1. Have three areas in your home you’re committed to keeping clutter-free. I make my bed daily, clear all dishes from the sink, and fold and stack all used clothing. These three commitments boost my esteem, give me landing places for my eyes that feel peaceful and calm, and anchor me when I’m experiencing overwhelm or chaos.
Whatever you eyes land on when you first enter your home can set you up for feeling peaceful or chaotic. See if you can commit to keeping the area you look at when you first enter clutter-free. Fresh flowers, or a delightful splash of color can uplift, too.
2. Take 30 minutes a day to detach from activity and find calm. This could be taking a walk outside on a lunch break. Nature soothes and allows us to let go of whatever is pulling at us (worry, indecision, external or internal pressure). It could mean a hot bath, meditation, reading an inspiring book. It’s often when we’re feeling we “don’t have time to take a break” that taking a break will do us the most good. We wouldn’t go to the gym and expect to weight-lift for hours without a break. We know our bodies aren’t built for that. Our brains need the same kind of break from thinking, problem-solving and activity. A mind refreshed is much more capable than a mind distressed.
3. Take 15 minutes in the morning to plan your day, and 15 minutes at night to re-set. Clients often say, :Doesn’t this take up a lot of time?” It SAVES a lot of time. We wouldn’t jump in the car and start driving across country without consulting a map (or setting the GPS), even if we’re leaving from NYC and know LA is “west”. We often try to jump into the day with a vague idea of where we’re going, but no clear map on getting there. By reviewing what we want to get done, it often become clear how we can do it most efficiently, and what steps we need to take in what order to get there. At night, we can see spot check what we completed and didn’t. Often, if I see clearly what I didn’t make happen, going to sleep with that awareness, allows me to wake up with clarity on what next actions I need to take. We do a lot of problem-solving in our sleep. Having a a gentle question when we go to bed, is like putting a repair order in. In the morning, we often awake to a new solution.
4. a)Write all tasks down. Our brains are not designed hold a large number of tasks for ready access. By writing everything down, we allow the brain to function as it’s designed, and allow our smart-phones, calendars, and lists to contain everything for us. We consult our lists to pull out items as they’re needed. Studies have shown that the act of writing things down has us 90% more likely to complete what we intend. Even if we don’t consult our lists, the act of writing is a powerful tool in clarifying and solidifying our intentions. b)Every task has a “when”. While this can be flexible, it’s a helpful habit to write down “by when” you intend to accomplish each tasks. It can help you see your priorities, and if it’s reasonable to accomplish everything you intend in the time–frame you anticipate. You are better equipped to now “schedule” the tasks you’ve intended in your daily planning sessions.
5. Drink lots of water, sleep well, eat nutritiously, and exercise. You executive functioning brain is where we organize from. Organization is about making decisions, assessing time, and focusing. Our brains need to be functioning optimally to stay organized. Water, sleep, and nutrition will keep us well-tuned and able to walk through chaos with calm and clarity!