Whether it’s eating right, exercising more, or spending less time at the office and more time with family, we all have goals. Do you ever wish you had a better plan of action for making and sticking with your health and wellness goals? Today we’re talking with a professional organizer. She’s got some insights on how to establish healthy habits and avoid the common stumbling blocks that keep us from succeeding.
In this Episode
- CJ Anderson
- Casey Hazlett, Sustainably Organized
Casey says she loves getting organized, but often struggled to stay organized when things get busy. The search for tools and strategies to help in her own organization led her to pursue a career of organization. With a degree in Industrial Engineering she applies principles of optimizing systems to the businesses and homes of her clients, helping them get, and more stay, organized.
For some people disorganization feels like a fact of life. If you can say yes to two of the following three questions you may suffer from chronic disorganization:
- Have you struggled with disorganization most of your adult life?
- Does disorganization affect you every day?
- Have you tried to get more organized on your own and failed?
Whether your just a little disorganized or suffer from chronic disorganization the good news is you can make changes. It’s important to look at organization as an ongoing process. Work on one thing at a time and set small goals you can consistently achieve. Don’t expect everything to change overnight, and don’t expect organizing to be a one-time fix. Like a healthy diet or fitness routine, it’s something you work on every day.
It’s also important to recognize you’re a beginner when developing a new habit. This means simple things may seem difficult and you will most likely experience setbacks and failures. The important thing is to keep trying. Casey encourages her clients to set a goal of not failing twice in a row. If you fail once and try again that’s still a victory.
Casey’s Tips for Organization
One Thing at a Time
Do you ever find yourself getting distracted? If you are working to organize your stuff and find something that doesn’t belong in the are you are organizing, you get up to put it away and find something else more interesting in the other room. To avoid this happening, start working in one area and stick with it until it is finished. One helpful strategy to avoid zigzagging is to identify a “move” box. Put things in this box that don’t belong in the space you’re organizing. When the box is full, then go put away everything that belongs in other rooms.
Label Your Thoughts
If you find yourself getting mentally distracted while you are working on completing a task, you can pause when you get a new thought and label it into 1 of 3 categories:
- This is important and it’s what I’m doing right now.
- This is important, but not what I’m doing now. I’m going to write it down so I don’t forget and get back to what I’m doing right now.
- This is not important, it’s not what I’m doing now and I’m going get back to what I’m doing right now.
An example could be planning to exercise when you get home from work, and you get a thought to do something else when you walk in the door. Label that other thought and follow-through on the exercise.
Organizing is About Time, Space and Energy
Time management is very similar to physical organization except you are organizing your time instead of your physical belongings.
Being disorganized costs you – time, space, money and energy
- The TIME is takes you to find what you’re looking for. It can also cost you missing deadlines, paying bills late and being late to appointments
- The SPACE you could create for what you love and is useful to you
- The MONEY you spend on duplicate items because you couldn’t find what you needed when you needed it or didn’t remember you already had
- The ENERGY you spend investing in taking care of your stuff
- And sometimes it costs you RELATIONSHIPS. Like not entertaining or having friends and family over because you don’t want them to see the disorganization.
When you can stay organized,
- You will regain what disorganization is costing you—time, space, money and energy
- You will find what you need when you need it. By organizing your time you’ll be able to feel confident that you are doing what you need to do, when you need to do it.
- Staying organized takes time to create an organizing system, follow the system and then review the system on a regular basis. However, that will end up saving you time as you will be able to identify and complete your true priorities. This can have a dramatic impact on your level of stress.
- Sustainably Organized
- ICD – Institute for Challenging Disorganization
- NAPO – National Association of Professional Organizers
- (Book) Getting Things Done by David Allen
- Eric Barker’s Blog – Barking Up the Wrong Tree
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Author: LivingWell PDX Blog
Adventist Health is committed to creating a healthier Portland community.