Are You Overcommitted?

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Scenario #1 Rush, rush, rush. You’re always rushing from one activity to the next. When you get home, you’re exhausted. You throw your clothes on the floor or over the chair because you either don’t have enough time to put them away or there’s no longer space in your closet. You don’t have time to declutter because…you’re always rushing.

Scenario #2 You finally sit down at your desk to pay bills, sort through some paper work, or even organize it so you can actually see the desk. Then the phone rings. Someone needs your advice, asks you to volunteer, or gives you more work. You look at the clock. Yikes, time’s up and you have to leave for your meeting. Your desk remains in its cluttered state. Bills unpaid.

Scenario #3 Company’s coming! Quick, no time to organize now. You arm sweep all the papers strewn over the kitchen counter into Trader Joe bags, squeeze items littered all over the living room into a bulging closet. You’ll deal with them later…only later never comes and you find them a year later when company arrives again.

We live in a society that prides itself on productivity. “How are you?” We ask our friends. “Busy!” They respond with a sigh. When was the last time you heard someone say they have plenty of time? Participating in life requires activity but for some of us, we tend to take on too much. We say yes without considering the ramifications to our own personal life, homes, and families.

An organized home brings a sense of peace, calm and balance that affects every other aspect of our lives. We desire to live in a clutter-free environment yet life seems to get in the way. I’m not saying that clutter is solely due to an overcommitted schedule. There are many other reasons including physical and emotional issues; the purpose of this blog, however, addresses our tendencies towards overcommitment. You know intellectually that living in a clutter-free home will help you and your family be happier and reduce stress. You’re tired of frantically searching for items or yelling at your kids for losing whatever item they need as you both race out the door. How are you going to get off the hamster wheel of overcommitment?

During this season of Thanksgiving I encourage you to take a good, hard look at the activities filling your time and weigh them against what you consider truly important.

1. Prioritize yourself. Say no to others and yes to yourself. If you, your family and home are suffering it’s time to get ruthless and put YOU first.

2. Use your digital calendar (or paper planner if that works better for you) and schedule time to organize areas of your home. Just writing it on your calendar and being accountable, even to yourself, increases the chances of you actually doing it.

3. Get tough on yourself. If you intend to sit at your desk to do work (especially work you hate doing) silence your phone, commit to yourself that for 45 minutes, or however long you need, you will not pick up the phone, answer emails, check social media or deal with any other distractions.

4. Embrace the two minute rule! It takes less than two minutes to go through your mail each day or hang up your clothes. All those two minutes add up to some serious amount of clutter if you let the mail and clothes accumulate.

The Organizing Professionals®