I’ve come to know that the state of my physical space is often a pretty accurate representation of my mental and or emotional state. If my car and my loft are junky, then so is my mind. When I’m off balance, overwhelmed, stressed, or just trying to do too much, all of the things around me become a clear sign that it’s time to slow down and pull things back together. I usually don’t stop to “clean up” until things slow down naturally, but yesterday I began to think…What if we can reverse the effects by flipping the process?
It all boils down to being proactive. What if I began by stopping to take time up front to clean and organize my life? Would that then lend itself to a more clear and organized mind and emotional state?
I decided that I’d give that a try this week. So last night I cleaned up my loft and created a few posters to guide me through the week, the month, and the rest of the year. Take a moment to think about this…What are some practices that we could put in to place to make our lives run more smoothly? Here are a few of my suggestions…
- Finances: Create a poster of monthly expenses, (also list due dates and amounts) post them on the wall where you have to look at them every day, and cross them off as you pay them off.
- Long Term Planning: Create a poster that is a grid of the next six months with blank columns under each month. Write major goals out individually on Post It (sticky) notes. Place the goals in the columns under the months in which you hope to accomplish the goals. If life happens and you don’t meet one by the due date that you’d planned for, simply move it over to the next month.
- Daily Duties: Create a poster similar to the Long Term Planning Poster described above. Instead of months as the column titles, list important components of your life. For me that includes the names of the different companies that I run or consult for, shopping, friends, family and personal. List what needs to be done under each category and cross them off as you accomplish them.
These visual representations of the things that need to be organized and maintained in your life help to keep you on track. Being able to cross them off and see that they have been taken care of gives you a real sense of accomplishment and progress.
You may not adapt any of these techniques, and I don’t encourage you to if you feel that they won’t work for you. BUT this week I will challenge you to come up with one process that will help you to get your life in order, thus improving your mental health and productivity. Engineer yourself for success by beginning with something small and manageable that you know you will stick to. Once you put your new practice into place, sit back and watch how much more smoothly your life will run.