How to Get Organised in a Hectic World
Every busy person faces the challenge of organisation—organising one’s schedule (family, business, personal). Some find it easier than others because they’re naturally wired that way. Typically, artists struggle with it since their bent tends to be overly spontaneous and intuitive; they find administration stifling. While these are admittedly generalisations, organisation is not something we can usually delegate to someone else. Being better organised lends to a mind that’s more at peace and leads to greater effectiveness.
Here are a few thoughts about getting organised in a hectic world.
A famous Peanuts cartoon strip goes something like this. After Charlie Brown and Lucy got into an argument, Lucy curled her hand into a fist and walloped Charlie Brown on the nose. After Lucy stormed off, Charlie Brown picked himself up off the floor in a daze. He looked at the flabby fingers on his hand and muttered: “Why can’t you get organised like that?”
So, how do we get organised in a hectic world?
Harness a positive attitude.
While there are many tools available, and Google calendar is a helpful resource, getting organised in a hectic world essentially begins with our attitude. Yes, this may sound trite and clichéd, but even though great truths often become clichés, it doesn’t negate the truth. I’ve come to realise that if I have a negative outlook about ‘anything,’ the problem stems from what I’m looking out from. The problem lies within. Every day, we’ve got to choose to be a glass-half-full person. And it is about decision making, a choice that begins with gratitude. Counting your blessings does fortify your attitude. Maintaining a positive attitude, especially in the middle of a storm, is more than half the battle already won. See what I did there?
Distinguish between the urgent, the desirous, and the important.
This is golden advice here—advice I learnt from a mentor a long time ago. The ‘urgent’ is defined by those things that demand our attention, but are generally focused on pleasing or pacifying others. They create high-end stress and plenty of pressure. The ‘desirous’ are those things that appeal to our future aspirations. They’re usually good things, but they often tease us or distract us (and leave us feeling deflated about where we’re at now).
The ‘important’ involves things that are necessary—those things that are in line with your direct responsibilities and goals. Doing these things leads to peace, harmony and productivity.
The trick is to focus on the ‘important,’ to manage the ‘urgent’ (which may mean politely blocking your ears to them), and to curb the ‘desirous’—by setting time aside for future planning and goal-setting, and choosing to be content with what you have. Another crucial choice. Here’s an excellent article from mind tools on the urgent versus important matrix.
Getting organised in a hectic world requires regular reflection. I remember reading a line somewhere that went like this: You know you’re in trouble when item twenty-one on your to-do list is, “Sort out my to-do list.” Any sort of planning schedule will fail if there is not regular reflection built into it. Through reflection, we press meaning into what’s behind us: celebrating the achievements and proactively dealing with any consequences. With a clean slate and a clear mind, we can then face what’s ahead of us.
A thorough weekly review is probably essential and a daily mini review is helpful. It prevents clutter from building up in our work spaces and in our minds. Without regular review, between being a parent and spouse, running Lorna Kirkby Photography and looking after myself, I’d be a wreck!
Yes, there are many other thoughts we could add. However, these three are crucial in getting and staying organised in a hectic world. What are your thoughts on this?