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7 Ways To Stay Grounded by Staying Organized

7 Ways To Stay Grounded by Staying Organized

    Think about the last time you were all over the place, full of a free floating anxiety, bouncing from one task to another, reacting to people and situations emotionally in a way you later regretted. I’ve learned that when I feel like that I have become ungrounded, disconnected from my center, from my knowing that I am OK and all is well.

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    How do I get back to my center? How do I ground myself? Staying grounded requires daily attention and effort. Here are some of the ways you can stay grounded:

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    1. Make your bed every day. Creating order and peacefulness in the bedroom settles the energies in that space and those good energies affect the rest of the house and you.
    2. Clean up your kitchen every day. Having a clean and orderly kitchen calms the part of the house most associated with nurturance and comfort, also calming you.
    3. Have morning and evening routines that are made up of activities of self-care, like bathing, exercising, tending to pets, straightening up. Tending yourself is a powerful way to ground and center yourself.
    4. Sort your mail daily to make yourself aware of tasks that need to be done and bills that need to be paid. Knowing your reality is more calming than the anxiety produced by not knowing.
    5. Keep paper in no more than two main locations, for example, the kitchen and the home office. Avoid allowing paper to spread throughout the house. When it spreads, its negative energy pollutes whatever area it is in. Paper is usually associated with some kind of task that needs to be done, like deciding whether you need the paper or not, or deciding where the paper should go next. When you see it all over the place it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the message it is sending, “You need to do something!” When you are feeling overwhelmed your are not centered.
    6. Maintain order by putting things away all the time. Avoid the temptation to just drop things. It takes much more energy to pick them up than it does to drop them. When items are just dropped they have a negative, chaotic energy that is anything but grounding. And, dropped things attract more dropped things!
    7. Do at least one 5 minute cleanup per day. Either start or end your day with a quick cleanup. Put things away, move things to the part of the house where they belong, straighten your papers, throw out trash. Take that time to restore order to your space. One of the first things I do when I’m thrown off center by some bad news or a difficult situation is to establish order in my home. Some would call my behavior compulsive. I call it grounding!

    As I wrote the above list it occurred to me that all my recommendations are the same recommendations I make to people who want to learn how to stay more organized. So, staying organized in your physical space is a great way to stay grounded!

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    Joan Borysenco, Ph.D, author of Inner Peace for Busy People writes of the benefits of being grounded, centered, “When I’m centered it’s easier to respond to people, to catch the nuances of their attention, and to let inspiration flow through me. Thinking of myself as an instrument that life plays, rather than the source of the melody, has helped me be a better juggler. The instrument needs to be cleaned and polished, treated with care. When I’m in balance, the unbalanced hodgepodge of things on the to-do list are accomplished more effectively.”

    Treat yourself with care and stay grounded by committing to maintaining an organized space. That way when you are confronted with one of life’s challenges you can handle it from a place of clarity and calmness, centered and able to access your inner wisdom.

    You should follow Lifehack on Twitter Here!

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    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    The power of habit

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to make a reminder works for you

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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