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Getting Organized
Why all the fuss?

The field of Organization is heating up in America, and with good reason.

According to the New York Times, thirty six percent of 150 managers from large companies who were surveyed recently said that they were putting in more hours than they were five years ago.

That is no surprise, especially considering The National Association of Professional Organizers' report that the average American will be interrupted 73 times a day.

Not only must we process all of this external information, it continues to be essential that we are able to think, create and imagine with vision and clarity. Enter the art and science of organization.

When it is taught well, one learns how to reduce anxiety and stress by organizing time, schedules and clutter in such a way that results in peace of mind.

There is no secret to success when it comes to balancing priorities and responsibilities well. That is the secret!

Anyone can re-invent her or him self, including chronic over-committers and hopeless people-pleasers, as long as there is determination and willpower. Give it a whirl, and try these two exercises.

First, it is critical that you develop the habit of writing things down to avoid over-committing yourself. Practice putting pen to paper whenever you make a promise. Be sure that you put all of your notes in one place, and that you have your calendar with you at almost all times (you do not need it in the shower).

The most common errors that you are likely to make, leading to frustration and tension, are

  1. Thinking that you will remember the detail, i.e., the date, time, meeting or number, without writing it down
  2. Forgetting to make your note because you have moved on so quickly to the next matter
  3. Failing to remember to carry your schedule book with you
  4. Disregarding the need to consult your list of priorities several times during your day
  5. Not re-prioritizing your responsibilities as they change over time.

It is not so hard, but effective calendar keeping requires your attention. The consequences of your awareness are that you accomplish your most important initiatives first, you minimize pressure associated with having to remember everything, and ultimately, you free up your mind for more productive thoughts.

Next, it is quite important that you make good decisions about how to spend your time. Often, adults simply do things out of obligation, instead of choice.

Consider that pleasing people without regard to your self is not good for you, or anyone; learn to make conscious decisions regarding the feasibility of taking on something new. The most widespread stumbling block is the pattern of saying yes when you want to say no, and the best solution is to practice saying the words that will enable you to protect your time.

Here are some examples: "I am sorry, I am already committed, " or "That date does not work for me, but how about next Tuesday at 1?"

If you simply do not want to partake, try this: "That does not sound like something I can/want to do, but thanks for thinking of me." Or, write up a different script that you like. By learning how to make sure your time is spent on endeavors that are important and personally meaningful, you will find relief and balance where you previously suffered with angst and distress.

Can you now see why there is so much fuss about getting organized? As with any new skill we take on, practice and persistence are the ways to win. We make mistakes, learn new things, and ultimately, emerge with new abilities.

When we realize that we too can have peace of mind (aha…!), our world becomes a different place. Enjoy it!

Ask our Expert a question. Click to E-mail org@ClevelandSeniors.Com

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Jill Ellen Shankar
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