Do you ever think, "What's the point of cleaning, organizing, or pretending like I've got it all together?" Everything you do ends up undone and it seems like such a vicious cycle of repeat, repeat, repeat, so why bother? But then you hear just one little thing, maybe on Facebook or at work or when getting coffee that gets your spark ignited again. You start to think it through, trying to remember that time last year when you kept up your schedule and life seemed hectic, but maybe a bit easier. Do you know what makes all the difference?
Time Management. Some people say it like it's a nasty phrase, but hated or not, it's necessary. It's a subject that really is at the core of what professional organizers do. Your beautiful new space that I just helped you organize and create is really nothing if you don't make time to maintain it. So why did you let it go again?
You didn't have time to keep it up.
You didn't have time to contemplate what system was missing.
You didn't have time to sit down and truly, truly think about why you don't even really care.
Notice the common factor here?
What it all boils down to is time. You can't get organized, have fun, do a great job at work, make peace with yourself, or be a wonderful person if you don't have time. You don't have to be perfect; you just have to live your version of a good life. Hopefully it's a happy version. Managing your time wisely will get you back on that path to happiness and away from the "pit of despair." Do you remember that part in The Princess Bride movie? Wesley died. He died! And yet he came back to rescue the girl and save the day. All you've got to do is clear some clutter, so put things in perspective and let's go.
Here's a cute little acronym I came up with that'll help you get back your MOJO:
Make time for yourself
Organize and prioritize your personal time
Just shut up and do it already
Oh how you'll love yourself more and it's worth it
Doing the dishes, folding the laundry, paying the bills, putting things back where they belong - yes, it never ends. It's also part of being responsible, being hygienic, and if done correctly, will actually make your life easier. Think about it - what's more fun: taking 10 minutes to do the dishes each night or spending an hour doing a week's worth, all gunked up and gross? What's more fun: taking 5 minutes to put away the toys each night or spending half a Saturday putting a room's worth away, all the while giving dirty looks to the kids behind their backs for wasting your weekend?
Now in order to not get resentful, you have to remember the M in MOJO - make time for yourself. You've got to manage your time properly so that you have time for yourself. Schedule in the fun as well as the chores and in fact, schedule the fun first so that time doesn't disappear.
For example: nobody really loves to clean, not even me. I like to organize but I've got to clean first to do so, so I tend to make "deals" with myself: Do X and you get a piece of chocolate. Do Y and you get to read a magazine. It's sneaky but it works. Plus, I've just done something on my To Do list (cleaning) while getting to do something fun (organizing) and I got a reward to boot (bonus fun). Sounds like great time management to me.
If paperwork is your downfall and you start out January with good intentions, but it just keeps piling up every few months, then you haven't found the right system for yourself yet. Don't throw in the towel, or literally throw it all in a box and dump it in the closet. Try a new system. I hate filing because I feel like it's silly to spend hours putting papers in a folder only to spend hours next year taking them all out again to shred them. Why file in the first place? So I use a monthly folder system to keep the bulk of my paper out of the filing cabinet and only file away the serious stuff. I sat down and thought about how much I hated doing this task (see how I used my time wisely here?) and eliminated the part I hated the most.
Think about the household chore you hate the most... could you eliminate it and save yourself time and make yourself happier? We are talking about freeing up time in your life to do something you love, not something that is dragging you down. It's completely possible and completely up to you. Think about your typical day and the daily task that always makes you groan the most. Start there and see how you can make it better. Outsource it (costs $ but may be worth it), trade tasks with a friend or spouse or even the kids (do their dreaded task and they will do yours), or find a new system that will eliminate the task (tripping over backpacks on the floor will stop if you install wall hooks).
Once you eliminate your worst enemy, drill down even further and keep getting rid of the smaller things you don't like to waste time doing. Find time for yourself again. Streamline the chores and maintenance so you can get back your weekends and family time. Start being present in your life again and enjoying the tasks you are doing in the moment. Reevaluate your life and get your MOJO back.