Being disorganized and stress go hand in hand. If you’re stressed out and disorganized, here’s the good news: You have control over organizing your life, you just have to do it.
So many of the things that stress us out are things beyond our control. But with the state of organization of our lives? Totally within our control. So let’s work on some tips to get you organized.
While being organized may not sound like the most powerful technique when it comes to reducing stress, it really is. After all, we mostly hear of methods like meditation, controlled breathing, visualization, etc. as being effective for managing stress. No one really talks about being neat and organized.
Yet, keeping things simple and organized is one of the best ways to reduce irritation in your life. When you minimize irritation and microaggressions, you also help yourself to de-stress without realizing it.
For example, if your desk at work is cluttered and you can’t find a document that you need, you’ll end up searching for it and wasting time and effort. If you can’t find it after a few minutes of searching, you’re going to lose patience and start getting irritable. It’s definitely going to stress you out.
This applies to any area in your life. Can’t find your car keys just when you’re about to leave the house? That’s aggravating.
Sat down on the chair to watch TV but the remote is nowhere in sight? Time to start cursing as you flip over the couch cushions.
Open the fridge and pour yourself a glass of milk only to spit it out and gag because the milk is sour and has gone bad? That’s annoying and even mildly funny the following day.
All these little stresses when repeated on a daily basis will lead to frazzled nerves and an irritable nature that gets triggered easily.
All of these could have been avoided if you were organized. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to be neat and tidy. Like Benjamin Franklin once said, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
1. Start Tidying
Tidy up your home, your office, your desk, your everything. Whatever you use should be neat and organized. The Japanese are very strong believers in tidiness and their factories and offices are usually in impeccable order.
Employees are expected to keep their desks neat and organized by following the 5S rule. That essentially means straightening up and only keeping what you need. This is known as decluttering. You’ll store whatever you need in its rightful place. You’ll clean up after yourself and strive to maintain this sense of order daily.
If you can maintain this on a regular basis, you’ll find that your life becomes much easier. Like they say, organized people are just too lazy to look for things… and you won’t have to because you’ll know exactly where everything is.
Imagine the amount of stress you won’t have to face from constantly looking for misplaced items. That in itself is good enough reason to get everything in order ASAP.
2. Keep a List or Backlog
One of the biggest reasons that people feel overwhelmed is because they try to keep too many things in their head. Projects, family commitments, pending things that need to be done… and there’s so many things to do but not enough time to get them done.
Mentally it all seems like too much to handle. The first thing to do is write down all that you need to do. Keep a list and add on to it whatever new issues crop up that need to be taken care of.
Now you have a list of exactly what you need to do and it’ll seem more manageable. In your head, it all seems too much to handle. Once you have it on paper and you start checking off what you need to do, you’ll be more focused, less stressed and be amazed at how fast you complete your tasks.
The Japanese have a practice known as ‘Kaizen’ which is just a way of saying continual improvement. What that means is that you constantly strive to be better at what you do by making small improvements over time.
For example, if you’re about to go to bed and your living room is a little messy, you may wish to clean it up a little before you hit the sack. This will maintain the order in your house.
If you have a ton of documents in your office that need a proper filing system, you could dedicate 15 minutes a day every day before you leave work to file your paperwork.
Over time, you’ll have organized everything well. Some projects are time-consuming. By doing a little daily, you’ll be able to complete these massive tasks with relative ease.
Apply the 3 tips above and get your life organized. Get the small stuff organized so that your energy is not sapped by little annoyances and you’ll be better able to handle the big stuff in life without getting overly stressed.
“Life is too complicated not to be orderly.” – Martha Stewart