Getting organized is a chore for many people. This is true in the home and in the workplace. Finding strong motivators helps even the most determined procrastinators get organized. However, finding the right motivator for you can be a challenge. For many people social pressure is a motivator, while others prefer to motivate with a special dinner or a favorite anthem. Help yourself get organized by finding the perfect motivational moxie for you.
Preparing to organize a space can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t already have an organizational framework in place (files, bins, shelves, etc.) Before you get moving, think through your project. What items will you need easy access too? Those items should be easily reachable, in a drawer you don’t have to bend down to open, or on a shelf that you can reach. Make a list of categories of items and a map of the room. Lists are great motivators that help to organize the project in your head. An organized head is the first step towards an organized space.
Once you have a list you’ll know where to start, but you may still not feel very motivated to do the hard work. One motivational technique to consider is motivational music. Regardless of your music tastes, there are sure to be up-beat songs that inspire you to move your body. Make a “mix-tape” with at least an hour’s worth of music to get you started. Taking a break every hour for a refreshing drink or a snack will help keep your energy up. Make multiple hour-long song lists and work through the day.
Sometimes motivational music and list making still aren’t enough to motivate. Consider adding social pressure to your toolbox. Plan an event like a dinner party, or invite friends to visit from out-of-state. The impending deadline of a visit will make organizing a priority, and it will inspire you to move beyond putting things away to beautifying your space for your guests.
If you still struggle to get through all of your organizational projects, try working on something smaller. Start with one area in one room, like a medicine cabinet or a messy junk drawer. If you try to clean just one small thing each day you will feel a sense of accomplishment without having to clear your schedule for a whole day of labor. For some people just the opposite technique works best: taking a day off of work with the sole purpose of tackling an organizational project. Whatever your particular style, once you find something that works, stick with it. Use that technique each time an organizational problem presents itself.
If you feel like you can’t tackle your organizational challenges on your own and you have the resources, hire a motivational coach. This is a person who will come to your home, sit with you and help you work through the necessary steps for devising a game-plan and getting it done. This is a last resort since it costs money and can be a bit heavy-handed. But, if your really struggling a coach my be your best option.
References and Resources:
Harvard: Why We Organize