Where did I put that paper? I know I wrote it down, now where is it? Don’t I have a dr. appointment coming up? What is her name? If any of this sounds familiar, keep reading to find hope for the where, when, and whats we sometimes struggle to recall. It’s time to finally get organized!
For a left brained person, organization comes easily. We thrive on it and feel disconnected and uneasy when not organized. It’s our comfortable, happy place. But how can we create the habit of being (or staying) organized when it’s not our idea of nirvana?
By being purposeful and using tools to help.
We’ll cover the habit of being purposeful this week and then discuss organizational tools in our ‘tip’ post coming up later this month.
Our #MemoryMakeover theme of organization begins with being purposeful. All the organizational help books, planners, calendars or space design techniques will never work if we’re not first purposeful in our approach.
Having our things and thoughts organized is truly beneficial in so many ways. The biggest perk is we don’t have to remember everything, simply where to look for information physically or mentally. But that takes a purposeful attitude and a bit of organizing.
To begin the habit of being purposeful, there needs to be an attitude shift. We cannot see organization as a hindrance but a help. We need to address any aversions toward organization and realize its inherit worth to our physical and mental space.
Once our attitude is in the right place, it’s time for purposeful action. First is the purge. We all know there may be papers or extraneous things cluttering our physical space we need to toss. But what about our mental space? Are we cluttering up our minds with thoughts not worth our precious time and mental space? It’s time to be brutally honest-what’s in our minds that shouldn’t be there?
Maybe it’s something like mindless TV, web or social media surfing. Maybe we’re worried about a situation out of our control. Maybe we are lingering over a regret, loss, or missed opportunity. These and other things often clutter our thoughts and mental space which could be better utilized toward things and thoughts more purposeful and beneficial to our mind or overall wellness.
Fixing our attitude and mind by being purposeful is the first step and a great habit for remembering everything we want.
Here are five ways to be purposeful in our thoughts and actions:
Choose. It’s as simple and difficult as taking the first step. Choose what needs to be done-is it to stop worrying, overthinking or procrastinating? Last week on my other blog, we discussed making conscious rather than convenient choices and that applies here, too. Just choose the best option and takes steps to make it happen, whether it’s clearing physical or mental space.
Focus. It’s simple and difficult to focus on just one thing in this multitasking, do-everything-at-once world. But when we focus, we accomplish more in less time and often with higher quality. Focus on the task at hand in a purposeful way.
Break it down. One work tactic I have is to work at something for ten minutes. We all can do something for ten minutes. Then take a break if needed and come back to it. Typically, once we begin, we often work longer than ten minutes, but giving ourselves an end point mentally buoys us along. Large projects or goals often have multiple steps and can quickly overwhelm, so make things easier by breaking them down.
Finish one thing. The temptation when we break things down is to work for short bursts and then quit. Don’t quit! Work in small bursts if needed, but find a finish point and follow all the way through. Set a goal to finish x by x time and then focus, break it down and choose to finish!
Reassess. After an hour, a day, a week or longer, at some point reflect back and reassess. Do our goals need to shift; is additional help necessary, or do timelines need to change? Being purposeful is about moving forward. Sometimes reflecting back is just what’s needed to move forward with purpose. Sometimes we just need to sharpen our saw (as discussed last week)!
Your #MemoryMakeover homework for this week is:
assess and shift your attitude (if needed) toward organization to create a purposeful habit and progress toward your memory goals.
Let’s be purposeful in our organization for our #MemoryMakeover. Choosing to be purposeful will help our organization and memory, but it’s also a great life habit. Setting our minds and actions purposefully is one habit we should all adopt for our lives and memories!