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Published on March 25, 2021

15 Simple And Professional Tips To Be Organized At Home

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15 Simple And Professional Tips To Be Organized At Home

We have never spent as much time in our homes as we have done in recent times. Our homes now have a multitude of functions that they may not have had previously. These can include: a place to school children, a place to workout or a place of work. This is in addition to the usual functions of being a safe place to retreat to and the hub of everybody’s lives. Our homes have certainly had to step up in recent times.

One thing is for sure, being organized at home is important in being able to cope with the strains that the current environment has put on us all, so let us take a look at some of the benefits that being organized can provide.

Being organized at home can simply make daily life a whole lot easier. When everything has its place, you know where items are and you are more efficient as you do not have to spend time looking for them. The saying ‘A tidy home, a tidy mind’ is very true. An organized and tidy home provides a calm and relaxed environment which in turn can make space for motivation and focus in other areas of life without being preoccupied.

If you know that your home is taken care of, you can concentrate on other areas of your life that need attention. Furthermore, an organized home can reduce conflict in the home between the family, this is due to there being less things to become stressed about because everybody knows where they stand and what is expected of them. It can provide the time to enjoy quality time together or to practice self-care and a positive environment to practice these in.

With so many benefits that being organized at home can provide, let us take a look at 15 simple and professional tips to be organized at home that you can start doing from today.

1. Plan

It is all in the planning, if your goal is to initially declutter and organize all aspects of your home, break down the work into small manageable tasks.

Firstly, divide each area of your home that you want to concentrate on into smaller chunks, write them down and set a schedule.

For example. if you want to tackle the kitchen, set out a plan to firstly sort out your fridge and then maybe next on your list sort out your cupboards and finally if you want to incorporate cleaning into your organizing then clean your oven.

Replicate this and make a plan for each area of the home that you want to tackle. Completed tasks will feel rewarding as you tick each one off your list and furthermore it makes sure that you do not get overwhelmed by the job at hand.

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2. The Pareto Principle

Some professional declutterers incorporate the Pareto Principle into their work with their clients. The notion of this principle is the 80/20 rule, 80% of results will come from 20% of action. This can be applied to clutter and organization.

Most people only use 20% of items in their home, 80% of the time. Let us take shoes for an example, you may own 20 pairs of shoes but only wear 4 pairs most of the time.

When you are organizing a space, sort items into 2 piles marked: 80% – items used occasionally or not at all and 20% – items used most of the time. You can then sort through your 80% pile and decide on items that you will keep, throw away, recycle or donate.

The aim is to have more items in the dispose of pile than the keep pile. By deciding on which pile to put items in, you are being encouraged to be mindful, really think about that item and how much you use it or how much it really means to you.

3. Take Photographs

When decluttering your home, you may come across items that you are torn between keeping or disposing of. It is a fact of life that you may not be able to keep hold of everything as you just may not have the space, unfortunately this may include sentimental items.

One solution is to take photographs of items such as your child’s pictures that they have drawn or a particular piece of schoolwork that they are proud of. You can then keep these on your computer and make space in your home.

4. Allocate a Junk Drawer

Although one aim of organizing your home is to reduce items that are not needed or used, in practice, some junk is inevitable.

Allocate one drawer in the house for junk, once it is full – it is full and it is a sign that you need to sort through it. Having a junk drawer means that hopefully junk will not end up dotted around the house and you will be encouraged to sort through it periodically. This in turn means that you should not become overwhelmed and sorting of junk will not become a time consuming task.

5. Set Up a Family Meeting

Being organized in the home should involve the whole family. Set a meeting to discuss what is expected of the family as a whole and the benefits of working together as a team.

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Discuss the tasks that each member will take on. Discuss with children the expectation of them helping with chores and being mindful of being organized in general.

If the whole family is on board, being organized at home should become a lot easier.

6. Set Up a To-do List

A to-do list breaks down tasks, it also helps to make visible how much progress you have made, this in turn gives you the motivation to keep going. It can help to put the list in a place that is visible to the whole family so that everybody knows what needs to be achieved. There are to-do list apps that can help you to keep on track too.

7. Prepare the Night Before

Preparation is key to being organized. In the evening, prepare lunches and set clothes out ready for the next day. This may only take 15 minutes but it makes sure that your morning can run smoothly and unexpected events can be dealt with the night before.

For example, if you have ran out of something that you need to make lunch, you can sort this in the evening rather than finding out in the morning. This prevents becoming stressed and rushing or being late for work. You can ensure that your morning is as stress free as possible.

8. Wake Up 10 Minutes Earlier

Waking up 10 minutes earlier will not have a negative impact on your sleep but it will have a positive impact on your morning. These 10 minutes extra can allow you to do a quick tidy as you go along in the morning and ensure that you come back to a tidy and organized home when you return from work. Wash your breakfast dishes, put your cosmetics away as you go along and most importantly, make your bed.

9. Do The Washing Up Straight Away

After each meal, do the washing up and dry the dishes straight away, if you put it off then the task will become overwhelming. Why not use this time as a family to work together?

You could ask your child to take the dishes to the kitchen and you and your partner can share the task of washing and drying. You can use this time to catch up as a family, the kitchen will be tidy and you can relax knowing that you have not got to get up and do three meals worth of dishes in the evening.

10. Do a Quick Evening Spruce Up Before Bed

Spend 10 minutes before bed to wash any cups or dishes used in the evening, fluff up the sofa cushions and put any bits and bobs in their place. Doing this will prevent a build up of clutter and you will have a tidy and organized home to wake up to in the morning.

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Clutter and disorganization can create a stressed and cluttered mindset. By spending a short amount of time preparing your home for the morning, you can go to sleep knowing that there is one less thing on your mind that needs doing and you can wake up in the morning with a relaxed, calm and clutter-free mindset.

11. Make a Meal Plan For the Week

Organizing your meals can have a positive impact on your health, save you money and create more time for you. There is nothing worse than spending time looking through the cupboards for something to eat or walking aimlessly through the supermarket wondering what to pick.

Having a meal plan for the week can assist you in providing healthy meals for your family and you will not purchase items for the sake of it which will save money. Meal planning can also help everybody to know what meal they are having each day and you never know, they may even surprise you and take it upon themselves to make one of the meals. You can find tips on how to create a delicious and healthy meal plan here.

12. Set a Designated House Tidy Day

Set a day that suits your life and your family to work together to go through your home from top to bottom and do a full tidy and declutter. If you have kept up with some of the suggestions in this article and kept to a routine as you go along day to day, this task will not be as daunting and time consuming as you think.

Start from upstairs and work your way downstairs: clean the bathroom, make the beds, empty bins, dust where you haven’t throughout the week, change the towels, mop and open the windows to refresh the house.

Doing this at the end of the working week or on a Saturday morning can ensure that your weekend is relaxed and free of thinking what you have to do around the house. This leaves you time to spend with your family, practice self care or to just have a well deserved break.

13. Organize Your Paperwork

Set a designated place for your household paperwork to keep your environment clutter free and routinely discard any paperwork that is no longer needed.

Set up an archive folder and a to-do folder so that important paperwork is not missed. These tips should help you to be more productive and also save you time and stress when it comes to needing to get your hands on paperwork quickly.

14. Make Money From Your Unwanted Items

As motivation to organize your home and dispose of items that are no longer useful, sell your items online.[1] This may encourage your children to sort out their toys and games and you will be surprised at the value that others see in your unwanted items. You can look at ways to sell your unwanted items here.

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15. Habit Forming

Make the routines suggested in this article a habit and your home will become more organized automatically. Rather than thinking that you have to do the particular routine and that it is laborious chore, change your mindset and make it a habit that promotes positivity.

For example: remember that the household chores are a benefit to you and all of your family, turn on some music when you are doing your cleaning and count it towards your daily activity or look on your time doing the washing up with your partner as a chance to catch up with each other.

Bottom Line

There are many benefits to keeping your home organized and this organization can have a positive effect on your mindset, your family and other areas of your life.

In the unprecedented times that we are living in at the moment, it is all the more important to keep homes organized due to the simple fact that all of us are spending more time in our homes than ever before.

There are many ways in which you can have an organized home and keep on top of the clutter, this article has hopefully shown you that it is also simpler than you may have originally thought.

The key to keeping your home organized is to make routines a habit. You will see the positive effect on your life immediately, so why not start organizing your home today?

Featured photo credit: Patrick Perkins via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Money Saving Expert: Flog your rubbish for cash

More by this author

Charlotte Chidlow

Declutter Consultant and Life Coach with a BSc (Hons) Psychology with the Open University.

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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Are You Addicted to Productivity?

“It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

“Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

“The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

This is my mantra:

I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

Addiction to Productivity is Real

Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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“A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

“It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

“A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

“There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

“For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

  • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
  • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
  • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
  • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
  • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
  • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
  • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

1. Set Limits

Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

2. Create a Not-to-Do List

Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

3. Be Vulnerable

By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

5. Don’t Be a Copycat

Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

6. Say Yes to Less

Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

“In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

“That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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  • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
  • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
  • Establish realistic goals.
  • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
  • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
  • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

8. Simplify

Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

9. Learn How to Relax

“Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

“But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

“And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

  • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
  • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
  • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
  • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
  • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
  • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
  • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
  • Visit a massage therapist.
  • Just breathe.

“Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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Reference

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