Is it possible to organize your life in the age of endless?
- Online shopping options.
- The news.
- Your task list.
- What’s for dinner tonight.
They never end. Are you tired yet?
It seems we have endless everything, which leads to decision overload and a constant sense of overwhelm. It’s actually called decision fatigue. In this age of endless, how do we cope? How can we stay organized with so many options and obligations?
How can we ever succeed if we are never done?
I’ll admit, it’s something even I, an organizing professional, struggle with. There are a lot of smart people who spend a lot of time telling us how to do more with less and how to simplify our lives. Have you figured out your special sauce for not living in a constant state of overwhelm?
This one article isn’t going to eliminate all of the overwhelming endlessness out there, but here are some survival strategies that work for me and my clients.
- Breathe. No really. Breathe. Everything works better when you are breathing. When I got cleared for surgery just recently, I asked my doctor for her best advice that no one else was going to give me. Her advice? Take a few really deep breaths, all the way into the belly, several times a day during recovery. She said when we are less active that we should be (ok, isn’t that all of us???), we take shallow breaths, which doesn’t exercise the lungs. Constant shallow breaths makes us more susceptible to pneumonia and other illnesses. Also, more oxygen is better. I could probably go look up a stat to tell you that, but, really do you need that? Ok, 100% of doctors surveyed say that more oxygen is better.
- Recognize where the endless things hide. We like to feel accomplished. We like to get things done. Some people even write a task list of things they have already done today just so they can line them through! So if we get into a task or situation and don’t even realize that it is bottomless, we can lose a lot of time trying to get to the bottom and never reaching it. You know what they say, time is the only thing you can never get back. Are there situations when you need to remind yourself that you might never be finished with a certain thing? Just by recognizing that it’s just not possible to finish something, you can release a weight from your life, and stop beating yourself up about never finishing your work, your email or your laundry.
- The flip side of that is also true. When you are truly done to completion, take some time to celebrate. Cheering for an accomplishment, a job well done, a project finished and admired, or a race completed is so important. It can literally bring us to the end of a journey. I love taking vacations almost as much for all the projects that get marked as done before I leave, as much as I love the journey to our getaway destination. What do you have in your life that you can call done at some point? Do you need to add a hobby or goal to your life to rediscover that feeling of being accomplished and successful? That is why the fifth step of my SORT and Succeed! organizing system is S=Succeed and Celebrate. When is the last time you did a happy dance at the end of something?
- Simplify. Without the first three, it’s likely that you might chase your tail forever in the quest for a simpler life. If you can’t recognize endless when you see it , how will you know its opposite, simplicity? Simplifying is just another way of saying, “choosing to limit choices to avoid being overwhelmed.”
One of the books on my nightstand right now is about just this topic. Judith Kolberg’s book is called, Getting Organized in the Era of Endless. I’ve had it for a few months, and I’m super excited to read it, just as soon as I get caught up on writing my blog posts…
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