30 July 2013

Organize Your Life, Break Bad Habits

Most disorganization in our lives comes from a lack of good habits and helpful systems. We have all used the excuse that we are too busy and do not have enough time to maintain organization systems. But being disorganized wastes so much time. How often have you been late for a meeting or appointment because you cannot find your keys or forgot important papers at home? Taking time to initially set up a landing spot where you can place your keys, purse or bag near the door to your house or office can shed wasted minutes from your day. Giving yourself time to practice a new habit can make your life much easier and less stressful.

Photo: Joseph Novak
Making your life more organized also positively affects the lives of others around you. Not only do your bad habits often make your family and friends late and irritated, these behaviors are often copied and repeated and the wicked spiral of disorganization is created. Stress is easily transferable. Who wants to have anymore, unnecessary stress?

Let's start again with awareness. What bad habits have you created that have made your life and the lives of others more difficult? I would always misplace my keys at home until I bought a cute vintage bowl and put it on a little table near my front door. After every use, I now put my keys in the bowl. Is there something or some space in your home that is making it difficult for you to break your bad habit? Pin point that area that surrounds your bad habit and make a list of things that you could do to improve that space. It could be a super messy purse or wallet (guilty here too!) that needs to be cleaned once a day or weekly. Choose an effective time to do this. Perhaps it is right after you get home in the evening after work or while you wait for the bus in the morning.

Try to stick to this new habit for a few weeks. You will struggle in the first several days but I am of the belief that a simple habit (I am not speaking of diet, cigarette or exercise habits) can be created in just two weeks. Muscle memory is a powerful tool that we can use to our advantage. Try not to get to frustrated! At the end of everyday, check in to see how you feel after a day of changing habits. Do you feel less stressed? Was your morning commute so much easier? Note these good, healthy emotions and use these effective emotions as fuel.

After a few weeks, check in again. Are these new habits effective? If not, what other small changes can you make to help this process. You are a strong person and you can gain control over your bad habits once and for all. It just takes time and patience but the rewards are great.

Shelly is the founder of the program Creating Space, Mindful Living – motivating and inspiring people to run their businesses more efficiently. She helps others look at their personal and professional lives and explore what is and isn’t working. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service – healthy living advice to help keep you motivated and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find both the physical and emotional space so you can pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself. You can also find Creating Space on Facebook or contact shelly@creatingspacemindfulliving.com