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Are you someone who is overwhelmed with all the details of everyday life? Do you wish that you could be more organized? Are you starting to experience anxiety from all the disorganization and chaos surrounding you?
If this sounds like you, then this article – and the resources it will refer you to – might just be what you have been looking for to finally get all areas of your life in control. While organization and systems come more naturally to some than others, they are skills that we can all learn. There are tools available to make it simple for everyone.
Disorganization tends to seep into many important areas in everyday life, including: work, school, personal relationships, and self-care.
We will touch on each of these domains, offer some suggestions, and end with some resources that will give you what you would need to get yourself on the track to an organized and more stress-free life right away.
Spring Clean Your Life: At Work
It won’t be easy to spring clean your life in the office – but it can be done.
There are people who always seem to be doing things right up until the deadline, folks who procrastinate and don’t start things until the last minute, and those who keep putting off the tasks that are more mundane. They could greatly benefit from organizational systems and limits they set for themselves.
Other things that are often impacted are issues with organizing and answering e-mails, returning phone calls in a timely manner, and having a filing system that keeps the workspace clean. A few simple tips to help in this area are:
- Create a drawer and desktop filing system.
- Keep your desk clean, and create hanging folders by person and/or topic.
- Have multiple stacking trays on your desk for work to be done, work completed, ingoing and outgoing items, and items to be filed.
- Keep print-outs and papers you need on a regular basis close at hand in a bin as well.
- Label one as a “Master Copy”. This alerts you to make more copies when you get to it, and prevents you from running out of your last form completely.
- Make “folders” in your e-mail box by person, project, and topic.
- Clean out your e-mail frequently by putting things in the folder they belong in. “Star” items that are of importance, and that you need to act on. Make sure that you do so quickly to get this item off your plate.
- Answer every e-mail and return every phone call before you leave for the day.
This is the power of the clean slate. We can feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as NOT have items lingering from the day before when we come in the next day.
To walk away from, and into a clean slate each day, is a positive and dramatic shift.
Spring Clean Your Life: At School
It’s very easy to get overwhelmed at school, especially when many major projects tend to be due at the same time each term. While it may seem “old school,” I always suggest to patients that they get a physical planner.
At the start of the term, I tell them to go through each syllabus they have, and write in weekly assignments, tests, quizzes, major papers, and projects that are due. This enables the person, at a glance, to see what they have and when. This also alerts them to approaching weeks that will be exceptionally busy and with high demands.
If they can foresee that such an intense amount of work is coming, they may even decide to work ahead on something they are able to, so that they are NOT as overwhelmed when these weeks come.
Procrastination can often be a problem for students, especially for those online who must keep themselves on track. So scheduling in homework and study time for each class can be a good structure to ensure they are keeping up – and getting things done.
Students should take their calendar and write in chunks of time each week for each class. Make it a part of your schedule that you do not deviate from. It will become more of a habit, and you will start to notice how much more able you are to get things done.
Knowing that you are up-to-date, that you are not falling behind, and that you are keeping up with the class, can remove a huge burden.
Most people today are going to school despite jobs and families. So it makes it that much more important to schedule these chunks of time dedicated to each class. Let loved ones know about these set times as well.
There will always be things that you would rather be doing with that time, and it is easy to get distracted. But step back and look at the big picture. You are trying to better yourself and create new opportunities. This is why you spring clean your life in school.
Taking it seriously and giving your dedicated time and attention will help you reach the finish line with flying colors.
Spring Clean Your Life: Personal Relationships
Personal relationships can suffer from issues of organization, poor time management, and the way you prioritize your life. It is very important to schedule time with your partner, with your children, with friends, and family. Have organizational systems that keep track of everyone’s events, medical needs, and other important information.
If you are always falling behind or forgetting things, this has a direct impact on the people you care about. You might have to work late and miss valuable time with them. You may miss an event that is important to them because you have either forgotten, or are stuck finishing something at the office or at school.
An inconsistent pattern of behavior can put a strain on even the strongest of relationships. There are forms and checklists I will refer to you at the end that can make getting all these things organized a breeze.
The resources should also help you to visually see all that is happening, and what needs to happen. Create the right schedule and balance to attend to all needs.
Spring Clean Your Life: Personal Life
When we are disorganized, or are working ourselves to death, our personal self-care often ends up last on our list. We do not get enough sleep. We are not eating well. We are not taking a window of time each day to have a consistent routine to start and end the day on a positive manner.
Like all other things, it is important to schedule in “self-care time” each day. This is NOT the area of our lives that should get cut out when we feel busy and overwhelmed. It should be the most important area we make sure remains a daily part of our lives to make all other things possible.
We should give ourselves at least 30 minutes of alone time each morning to start our day on the right note. You can read the paper, search the Web, do some yoga, say your mantras, listen to a podcast, watch a sitcom, whatever works for you.
The important thing is that we ease ourselves into our day in the most positive way. Believe it or not, how we start our day often sets the tone for how it will go. Also, have an evening routine, where you make time to unwind, disconnect, and prepare yourself for sleep.
Yoga, meditation, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and reading are great choices here. They are calming, and send messages to us that we are getting ready for rest and relaxation. Self-care also includes making time to be with those who fulfill us, eating well, and getting some amount of exercise.
Are YOU ready to spring clean your life?
We have just tapped the surface of the many ways you can “spring clean and de-clutter” your life. It’s normal for people to feel overwhelmed. At first, you may not know where to start when it comes to implementing things that you want to work for you.
I have taken all the work and all the worry out of this for you. I developed three books that cover every area of your life. Some just need one, some could benefit from all. They contain thoughts, suggestions, forms, instructions, and checklists for every fathomable topic you could ever need (as well as things you never thought about needing).
The books can be found on Amazon, and they are broken down as follows:
- “The Ultimate Book to Declutter your Life” focuses on health, relationships, and various ways to get your life in order. There’s also a wealth of information on budgets, small business, and finances.
- Volume 2 focuses on developing daily routines, relationships, health, organization, marriage planning, and navigating divorce.
- The third and final book in the series focuses on tons of family scheduling essentials, moving, selling your home, safety, and even assistance on the overwhelming issue of funeral planning.
The books include issues on disaster preparedness, health trackers and schedules, tracking auctions, sales, donations, and so much more. If you can think of it, there is a form ready and made for you to make your life easier.
It’s not easy to spring clean your life, especially if you wish to tackle every important aspect. But with patience, skill, and dedication, it’s possible to move to a better, calmer frame of mind.
I wish you luck, organization, and a renewed feeling of control in your life.