I’m often asked, “How come some people are so much better at organizing than others? Is there an organizing gene?” I’m happy to say that there is no organizing gene. Organizing is a skill, and just like other skills, some people are better at learning it than others. For example, typing, speaking a foreign language, and playing golf are all skills. Yet, some people master these skills much faster than other people. It’s the same way with organizing. Some people master it much faster than other people, but everyone can learn the skill of organizing.
The key to learning any skill is practice. Suppose you wanted to learn how to play the piano. What would you do? Would you sign up for piano classes? Would you purchase a practice keyboard? Would you seek instruction from a professional? Would you read up on the subject? Would you practice, practice, practice? Yes, you would most likely do all, or most of these things, so that you could learn and improve.
Just like with other skills you need to practice organizing. You need to devote time and energy into organizing on a regular, preferably daily, basis. I understand that you may not want to practice organizing, because you feel as thought the outcome of your efforts won’t last. Unfortunately, that is the case with any skill. What would happen if you stopped practicing the piano for 3 months? Would the efforts of your previous practice show? What would happen after 6 months, or 12 months? Also, what is the outcome if a beginner stops practicing after 3 months, as apposed to an experienced piano player? The skill level you’ve mastered makes a difference.
So, how can you practice organizing? Listed below are a few tasks you can do daily to practice the skill of organizing. I’d recommend concentrating on mastering one or two of these tasks, and then moving on, after a few weeks, to include one additional task, and so on.
1. Put all dirty clothes in hampers.
2. Put all clean clothes where they belong.
3. Put shoes, coats, and accessories where they belong.
4. Open and process all mail.
5. Clean all dirty dishes.
6. Prepare your outfit for the following day.
7. Prepare breakfast, and lunch for the following day.
8. Make one phone call, or do one task from your to do list.
9. Clear flat surfaces, like tabletops, desktops, counters, dressers, and floors.
10. Have 10 minutes of uninterrupted conversation with your family.
I’d like to hear about your progress. How is your organizing skill developing?
© October 2014 Janine Cavanaugh, CPO® All Rights Reserved