But it is and that makes sense. I mean, we spent a good chunk of December agonizing over whether we were going to make any resolutions for the new year and we came into January with all these wishes about what we want to be different in our lives from now on.
Now it’s time to make all that stuff happen. What better way to start than getting organized?
My favorite approach was outlined in yesterday’s video – the mind map. If that doesn’t work for you though, here are some helpful tips from other organization experts who might speak closer to your style.
This article is a general good first step toward getting yourself organized. These five steps may take more or less time depending on just what condition your life is in at any given time, but they are all good points to keep in mind as you get ready to tackle the jumble of great ideas you have floating in your head.
This post from the Huffington Post is like a general to-do list to free your mind of the small worries that tend to sap your strength by little bits all the time. The thing I’ve noticed is that these things aren’t front of mind kind of things, so we don’t tend to think of them as being all that distracting, but in reality, they pull our attention away from what we’re doing just enough to add to the confusion. Even if the specific items discussed are not in your concern bank, consider what nagging issues continue to pull at your awareness from year to year.
Some of the things mentioned in the last article might not be things that bother you or are a factor at all in your life. This article from a personal blog is perfect in that she discusses some of the more common causes of blocks in organization. Things like having two priorities with equal importance and never having enough time. For perspective, the mind map activity encapsulates steps one through the first half of step three in her list of getting organized. Splitting things out the way she does makes these steps more visible ensuring you’re doing a complete job of considering everything. I also like how her approach factors in how to schedule your tasks into a reasonable daily life routine, even if you think your life’s too crazy for schedules.
What I like about this one is how quick and easy the suggestions are. And it creates an analogy between the human brain and a the way a computer works which really works well for my understanding. A quick read, the exercise recommended in this article will only take you 5-10 minutes to do.
This article from LifeHacker goes through a different step by step to help you collect all those great ideas you have for creative or other projects. This comes in handy if, for example, while going through the steps in the previous article, you discover that you don’t have just one story in your head, but four or five. You only have time to work on one at a time, but you don’t want to lose the original thoughts for the others. Notice, they also mention the usefulness of mind mapping, but they provide a few other ideas for getting your ideas organized.
Breaking the Myth of Organization?
Now before you run off thinking the only way you can be productive is to have everything clean and tidy all the time, wait. While many of these articles do emphasize cleaning up the physical clutter as an important stage in organizing your life, there are studies out there that suggest that may only be right for some people or at certain times. There are people who seem to thrive on a more cluttered or disorganized physical workspace (and if you’re reading my creative blog, you have a high likelihood of being one of them).
Today’s bonus link, Tidy Desk or Messy Desk? Each Has Its Benefits, discusses some of these studies and makes a tenuous suggestion that a cluttered or messy workspace may be beneficial during the creative phase of your process, that it somehow releases the mind from conventionality. What do you think – does the condition of your physical environment have a significant impact on your productivity?
And just because you came all the way to the bottom of the post, here’s a lovely little story about a hummingbird for you:
Mornings never were my friend. The sun filters into my hideaway, forcing me to wake from my dreams. It takes a while for me to stoke the inner fires and get going but I’m not worried. No predators will find me here. I blend perfectly.
Once I wake up fully, I remember all my favorite things about daytime. Time to go!
With energy I can barely contain, I explode into the light, darting here and there and everywhere, trying to visit all my favorite flowers all at once. They are all so beautiful! Big floppy red ones I can get lost in, rubbing my face against the soft insides. Smaller white ones with a red star inside where the good water is. Every one of my flower friends is waiting for me, welcoming me with leaves that hide me.
Life is beautiful!
A shadow passes. It’s big, big, big. My flower friend hides me, tucked protectively under a drooping leaf. I help. I turn my feathers to the dull. I blend, I blend, I think. The big pushes the leaves aside. I flutter. I drift sideways this way, sideways that way, backwards, I stay still, moving with the leaves. The big doesn’t see me. It goes away.
Whew! That was close. I’m so hungry! I hurry to visit more flower friends. I fly so fast. I think I’m a blur to everything. Nothing is as fast as me. The wind blows by me. The sun sparks on me. I turn my feathers to the bright. I hover to see my wings. Blues and greens flash in the light. So happy, so pretty.
A flash nearby. It’s another. I look around, these aren’t my flowers. He dives. I fly! He chases and chases. I go up. I go down. I stop. I turn and loop and spin. He follows. We are two green gems flashing in the sunshine, but there are no shes watching. A shame to waste such a show.
Then we are at my flowers. I turn and hold my air, my wings making a small humming sound they’re working so hard.
A sound nearby. Sharp and high.
“Look, Daddy, hummingbirds!”
Bigs are in the green grass. Bigs are danger.
He stops, he hovers. We agree. He goes back to his flowers, I go back to mine. We each hide in our leaves, turning our feathers back to the dull. Blend, blend.