So now you’ve written down your goals and placed them somewhere conspicuous. That’s a great first step because now you know what you’re focusing on and what actions you need to take to achieve those goals. But now comes the next step: getting organized.
Organization is a great way to help contain the feeling of being overwhelmed. I know for me, when I’m in a clean, organized, and functional environment, it’s much easier to start (and finish) tasks. I can think more rationally (and confidently!) about what I need to do instead of getting frustrated and feeling hopeless that nothing will get accomplished. That is productive only for my progress on Candy Crush. Knowing that, I decided to do something about it.
But how did I do it? Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you. Here’s a few of my favorite organizational techniques:
1. Clean and decluttering my environment. One of my anxiety triggers is a messy, cluttered desk (and house. I hate living in a cluttered house. My family doesn’t seem to mind it as much). If I look at my desk and there’s too much crap on and around it, I get so overwhelmed at the site that I walk away. I simply cannot function in that kind of environment and goals won’t be reached if I walk away. So, the first step to getting organized was to clean my desk. I dusted, threw out anything that I didn’t need or got in the way, sorted my office supplies and files, and moved the child’s stuff into its own corner of the office. Then I harassed my husband to finally clean up his stuff, too. Because we share an office and stepping over his crap to get to my desk thwarted all my attempts to create a clean environment. And finally, I reorganized and cleaned the bookshelf in our office so I could easily find fiction, nonfiction, reference, and children’s books (yes, I am a nerd. I embrace that). Walking into that kind of functional space makes it a much more inviting environment to work.
2. Keep one central calendar. Although we have a calendar in our kitchen, that’s more for family informational purposes (and so my husband knows where to look to find out such crucial information). I put appointments, school closings, birthdays, parties, and family events on that calendar; that’s it. But on my desk sits the master calendar that not only contains all of the same information as the family calendar but all of my deadlines for Bloggers Helping Bloggers, guest post and freelancing posts due dates, library book due dates, paydays, Zumba stuff, and pretty much everything else you can think of to put on a calendar. Having it all in one place not only keeps me organized but if I’m overwhelmed with the amount of obligations, I can look at the calendar and know when to say “no”. Being able to say “no” definitely helps keep the overwhelmedness to a minimum (this is actually going to be its own post).
3. Storage containers. Storage containers have been a lifesaver for me. They help keep my desk, pantry, child’s toys, pet stuff, and fabric organized instead of in a jumbled mess. They make it so if I need an item, I know exactly where to go. There’s no wasting time looking for keys or my Beaker Tervis cup or the dogs favorite toys or corn starch or anything I could need. And not only are they functional, they’re kind of pretty (well, the ones I can afford are kind of pretty. The ones I want are very pretty). They’re an easy, cheap, and productive way to make a room nicer (a clean room is a nicer room) and with the amount of sizes, shapes, colors, and prices, there’s a way to fit all my needs and budget circumstances. Also included in this category are notebooks. I love notebooks. I have them for a variety of projects and ideas, and they’re all properly labeled. Granted they’re filled with notes and post-its, but at least I know where to find them all!
Getting organized is so essential not only to mental health but to working towards your goals. When you’re organized you can actually see what’s in front of you instead of digging through a mess. If you’re anything like me, once you’re done digging through the mess, you’re too exhausted to do anything else. And that leads to frustration and anger and feeling overwhelmed that there’s just too much to do and the important goals will never get attended to. It’s a vicious cycle. So why not just take a few hours and get organized. Because once you are organized, it’s much easier to stay that way.
Readers, what’s your favorite organizational tip? Leave it in the comments and let’s all get organized together!