Notice I didn’t say the two keys to being organized. I’m not a perfectly (not even close!) organized person but I do think I know why some people seem to think of me as organized occasionally. That’s just about how often I am organized by the way, occasionally! These are not really huge secrets and if you are organized, you probably already use these keys.
The first key is a simple as the Boy Scout motto: Always Be Prepared. One of my very favorite quotes is the following:
Chance Favors the Prepared Mind~Louis Pastuer
I take a few minutes each morning to see what is on the calendar for the day. Hopefully, I remembered to write all the important activities on the calendar! If I am going to do something like open a new bank account, apply for a job, or enroll my children in school, I take a few minutes to research what information might be required and gather it all together in one spot. I also like to make copies in advance so I can leave my originals at home. I also do my best to plan my menu each week to avoid that 4:00p.m. refrigerator stare. Notice I say I “try” to do all these things. It doesn’t always work out that way even when I have prepared and have a plan in place. I had a perfectly good menu plan a few weeks ago that pretty much fell apart and I did the 4:00p.m. refrigerator stare wondering why I planned a meal requiring a 24 hour marinade. I should know myself better than that! However, that leads nicely into the second key to looking organized.
The Only Thing Constant in Life is Change
~ François de la Rochefoucauld
I used to think the key to being organized was to have some rigid schedule. Please tell me I’m not the only one whoever sat down and wrote out a schedule for the day that was down to second and left out all those important elements like eating, sleeping, bathroom breaks, and oh you know, other people? I figured out eventually that rigid schedules do not work. That’s a tough lesson when you are person who is not too keen on change. Being organized or rather looking organized is really all about being able to adapt to the changes to our routines that happen every day. I honestly do not think I’m as good at being organized as I am at solving problems by thinking outside the proverbial box. My organizing solutions are usually simply answers to the problems of some area in my life or home not functioning as efficiently as it should or perhaps not functioning at all. My first organizing solutions aren’t always a success either! If you have ever read any of my Wonder if it Works Wednesday posts, you know that.
I think that because I have usually taken a few minutes of my day to be prepared, I am able to somewhat adapt to any conflicts that may arise and work to make changes to solve those problems. Do you want to look organized? Take a few minutes to prepare for your day, meetings, and activities. Then, take a deep breath and think of an alternate plan (this is usually easy if you have prepared!) when things don’t go the way you envisioned.
How do you maintain an appearance of organization? If you are actually an organized person, what keys would you add to help the rest of us actually be more organized?