“..Your actions become habits, Your habits become values..” Gandhi
I have been organizing people most of my career. I have done it professionally since 2004. I am clear on the fact that daily habits, both in thought and action (or lack of action), drive disorganization. I have observed this common trait in many of our clients. In most cases, they realize what they are doing and commit to change but it is a challenge.
We have to want to be organized to commit to change. Also, we have to realize what we are doing in order to make a change. You have to catch yourself doing something that leads to disorganization. For example, do you find yourself setting something down like mail, papers, a document and think to yourself…I’ll get back to that shortly? Six months later, the item has not moved. Here is what might be going on:
- You are overloaded with so many tasks in your life that you are stressed, your head spins and you are not able to slow down your thought process enough to concentrate
- “Leave them there, I am going to get to them” but you don’t (you have good intentions)
- In the back of your mind, you think: the mail is full of bills that I am not able to pay; I don’t want to read those papers, they are too hard to understand; that document is so boring I can’t concentrate – so you ignore everything (is that intentional or unintentional?)
- My spouse is supposed to deal with this stuff, not me – so you ignore (intentional)
- My life is out-of-control, I do not care – so you ignore (intentional)
- A person close to me or my health have been declining the past six months, my priorities have changed (intentional or out of your control)
- I’m confused, has it been six months? I thought I set those there the other day (mental confusion)
Besides the last one, maybe the last two, these are habitual ways of thinking. You have created a routine for yourself which includes procrastination. Health issues are the exception. When our bodies and minds are not functioning properly, often, we are not capable of maintaining a daily routine. However, if you desire to change intentional habits that lead to disorganization, commitment is required. It is like losing weight, you have to change your eating habits or the weight will come right back on. Books, songs, articles have been written about habits from all sorts of perspectives.
Although this is a basic concept, it deserves be brought to our attenton over and over again until we get it and decide to take action.
Utterly Organized, professional organizers who go to extremes to get you to change your habits.