Thursday, December 17, 2015

3 Keys Thursday: 3 Strategies for Keeping your Mental House in Order

Photo: Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile
This time last month, I wrote about three items that helped me keep my thoughts organized when my schedule threatens to overwhelm both me and my organizational systems. Yesterday, I shared my process for dealing with the inevitable feeling of overwhelmed when it does, indeed, arrive (uninvited, thank you very much).

Today, I'd like to go one step further and share three strategies that contribute to keeping my mental house in order....or at least as "in order" as it gets this time of year.

Keep it simple. Now is not the time to try fancy new plans. If it's not broken, don't change it. If it can wait, let it. Trying to do it all is overrated.

Keep it consistent. The same things go in the same places -- time wise and stuff wise. Predictability might be boring under some circumstances, but it can be a lifesaver when things are crazy. And for many of us, there's even something comforting about a routine.

Try to avoid making a contribution
 -- to the pile-up, that is. Strategies like Give it Five! and Don't put it down, put it Away! can keep things from getting worse. While it seems that putting one more thing on the pile won't make that much difference, that one more thing you set down now becomes one more thing you have to sort later. Put it where it belongs, or start a homeless bin for all the loose ends without a location to call their own. That way, you need to look in only one place to find that thing you put in a safe place.

I'm happy to report that yesterday's sorting into bins cleared not only space, but my mind as well. I like this bin sorting system, but am struggling to figure out how to make it work in my office, where there is currently no room for the bins to live.

That's not a struggle for this week, though, or even next. For now, what I need is easily accessible, and it allows me to stick to the three keys above. Once I clear the next few hurdles (deadlines), I'll try to look at my space with new eyes and determine the possibilities. Organizing is, after all, a dynamic thing, and while growing pains are hard, the results are worth it.

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