Just when you thought you knew all the organizational tricks possible, there’s more. Organization is a fundamental requirement for running a successful business. If you’re looking for new ways to get organized, here are several things you probably haven’t considered.
1. Teach your kids organizational skills
Research has shown that teaching someone else is the best way to hardwire new skills. While organization probably isn’t an entirely new skill to you, you’ve likely let things slide a bit.
If you need to improve your ability to stay organized, you can give yourself a refresher and reinforce your organizational skills by teaching your kids basic organizational techniques. Teach them an appropriate form of organization for their age.
For example, teach your toddlers to put their toys back where they belong. However, instead of letting them toss a bunch of toys into a toy chest, show them how to place each item neatly in the trunk. The toys probably won’t look organized, but the point is to teach your child to take their time putting away their toys.
You can apply this to your own life as well. For instance, instead of tossing extra pens in a junk drawer, rubber band them together and place them neatly in the drawer. Or, go buy a pen organizer and skip the junk drawer.
The simplest organizational tasks will free up clutter, which will help your brain function better, and you’ll be more productive.
2. Assume the role of someone who is hyper-organized
You may have read about people using a technique known as “fake it ‘til you make it” to improve their mood or be more successful in their business. While this method is controversial, it really does work.
The reason it works is that your actions begin in your mind. When you adopt a new mindset and change your thoughts, you change your actions. When you change your actions, you change the way you impact the world.
Imagine that you’re a highly organized person throughout the day. How would they act? What would they do? Would they walk past a pile of unfolded, clean laundry, or would they take the time to fold it and put it away the second they see the pile?
Assuming the mental state of a highly organized person will get your thoughts aligned with your goal of becoming more organized. It’s really simple and can be fun to practice.
3. Visualize your space completely organized
Whether you’re wanting to organize your home or your office, start visualizing your space as completely organized. Visualizing won’t magically transform your space, but it will get your brain used to seeing a neat and orderly space. If you visualize enough, your outer world will soon seem like the wrong version of reality, and you’ll feel compelled to organize according to your vision.
Visualizing can also give you ideas for how to organize your space. For example, say you’re visualizing your home office, and you see yourself holding a stack of papers that don’t have a home. In your vision, you might see a filing cabinet pop up in the corner. This happens to a lot of people; it’s completely normal (and helpful, too).
There’s a perfectly logical explanation for why people experience sudden appearances of items when they visualize. When presented with a problem, your brain will naturally try to find a solution, whether you’re thinking with your eyes open or closed.
4. Hire outside help
If you dread organizing yourself, hire outside help. There are people who make a living organizing other people’s spaces. Some people specialize in organizing personal spaces like bathrooms, while others specialize in organizing offices and living spaces.
If you need help with organization, hiring a professional organizer is your golden ticket. It might be hard to admit you need help with something so basic, but keep in mind that millions of people need help with organization. Don’t be embarassed!
Getting organized will change your life
When you get organized, your whole life will change. There is a physiological reason people prefer symmetry. The human brain loves order. Clutter and disorganization are the opposite of order and have a negative, cumulative effect on the brain.
Research has shown that clutter increases cognitive overload, which reduces working memory. It’s like opening too many applications on your computer, and your computer doesn’t have enough memory to open any more applications.
When you get organized, you reduce clutter and free up your cognitive capacity. The result is a feeling of freedom, and of course, higher productivity.