Get clarity in organizing

There is something magical about dawn and dusk. In photography, we call it “the golden hour,” when the light is long and lean, beautiful and full of possibility. As I write this article, the sun is slowly making its descent and I’m soaking in a glorious warm light. And, it is the same light that helped me push through several hours of writer’s block for this article. But then, I had a moment of clarity.

In our lives, there are so many things that are diametrically opposed. Warm and cold. Light and dark. Calm and chaos. Organized and disorganized. Just as the golden hour slowly appears and disappears, so, too, can we strive with a slow and steady progression toward organization in our lives.

The fact that it is the year 2020 is both spectacular and remarkable to me. I’ve already been witness to many clients using the year’s number as an opportunity to declare “focus” and “vision” and “clarity” as intentions for the year. I rather like this approach as it is simple and clear, both of which are gifts when walking the organizing journey.

To that end, let me share with you three tried and true approaches to provide a simple and clear path to a more organized 2020:

Create physical to-do lists

I’ve been witness to beautiful, sloppy, precise and incoherent written to-do lists in my 15 years as a professional organizer. For many of my clients, we have learned that creating a physical to-do list, that is, a physical lay out of all the things that need to be accomplished, can be magical. I call this process “creating a runway.” We literally line up the things that need to be done, in order of importance. This process works wonders if you need to see it to remember it. And, by creating a physical representation of the things you need to do, you may be less likely to add to the list because you can see how much you’ve already committed to doing.

Teach yourself time again

How many of us have lost the sense of time? I recently purchased three lovely hourglass timers, one for 5 minutes, one for 15 minutes and one for 30 minutes. These timers keep me honest and have helped me remember how long these periods of time actually last. Start learning time again by using a good old-fashioned analog clock or the timer on your phone. Doing so will help you tremendously as you manage your schedule, your commitments and your goals.

Say no -- Frequently

The first part of this approach is attributed to Warren Buffet. When asked what has helped him be so successful, he replied that he does not have a problem with saying no. The second part of the approach is my humble addition. As women, I believe many of us are hardwired to the “automatic yes,” including yours truly. I’m getting more comfortable with saying no and recognizing my own boundaries – with energy, emotion and time.

My wish for you is to have a simple, clear and golden 2020. Take time to implement just one of these recommendations, and I promise that you will experience more clarity in your life.

Maggie Jackson is a certified professional organizer who dedicates her days to helping others reach their organizing goals by teaching the value of less. You can find her at organizedlife.us

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.