Written by Rachel Featherstone, NP
Few of us enjoy organizing–we’re much more likely to view it as a task, onerous and (occasionally) necessary. Let’s re-frame that negative thought and instead view organizing as an extension of mindfulness.
When living and working spaces are neat, clean, and free of clutter, we feel so much more at ease. This principle holds true for our schedules, as well. When our lives are structured to be easier, we experience less stress and ultimately better overall health. The following are some simple ways to integrate organization into your core habits.
Pick a calendar. Whether you use a calendar on your desk, in your phone, or in a bound form, a method of tracking your time will help you. For those who need to plan well in advance, seeing those two weeks blocked off for a conference, or an extended weekend for a family vacation, will help prevent double booking or unfortunate timing of things too closely together. Picking a calendar that is visually appealing will reinforce the new habit–so don’t be afraid to spend more on a well-made bound version.
Clarify your values. Knowing what matters to you will help with fleshing out the aforementioned calendar. Want to prioritize making more business contacts? Block off the bi-monthly lunch with your professional organization, along with the time you need for preparation and travel. If family is your focus, make that Easter weekend family reunion sacred. To bolster your most important activities, estimate requirements for auxiliary activities, and mark it on your calendar.
Weigh the cost of your time versus experienced help with cleaning and organization. Professionals can help you determine how to optimize your space, either at home or at work. For those of us with executive functioning weaknesses–especially ADHD–this can simply be too difficult to initiate on our own. Paying a professional can save time and headache, as well as kick-start better habits.
Block off time for self-care. Self-care looks different for everyone. While lots of people consider massages, bubble baths, and chocolate essential forms of self-care, I advocate for healthier alternatives. Exercise, meal planning/preparation, and a spiritual practice are all better weekend activities for preparing you for a busy week than any other caffeinated, sugary, or soapy endeavor that others may suggest.
Rachel Featherstone, NP