5 Lies You Are Being Told About Getting Organized

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					There's so much advice out there about getting organized and so much information,
it's hard to know where to start. These are five lies that I've been told at various points
along my organization journey and I wanted to share what I've learned.

1. Someone else can come "make" you organized.
Don't get me wrong, the services of a professional organizer are useful and sometimes
necessary in order to get you on the right track. But hiring a professional organizer
will not, ultimately, change you. And changing yourself and how you organize
yourself is the only way you are going to get any kind of organizational system to
work for you. You can go ahead and hire a professional organizer to come in and get
your life organized for you but it will fall apart unless you change how you think
about being organized.

So how do you change how you think about organization? A good way to start is with
one part of your routine. Let's say that one part of your home that drives you crazy is
your "to-be-filed" tray. It seems to be constantly overflowing and out of control. For
the next 21 days, commit to doing your filing every day. Stick to this commitment for
the full 21 days. If you miss a day, start back at day one the next day. Once you've
reached that 21 day mark, congratulations, you've just made a new habit and in the
process, changed how you think about organization.

2. Your goal is to get fully organized.
If you're aiming to get your life fully organized, you're in for a rude awakening. Life
does not come in perfectly organized little packages so stop trying to force it to fit.
Just like there is no point in your life where everything is perfect and going exactly
how you want it, there is no point in your organization journey where everything is
going to look exactly how you want it to. Just like life is a work in progress, so is
organization.

So what does this mean for you? Be patient with yourself and accept that your life
will not always look the way YOU want it to look. Accept that there will be chaos in
your life and that sometimes there will be a whole lot more of it than you'd like there
to be. You will never be fully organized in every area of your life. And thank
goodness because life would be awful boring if that were the case.

3. There is a "right" way to be organized.
Getting organized does not come in a "one-size-fits-all" package. What works for me
may not work for you. Organization is about creating a system that fits your needs and
helps you save time, money and energy for other things in your life ' the important
things like spending more time with those you love. There is no "right" way to
organize your life. There is no one system that works for everyone. You have to find a
way of organizing that fits you, your lifestyle and your needs.

So how do you get organized in a way that works for you? Bottom line: experiment.
Try out different methods, systems, tools and see what works for you. Would using a
computer help you get organized or are you more of an on paper kind of person? Do
you want to tackle your organization project all at once or would you rather handle it
in pieces? Try out different ways of getting organized to see what works for you.

4. It is easy to get organized.
If it were easy, you would have already done it by now. Are there techniques and
methods that make it easier to get done than others? Of course there are. Is it easy to
start an organization project? Yes. Is it easy to finish it? No. You're human. You get
side-tracked and distracted. We all have the best of intentions to get ourselves
organized but often lack the follow-through to see it through to the finish.

So how do you make yourself finish your organization project? Attach some pain to
not getting it finished. Selfish little creatures that we are, we are often more motivated
by avoiding pain than by just about anything else in our lives. Attach some serious
pain to not getting that project done and you've just upped the ante considerably for
yourself. And make it motivating pain, the kind of pain your parents caused you when
they wouldn't let you go to the concert of your favorite band because you didn't mow
the yard.

5. The way you are organized right now is wrong.
If the piles of paper lining your desk work for you, go with them. If you have a system
that works for you, don't change it. People often get tied to "conventional" ways of
getting or being organized. Task lists, organizers are all the traditional methods of
getting yourself organized. If you organize with stacks and piles, go with it.
Organization is about being able to put your hands on what you need when you need
it. If your organization method works for you but doesn't look pretty, who cares? Your
method isn't wrong. It's just different. Embrace your uniqueness.

Just like you're in charge of your own life, you're in charge of your own
organizational path. Don't let someone else tell you how you "have" to be organized.

So let's summarize: Change how you think about organization. Develop a new 21-day
habit.

Accept that you will never be fully organized and learn to embrace a certain level of
chaos in your life.

Experiment to find out what organizational method works best for you.

Attach some pain to not getting your organization project finished.

If you have an unconventional way of being organized, embrace it and stop trying to
fix what isn't broken.

				
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posted:1/20/2011
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