in all of us to cling too tightly to the wrong things.

The Upward Swing of Bliss

Not only is there life after clean-up, there is a sense of emotional control over your space that can give a slight euphoria of satisfaction. The habits that control you are like the steering wheel that gets you turned in the right direction.

Having Good Habits Can Be Habit-Forming

Go after one habit at a time. Once that changed habit is programmed into an automatic action, layer it with the next one. You may want to start with the easiest ones first. You’ll hit mental overload if you tackle all of them at once. Over a period of time you train yourself to do things a new way that is more effective.

For those who travel and are on the go, keeping your clothes clean and prepared to wear can be difficult. I have worked on that habit for such a long time that I refuse to hang clothes in the closet unless they are pressed and ready to wear. That doesn’t mean everything is perfectly prepared each night before I go to bed, nor does it mean clothes are left piled on the floor.

My little trick is to hang clothes in the laundry room that are waiting to be pressed. They stay there until either the rack gets too heavy and breaks or I take care of them. They are in a holding pattern until I take action. It may be guilt that motivates me, but at least when I go to the closet, everything there can be worn on the spot.

When I go the cleaners and get behind a SUV loading stacks of hanging clothes in the back, my thought is, “How long did it take to get that many clothes dirty? Better yet, who has that many clothes to spare?” Ahhh! Sweet bliss of staying on top of laundry!

Taking Action

Breast cancer survivors, you may feel you have lost control of a part of your life, but you can start putting order into the chaos by creating new habits. While making those changes, form habits that make your life better, easier, more productive. Start living again!

Thought for Today:

“Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” – Mark Twain

Live Life,


Reader's Comments

One Response to I’m Too Busy to Get Organized-Part 2 of 3
  1. boxspring
    April 22, 2016 | 7:01 am

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    God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

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