Welcome to Day 1 of 31 Days of Organizing. A little housekeeping: you will be hearing from me every single day (including weekends) between now and December 31st. If you don’t want to play along, feel free to unsubscribe at the bottom of this page! I’m not here to harass you or fill up your inbox with unwanted messages. I am here to share great organizing solutions to help make your life easier, simpler, and less chaotic.
I want to start with the very first thing that’s on my Make Some Room Manifesto:
Your Brain is Not for Remembering!
Seriously, it’s not. Even Albert Einstein said, “Never remember something you can look up.”
Your gorgeous noggin’ is for creating, thinking, strategizing, pondering, and wondering.
Your tools and technology are for remembering.
How do you do that? Get one or two tools and USE them.
Want to know the mistake most people make here?
Oh, right. The mistake most people (you?) make…
Imagine you start using a new tool on your computer. Maybe something like Microsoft Outlook. You’ve heard it can be a good tool (and indeed it can be). So, you get all excited about being organized, you input a few tasks, schedule a few work blocks and get on with your day.
Then an email arrives or an issue of Inc. Magazine or Fast Company hits your desk. You read about a new tool to help you be more productive. Maybe it’s a new kind of To Do software or it’s a something that filters and organizes email. Or it’s a new way to categorize your contacts.
You get all excited and download this new tool. You input a few tasks, put in a few work blocks, and you spend some time clicking around to re-organize your contacts for maximum efficiency (as the tool promised).
Tomorrow, you have lunch with a colleague and they mention a new tool to you. “I love it,” this person gushes. “I just started using it yesterday and it’s already saved me, like, four hours!”
Excited, you go back to your office and download this new tool. You input a few tasks, put in a few work blocks, and you spend some time clicking around to re-organize your contacts.
See where I’m going with this?
I call it tool abandonment and it’s a sad state of affairs that happens multiple times a day across the world (especially in Business Land).
The thing is, if your brain isn’t for remembering and you continue to adopt and then abandon tools repeatedly, it’s no wonder you feel like a crazy person (and really are disorganized and unproductive, right?).
Tools and technology should not be complicated.
The secret is: YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT USING THEM.
If your brain isn’t for remembering (and it’s not), then the idea is for you to get things off your mind and into your tools so you can give your noggin a break.
THIS is how you end the crazies and stop tool abandonment.
Does this make sense? Here, I’ll do it step-by-step for you:
- Decide what you need to get off your mind (usually it’s contact information, To Do’s, calendar items, and lists of stuff for later)
- Choose the appropriate tool or tools to do the job (choose simple tools and as few of them as possible)
- Input information from your mind into your tools.
- Use the tool(s) every day. Create the habit and you’ll automatically input information regularly and reliably.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat.
- Bonus: when a tool is working for you, AVOID the temptation of other tools (Squirrel! Shiny Object! Pretty!). Decide it’s nice to know about them, but you don’t need them since your tools are working great [insert sigh of relief here].
Got it? Good.
If you’re flummoxed, I can help. There are only a few tools I recommend for individuals and teams to help them simplify and streamline their work.
Make Some Room (and for Pete’s sake, quit abandoning tools),
P.S. If this isn’t your thing, I sincerely invite you to unsubscribe. It’s easy – see the unsubscribe button below? My feelings absolutely won’t be hurt. And your inbox will be immediately less cluttered.