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Lisa Steffler

 

Organizing Your Life

Posted On:27-Sep-2019/3:01 pm

Organization and order can really improve day-to-day life. Whether this pertains to a tidy house or a weekly schedule, being organized can change a person’s life and perspective for the better. Below, are my lessons learned about methods for creating an organized life and the benefits of applying these methods. While it’s always good to have some spontaneity and excitement, I think it’s important to our well-being to find the balance between organization and spontaneity.

Firstly, let’s tackle a tidy work/living space. When the space around us is a mess, it tends to leak over into our head space. I’m not sure about others, but when I get home from work and my house is a mess, my stress levels rise. By organizing your space, you can find more order with your thoughts. And this doesn’t just mean cleaning. It’s inevitable that our house will become untidy – that’s the cost of a well lived-in home. What I’m talking about is organizing our belongings – this means finding a place for everything. We’ve heard the saying, “a cluttered life equals a cluttered mind” – well, I agree and disagree. I think it’s fine to have clutter and mess, but an organized controlled clutter that has its own place. My suggestion is to invest in hooks; I have started attaching a few plastic hooks around the house and was pleasantly surprised at the improvement of my house’s organization (particularly in organizing the kids’ junk). I have organized my closet in a similar manner, with a hook for my belts, every day jackets, washing basket, etc. Finding an organization system can also improve a work space. Based on my experience, if you have any creative outlets (e.g., painting, writing, or music), by organizing your work space, you can achieve a better creative flow.

Another extremely helpful tool of organization is a day-planner. During my studying years, I bought a simple, blank day-planner to help me prepare for my many exams and homework. However, years after I graduated, I am still using a day-planner every day. I personally enjoy using the calendar-style planners, where every day of each month is displayed at once. Using color-coded markers, I can organize and set specific tasks for me to complete. For example, every Monday I would clean the house, so that was color-coded blue; every Thursday I had training, so that was color-coded orange. I even started to organize days to do something fun, color-coding that in yellow. This system not only helped during my studies but assisted me in my day-to-day living. It was especially helpful for special events, like a wedding. It let me plan outfits for these events, and gave me enough time to buy gifts, figure out transportation, etc. While some may not work well with a schedule, I personally found it helpful and calming. I never stressed about whether I had forgotten plans or if I was missing something, because everything important was written in ink. And of course, you can also use an electronic day-planner.

The use of a day-planner leads well into my next organization tip: To-do Lists. Like a day planner, making a to-do list can really help you stay productive each day. With a full-time job, kids, a house, bills, or any other adult responsibility, it’s hard not to procrastinate when we have any free time. While it’s healthy to take a moment for yourself, too much procrastination can lead to a wasted day. Having a to-do list allows you to figure out every important task that needs to be completed by the end of the day, and helps you keep on track. I suggest even scheduling a reward once some, or all, of your tasks are completed. For example, if you need to pick up the groceries, exercise, and pay the bills after work, in your to-do list, you should schedule something enjoyable for you to do once your errands are completed, such as “take a nap” or “read that book you’ve wanted to read”. In essence, you are allotting time for procrastination, allowing you to get the boring stuff out of the way and enjoy yourself once everything is done. I believe that we should all strive to complete at least one productive task every day. By productive, I think this can be whatever you deem it to be (as long as it’s not something you must do, like go to work or pay the bills). If you see exercising or finishing a creative project as a productive task, then put that on your to-do list. Completing one productive task each day makes us feel like we have achieved something with our time and lets us enjoy relaxation even more.

Finally, my last suggestion for keeping an organized life is meal prepping. The concept of meal prepping has recently made its way into the zeitgeist, due to the rising popularity of calorie counting and diets. When I refer to meal prepping, I do not mean in a dietary sense – though it can be if you see fit. I mean simply planning out the meals for each week, as it can relieve a surprising amount of stress. Each Sunday, plan out what you will eat for the rest of the week – including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some people even enjoy making their lunches for the whole week and storing it in Tupperware for later. This can cut quite a lot of time from your busy schedule.

Being organized can really improve the stress and exhaustion of day-to-day life. However, I understand that this level of crazed scheduling and organization isn’t for everyone, but it can still really help. If you just take one of the previous suggestions of organization and apply it to your life, you might find that it has improved your productivity. If you don’t like any of my suggestions, then research some different methods, or even come up with organizational tips of your own. Because finding order in a chaotic life can allow you to be more productive, more relaxed, and more prepared for the stresses of the world.

Takeaways:

1 : a tidy work/living space will give you a clearer mind.

2 : a day-planner and to-do lists will help you be more productive.

3 : meal prepping can relieve a lot of stress during the week.

Category:  Life / Subcategory:  Organization and Order

Tags: weekly schedule, organization, order, work space, living space, clutter, day-planner, calendar, to-do list, procrastination, meal prepping, stress

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D'Gauntlett

14-Oct-2019

Hi Lisa - I really enjoyed reading your duppydom. Getting organized or staying organized is a major hurdle for many individuals. Making a list or using a calendar to remind myself of things to do has never been necessary in my working years. Now at 76 years old I still do everything from memory. Whether it’s paying bills on time, keeping appointments, participating in community service events or catering Church lunches twice per month. Traveling is mostly spontaneous, so it’s book and go. God has blessed me with what I consider a special gift. I’ve created a system that works perfectly for me to this day. Here goes. All bills are paid the 1st of every month regardless of due date. Bathrooms are cleaned on Sundays, freshen-up on Thursdays. Clothes goes from Body to Laundry Bin. Stuff hanging on hooks drives me “Nuts” so there’s one hook on the inside of each bathroom door to accommodate visitors. Everything has its rightful place, if I’m rushing out, on my return I put stuff away. A cluttered or untidy space is upsetting to me, especially the kitchen, so cleaning up as I cook, works. When the meal is completed only those pots and dishes in use, are left to do. I never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. Kids back in the day knew when I get home from work if dinner was to get started the kitchen sink must be free of dirty dishes. So they'd clean up. I tell family and friends the day they no longer hear from me it’s because memory has failed, their phone numbers are stored in my head. An awesome mental test at my age. I am thankful. Bruce – You hit the nail on the head. Not only do I feel Anxiety, the ugly in me comes through and my face gets all twisted up.

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Amie Warwick

04-Oct-2019

Lisa, your suggestions of organization notwithstanding; for me, the most important takeaway from your duppydom is finding order in a chaotic life can allow you to be more productive, more relaxed, and more prepared for the stresses of the world. Each of us need to figure out for our self what will make our life less messy and disorganized, so we can rise about it. Thank you Lisa.

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Adaego M. Azi

28-Sep-2019

Very good article Lisa. I really like your ideas about using hooks around the house and meal prepping. Using hoods in my closet will be good-like you say, for belts and my scarves. For those cooks/chefs out there, you will know that the most time consuming part of cooking is the prepping. Even if I do not cook all my meals on Sunday, doing all the prep work ahead of time will make cooking a breeze--what a great idea Lisa :)

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D. C. Lawrence

27-Sep-2019

Bruce, I agree, there is a lot of useful information here. Lisa, even though I live a very busy life, I have never used a day-planner or to-do lists. Having to remember everything without an aid, has become a game-it sharpens my mind. I agree with your logic concerning meal prepping. For many years, on Sundays, I used to prepare most of the meals for the upcoming week. I am not sure why I stopped doing that. I feel the same way about a clutter free room helping to achieve better creative flow. Bruce, the next time your friends give you a hard time about decluttering your office, remind them of the following: [“Instead of thinking I am losing something when I clear clutter, I dwell on what I might gain.” - Lisa J. Shultz]. Good read Lisa.

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Bruce Peters

27-Sep-2019

Lisa, wow, there is a lot to digest here. What a wonderful duppydom. I must say, I agree with you about a tidy work/living space making the creative juices flow. When I am writing, my office must be neat and tidy; if not, I am constantly looking at the mess and my mind wonders. When I mention to my friends, they think I am odd. Nonetheless, I still believe that clutter can give you anxiety.