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Getting Organised – the easy way or the hard way?

December 6th, 2006 · 2 Comments

"A new level of success will always require a new level of organisation"

- Cheryl Richardson

It happens every time.  In the getting ready for the new stuff, the new project, the new business venture, the new timetable, we need to focus, for a little while, on the "getting organised" part of that.

In preparing for the new, as I am doing at the moment, even while I prepare my plans and write my outlines, I am (re)assessing my organisational strategies and processes for I know they need sprucing up (a lot) in order for me to fit the new into my busy schedule.

And it’s a systemic sort of organisation I am talking about.  Not just the paperwork.  Not just the filing.  Not just the bill-paying process, or who monitors the bank accounts.  It’s much more than that.

It’s about my whole life process.  For getting organised in my ‘business world’ isnt simply a matter of a new diary/planner, a way to manage the paper and tricks to keeping my inbox under control.  It’s also managing what’s for dinner, and when the washing gets done.  And remembering to buy dog food, and keeping milk and bread in the house. 

Not to mention regular dental appointments for the whole family, and remembering birthdays and anniversaries, keeping in touch with friends, and getting the car serviced on time. 

And in the past, when confronted with the challenge of a new level of organisation, I’ve taken the hard way.  I’ve looked for ‘the perfect method/system/book/product’ that will solve all my worries.

I’ve decluttered my heart out – (and yes, that still HAS to be done on a regular basis… each time I am so surprised by how much goes) but getting rid of clutter doesnt organise me or my life.

I’ve researched.  I’ve read the books.  And that is all well and good.  I love David Allen’s Getting Things Done.  I’ve been into Covey, and Karen Kingston’s Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui.  I’ve read Julia Morganstern, and devoured any magazine article on ‘getting organised’.  I even had an addiction to shops like Howards Storage World and Ikea – reading their catalogues over and over in the vain search for ‘the solution’.

Only, of course, there is no prescription.  No fixed solution to ‘getting organised’.  There are only small, itty bitty, baby steps.  And there is definitely Taking Action.

Once I finally learned that taking action, not reading, researching and planning, was my biggest hurdle – things started to change.

Now, when I catch myself trying to make a decision about my diary/calendar for 2007 – I realise I am back in my perfectionist ways.  I want the PERFECT diary.  Gorgeous, useful, will fit me like a glove.

[I am a pen and paper girl, my diary will never be a PDA - been there, didn't work...]

I’ve tried Filofax and other planners.  And to be honest, whilst they are nice – in the end I realised (this only last week) that they are never going to work for me either.  Too complex.  Too many options.  I really am not good at making decisions when faced with too many choices.

So!  I have next year’s diary.  It’s the same diary I have used previously (just not this year, for some reason).  But now I realise this one DOES suit me well – it gives me a month at a glance and then a day to a page – so all my lists can be scrawled there where I wont lose them.

That is just the tip of the iceberg, though, isnt it?  It’s great that I have made A decision.  Any decision is better than none.  I realise that.

But this is only the first step on a long journey to getting myself – a messy perfectionist – in order.

How do you prepare for change?  For new challenges?

How are you preparing for the new year and the opportunities that may present in 2007?

When opportunity knocks, will you be ready?

Tags: Reinvention · Watch Out for Those Potholes · Worthwhile Work

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // Feb 5, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I’ve never heard of that – the messy perfectionist. This sums me up completely. I’m currently perusing websites trying to get motivated to clean up and organise my things for an impending move, and find I’m faced with exactly the same organisational issues I had before: I don’t know what to let go of, but not having alot of money, I fear getting rid of things I might want or need. A box of good quality drawing pastels, for example, which I don’t make time to use. Too many clothes, not enough that I love wearing, but not sensible to spend money on new ones right now. And so it goes on…don’t get me started on how to store my things well on a budget!

  • 2 karen // Feb 5, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Hello Anna, and welcome! Thanks for sharing such a lovely comment – and lovely to meet another messy perfectionist :) It sounds like you’ve some big challenges ahead with preparing for your move. You know thinking about it, and planning, and knowing what your obstacles are (the fear, the budget, the pastels) is absolutely half the battle!

    Have a look at the Declutter Challenge over at http://www.CreatingOrder.com.au – Angela’s a whizz at motivating me to toss stuff and get organised! Good luck and thanks again!

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