--Creating Powerful Habits

THE SECRET TO CREATING POWERFUL HABITS

In order to get organized and stay organized you need three things:
The correct systems
The correct habits, and
The correct tools
One without the other will not work. 
 
If you have the best filing "system" on earth, and the best filing cabinet (tool) money can buy, but you don't have the habit of filing on a regular basis, your papers will still be a mess. Developing good habits is a powerful way to get organized, painlessly.
 
The way to develop a habit is to commit yourself to doing something for twenty-one days in a row.  At first the new activity may be unpleasant and you may have to force yourself to do it, but if you do it day after day, you will find that your dislike and dread will diminish, and you will eventually be able to do it without emotion.  
 
...and that's one secret of organized people.  The ability to work dispassionately.  To quote Sandra Felton of The Organizer Lady, "The difference between organized people and people who are not organized is that organized people just do what they have to do, and disorganized people have to feel like doing it first."
 
An organized person will just hang up their clothes.  Or file their papers.  Or take their car for an oil change. Or sweep the floor.  They don't attribute an emotion to a rote, mundane activity.  We have to feel like doing these things first. (So, when you catch yourself saying, "I don't feel like filing... you are moving in the wrong direction!)
 
Here are some good habits to develop to help you stay organized:
 
At the office:
Check your planner at the end of every workday to see what is on the schedule for tomorrow
Give your office the once-over as you leave for the day. Make it like you want it to be when you return.
Write hone messages in the designated place each time (no more scraps of paper).
Write your appointments in your planner as soon as you make them.
Return material to the file immediately after using it.

In your home
Hang up your clothes or put them in a hamper as you undress
Put your keys and/or glasses in the same place every time you put them away
Write appointments on your calendar or planner
Put things by the front door that you will need to take with you in the morning
Read your mail daily with a trash can and shredder nearby
Leave your house or a room the way you want it to look when you return.
Remember, if you do these things for twenty-one days in a row, they will become your habits, and will help your life run much smoother.

excerpt from:  Organizing Your Day by Sandra Felton & Marsha Sims, Revell,2009, page 94 
Comments