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From Chaos to Organized Chaos

Transitioning from Holiday time to Productive time can be difficult. Especially for those of us who have completion issues (to finish one thing before starting another). If you’re looking at your holiday decorations and presents, but wanting to get started with your January ideas, plans, and activities -- here are 8 steps to help you make the transition.


1. Brain Dump -- Write down all the to do’s (to do, should, ought to, must) in your brain. It’s difficult to prioritize or stay on track when you’re carrying around your to do list in your head.


2. Prioritize -- When prioritizing, you want to remember that you have three choices for each item:


  • To do -- This is important to you and you are the only one who can do it.
  • Delegate -- This is important to you, but you’re not going to do it. Get someone else to do it for you.
  • Dump it -- This is not important to you and you’re not ever going to do it.

Now, review the Brain Dump and prioritize each item according to the options above. (Note: once you delegate, don’t keep checking to make sure it’s being done. That will only take the focus away from the items you intend to do.)


3. To Do List -- Prioritize between your lists. Only include those things on your to do list that you can reasonably expect to accomplish today. Everything else goes on your wish list.


4. Balancing Act. Organizing is a constant balancing act between planning for the future, living in the moment and learning from the past. This is the perfect time to check your calendar to see how to schedule something from each of these categories.


5. Make a Plan -- When there’s so much to do, it is tempting to just get a whole bunch of projects started. It is important to limit how many projects you start at one time. When we have too many projects going, there’s not enough time or energy to keep them going and they only add to the chaos.


6. Implement -- Get started in small increments. Even five minutes of work on a project means that the project has begun. (Try to stop at a place where you can easily start the project again.) Try not to think of big projects as a whole, but think of the individual components that are needed to bring a project to completion.


7. Declutter -- Make it easy to declutter as you’re working. Put a box in a closet or garage or someplace available (but not in your work space) and just drop items in there when you find them.


8. Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe and take care of yourself. Even if you have a plan, you can still get overwhelmed by the sheer volume and by not taking a break. Taking a break each hour -- to stretch or walk around -- will help keep you focused and alert.


By Sylvia Kirks McClintick



To learn more about getting and staying organized, check out www.TameTheChaos.com. Sylvia McClintick, owner of Organized Chaos, is available for workshops and presentations as well as hands-on and coaching organizing. Sylvia has clients all over the country. Sylvia has been organizing others though Organized Chaos since 1992.


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