Organization

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Ever had trouble finding something?  The answer is here - a revolutionary new technique, ancient and re-discovered by you.  It's called: putting things back in the same place.

But you don't have a designated place for everything?  Hey, that's always a work in progress, and ever evolving.  Meanwhile we have to get on with things and either put things back where we found them, or make a decision about its new designated place.

Start with the basics: your keys, your phone, your bag.  This is stuff you need to find every day, maybe many times a day. 

There usually only needs to be one place in your home where you put these things, unless you have to carry your phone and keys around with you from room to room.  In that case, make it the same place always in each room.  It might be the hall table, a shelf or spot in the kitchen, your dresser or your desk. 

Charging your phone in the same place always and at the same time makes sense.  I charge mine overnight on my bedside table and use it as an alarm clock as well.

Speaking of phones, I also have a designated pocket for it in my bag, and have made sure it rings loud enough for me to hear it in there.

I recently had another shot at organizing my pantry.  The amazing new system I have introduced is labels on the shelves to say which items go where.  This at least allows us all to see where to put something back, and where to find it (if it's been put back in the correct place).  I just used strips of masking tape to write the labels with, as it's easily moved and doesn't leave a mark.

Ok, so you don't want to do it all on your own.  You'd like those you share your home with to share the load.

What, you do want to do it all on your own?  You want to prove how you're hard done by and better than everyone else and deserving of lots of sympathy?

If that's the case, grow up, get a life, go see a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist, get frisky with your partner, pull some weeds, do some pruning, scrub something, and come down off your high horse.

Gracious, what an outburst.  What was I saying?  Oh yes, this:

- Stop being a martyr
- Stop feeling guilty
- Shut up and quietly love your family
- Lead by example
- Don't direct your negative feelings about yourself at those around you
- Forgive yourself your imperfections
- Love yourself, so that you may love others

Oh yes, and the practical stuff:

Let your family see that you do things which are good for you and which you enjoy - it's good for them to see this.

As part of my continuous quest to get/keep my life on track, I’m constantly trying to improve/develop my routines.

The more ingeniously we construct our routines the better able we are to follow them.  The key to achieving what we want in life and living the kind of life we want is making the right routines and following them.

Following a routine can be difficult to achieve at first, but is easily achieved by making it a habit.  The tricky part is making a routine that is workable in the first place.  Often it happens that if you analyse the routine you are expecting of yourself, you will find it full of faults and tricky places that are asking to go wrong.

A good routine has a lot it needs to provide.  The first thing is balance.  We all need a balance of the different parts of our lives included in our daily and weekly routines.  The things we need to include are:

- Sleep
- Work
- Eating
- Movement - exercise
- Family time
- Relaxation
- Social time
- Personal goals

Recently as I’ve been busy keeping up with eye tests and new glasses for all five children and myself, immunization injections for us all, blood tests for my daughter and I to monitor our iron levels, hospital admissions for myself, dental treatment for us all and visits to the orthodontist for the eldest two children, managing our health insurance, and arranging veterinary care for the pets, it’s become clear that I really need to make sure all the records and papers relating to all this are kept in order so I can keep up with what’s going on.

When visiting a doctor, dentist, specialist, optometrist etc, of course they keep records of the reason for your visit, diagnosis, test results, treatments and so on.  But there are good reasons for also keeping a basic record of these things ourselves.

Over the years we’ve moved house quite a few times, and even within the same area sometimes attended different doctors because the preferred one was not available at the time or didn’t bulk bill.  This means our records can be spread over a number of different places.

It’s usually not until you find yourself filling in a form asking about your medical history that you realize you can’t quite remember exactly what year you had that surgery, or some of the details of it.

It’s worth keeping a medical folder for each family member, including pets.  The things to keep in this folder are:

- optical prescriptions, in date order

- Record of all vaccinations or immunizations and the date given.  This is especially important for your children.

- your own copy of any test results

- X-rays, CT scans etc, or if they don’t fit, a note stating where in the house they are located.  Locate all X-rays in the same place in the house, and separated into folders for family members and clearly labeled with date taken and what they were for.

If you’re reading this article, you probably have a computer, or regularly use one.  Perhaps like me, it’s on your desk, in your study or office, or a place in your home where you have your filing, bills, folders, stationary.

My office also seems to be a dumping ground for all sorts of stuff: things that need fixing, kids’ artwork, and anything that does not seem to have found a home in the house yet, but that’s another story.  Oh, my sewing basket lives here too, but don’t tell anyone I can sew, or they’ll all start queuing up with buttons and stuff.

The biggest problem a lot of us seem to have, is that when we sit down at our desk, it’s very easy to be distracted from the tasks we actually need to do, like taking care of work, study, bills or household papers, by things like surfing the internet, chatting online and social networking sites.

It’s not that we shouldn’t be doing these things – what’s wrong with planning your TV viewing, catching up with news, staying in touch with friends and family, looking up things on Wikipedia etc, it’s fun and useful – it’s just that it’s so easy to avoid other things and suck up extraordinary amounts of time.

Ever checked on your kids doing their homework and told them off for playing games and chatting online when they should be studying?  What about your own computer time?  Do you have chores and necessary tasks you’ve been putting off because you’ve been spending your desk time passively letting the computer lead you astray?

If something is staying on your To Do list and doesn’t seem to be budging, it may mean that the task needs to be more clearly defined and planned.  It may mean that it’s really a project that needs to be broken down into specific tasks, that needs information gathered, preparation made, planning sessions allocated for it, decisions made about it.

We are more likely to put off starting something if we’re not really sure how long it will take or how we’re going to do it.  It’s easier to do something we already know how to do, than something we have not done before.  Not knowing the first step that must be taken can be an invisible barrier to starting on the task.  We may take longer than necessary to do more familiar things so we have an excuse for not making a start on these other more uncertain things.

Procrastination is not necessarily related to laziness.  It is often just caused by uncertainty. 

If we need to wash the dishes, we’re hopefully familiar with the task and pretty confident about how to do it, what we’ll need and how long it will take. The first step of gathering them all in the kitchen sink area is not something we really need to plan and think about too much.  We can just go ahead and get it done, as part of our daily routine.  Drop off or pick up dry cleaning can be confidently noted in our calendar and done while we are out.

Something a bit more tricky, like fix the curtains, or install the new modem, or list items on eBay, might not look like it should take too long, but on closer inspection is perhaps being left behind simply because we need to identify smaller parts of the task, like working out how many hooks are missing and need to be bought, locating the electric drill, checking what size screws we need, setting aside time for a long phone call to tech support, recharging the camera batteries, setting aside time to gather items to be photographed, working out how the postage calculation works, working out how to estimate the weight of items to be posted and so on.

Readers have noted my previous admissions that being organized is not something which comes naturally or easily to me. 

This is why I enjoy writing about it.  I’m interested in the reasons I struggle with it, and how to be organized anyway.  Despite my lack of natural ability, my desire to be organized has always been strong and I have generally been reasonably successful in my efforts.

The fact that I have to work at it and struggle with it just makes it easier for me to write about it.  As several readers have observed in emails, who wants to hear advice from someone who finds everything easy and doesn’t share the same struggles as the rest of us.

There are things in our lives that we’re not naturally talented at, and we have absolutely no need to do anything about it. 

Personally I can’t stand sport and couldn’t hit a barn with a basketball, and I have absolutely no intention of taking up tennis or golf lessons any time soon.  I’ve met people who feel the same way about music, and couldn’t care less if they never learned to play the piano, strange as that seems to me.

But with other things, we may decide that even though it’s not going to be something that is easy for us to learn, we know it will be good for us and make our lives better, that it’s necessary, or that we’ll feel better when we work on that area and improve our skills.

 

Regularly Editing Your WardrobeCloset organization can be daunting, but it really does make our lives easier to have an organized closet or wardrobe.  Be your own closet organizer and learn some simple habits which will let you find the perfect outfit quickly and easily.

Unless you have a particular career or hobby related to fashion which means it really does matter to you and give you pleasure to keep a great deal of clothes you are very unlikely to wear, you’re probably better off limiting the total amount of clothes you keep for yourself, and regularly editing your wardrobe.

In order to not run out of space, be able to find the clothes you’re after, make it easier to choose outfits, keep clothes in good condition and feel positive about your clothes, you need to regularly edit.  This means clearing out as many clothes as you add, so that you keep to a reasonable amount.

That reasonable amount may depend on the available space or what kind of clothes you wear.  I know people who live with more extreme seasonal temperature variations often put away out of season clothes each year and get them out again, rather than keep them in regular storage.

Testimonials


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Anshula Ohri, Toronto,
Canada

"Before I met Yvette I had many opportunities in front of me but I was feeling overwhelmed and I had no confidence in making the decisions.  I was feeling stuck and confusedd.  My career has progressed in a positive direction and I am now functioning better in physical and emotional health.  Thank you Yvette for your help.  This was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

 

Sarah Grudzien,
Melbourne, Australia

"The coaching with Yvette was very beneficial. In just a few weeks I had achieved so much. I am so thankful. I found Yvette to be very patient, professional and reassuring. I would definately recommend NLP now that I have seen the difference it has made to my life. I have left the past in the past and I am happier within myself."

Gemma,
Western Australia

"Your belief in me gave me the confidence to work out ways of improvement, knowing how important it is that these answers be found by me within me to enable them to be so powerful and successful. I loved the CD you sent as your voice is so easy to listen to and reassuring as it imparts great words of wisdom and strengthens the concepts taught within your life coaching sessions. These life skills are amazing!"

Lynne from Lowood,
Queensland, Australia

"I consider myself very fortunate having chosen Yvette for coaching.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started from a place where I was stuck in procrastination and everything seemed so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start.  I love the freedom and empowerment I now feel.  Yvette's methods are personalised and very effective.  I have looked forward to every coaching sesssion."

Heather
Melbourne, Australia

"Yvette is a great coach who inspires you to overcome the obstacles that she finds in working with you.  She is highly motivated and has worked hard to increase her knowledge in many areas that in turn help her clients.  Yvette draws on her own real life experience adn studies to help those of us who have to juggle many responsibilities and mangage the conflicts in thinking that come from that.  I am looking forward to working with Yvette again in the near future"

Liz Jarvis, CSI Business Solutions, 
NSW, Australia

"Through my coaching experience with Yvette I was able to shift my awareness onto my value system as opposed to staring at my circumstances each day and feeling pulled in a hole.  It's powerful because I want meaning, I want to live up to my values and what's right and good for me!  So, I truly learned the value of letting go and receiving the abundance of knowledge for every situation that gives life, love and meaning to who I am and what I can do, with this fearless self awareness."

Keri, 
New York, USA

"Yvette.  Many thanks for a wonderful experience... Our sessions were productive, really interesting adn I so looked forward to them each week with anticipation of what I can learn about myself and my behaviours.  Every session seemed to flow right on topic of what was present in my relaity at the time and your effortless guiding of my strategies never ceased to amaze me.  I highly recommend you as a life coach and thank you again for the experience."

M Shears, 
Melbourne, Australia

"I really questioned my future career ambitions and thanks to Yvette I changed direction from something I felt I had to do, to something I know I will love to do.  I was stuck on this topic for quite some time and Yvette really helped me shed light on this.  I changed the MBA I signed up for and feel excited about my careeer and all the opportunities in the future."

Sabine Mascarenhas, 
Wollongong, Australia