I’ve shared before my respect for and enjoyment when reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project column in every issue of Good Housekeeping. In February’s issue she shares how keeping a one-sentence journal can lead to happiness. I enjoyed this concept (similar to a gratitude journal that Oprah made famous several years ago) and was struck by one paragraph that seemed to speak to me.
I’ve discovered that — perhaps counterintuitively — it’s often easier to do something every day than to do it only some days. Weirdly, it’s easier to go for a walk every day than to go four times a week; it’s easier to write in a journal every day than just once in a while. When you do something every day, there’s no debate, no procrastination, no wondering, Today or tomorrow? The action quickly becomes part of your ordinary routine, a matter of habit.
This got me thinking about organizing (are you surprised?). When I’m teaching an organizing class, coaching a virtual organizing client or working hands-on with a client in their home I often speak of the importance of “regular maintenance”. No organizing solution is ever finished. Some solutions require tweaking to make it work just right and ALL solutions require regular (daily) work. If you build this “work” into your daily routine then it feels less like “work” and more like brushing your teeth, checking your e-mail or any other task that you complete daily, without fail. I agree with Gretchen, it is easier to do something daily than periodically. It’s so easy to put non-routine tasks on the back burner.
If you want to get organized and stay organized, contributing time to your organizing solution must be done daily. Consider these tactics to help build it into your routine…
1.Set a timer each day for 10 minutes and work toward your organizing goal.
2.Spend time organizing a space each evening right before you brush your teeth (you do brush your teeth every night, right?)
3.Write a reminder note to yourself regarding your organizing to do and put it on top of your car keys. New rule, you can’t leave the house without completing the ‘to do’.
Start today and work each and every day toward your organizing goals! In no time, it’ll be a habit.