We want to get organized and reduce stress, but the truth is that our stress is keeping us from getting organized! Once we take that step to get organized we will be taking steps to reduce stress. Feeling “stressed” is a common complaint these days – in fact, many people have started to think of stress as an unavoidable part of life.
Before we actually get organized let’s stop and think about how many of your “stressors” are rooted in poor organizational habits. Disorganization puts tremendous pressure on both the mind and the body – and just taking the time to organize your life can lift a great weight off of your shoulders. Take a few minutes to examine your life and see where you might be able to make some of these adjustments:
Clear Out Some Clutter
The first step in your journey to get organized is to get rid of things you don’t need. I’ll bet that if you looked around your home or office right now, you would find at least 20 things that you could easily live without. Get rid of them! These may be small items – like a used-up bottle of shampoo or a piece of junk mail. But the simple act of clearing out even a tiny bit of clutter will lift a weight off your shoulders, and maybe inspire you to dig a little deeper into the piles! I bet you already have a reduced stress level. This is just the start.
Learn How To Say No
If you want to get organized you have to set boundaries for yourself. We can greatly reduce stress by simply knowing our limits (and sticking to them). It’s not required that you participate in every activity, serve on every committee, or personally handle each problem that comes your way. Lose that knee-jerk reaction of saying “yes” every time someone asks you to do something. You must know your limits! It’s better to tell someone “no” than to accept the additional responsibility, become overwhelmed, and do a shoddy job.
Deal With New Paperwork Right Now
Do you know how much you will reduce stress when you get that paperwork organized? Rather than tossing your mail into the pile, sort incoming paperwork as you receive it. Recycle the junk mail, envelopes, inserts, and group the rest according to what you have “to do” to it. If you make time in your schedule each day for tackling your paper, you will find the job much easier than you ever would have imagined.
Plan Your Day The Night Before
Do you feel as though you are always at loose ends? Do you forget appointments, run late, or walk out of the house without everything that you need? When your time is organized, you’ll feel the reduction in stress. Take a minute at the end of the day to plan for the next day – set out anything you need to take with you in the morning, pick out your clothes, locate your car keys, and remind yourself of your first appointment. You will start your morning in a much more centered and relaxed mood without all of the rushing around.
Make Time For Yourself Every Day
This is the number one way to reduce stress and get organized. Without time for yourself, getting organized will be a task that is far too overwhelming. This is a hard one for most people. When I say make time, I don’t mean time for chores and errands. I’m talking about time for relaxing and doing something you truly enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a long break – 30 minutes and a cup of tea on the back porch might be plenty. Just don’t blow yourself off just because you get busy. You have to respect your time as much as you do everyone else’s. When you treat yourself as a priority you’ll be much more able to get organized and of course reduce stress levels.