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It always starts small. A book on the floor, clothes on the bed, small things lying outside as they do not have place, a pile of unsorted mail. Gradually it builds up and before we know our whole life becomes a mess.

All of us know that organization is a key to success. Organization is being able to find what you are looking for, getting things done and being in control of your life.

Organization does not mean being rigid. It is streamlining your day to day chores so that they are done without much effort. It not only brings about a certain peace of mind but also helps in creating time for the activities that we like doing.

I have seen families where husband and wife have a career, have kids, still have a well maintained home and are able to entertain guests on short notice. These are not people from another planet. They are not super humans but they certainly are good organizers. Organization is an acquired skill so anyone can get organized at any age.

What hinders organization?

1) Procrastination: Most of us wait for the problem to disappear on its own. No one really likes to perform routine tasks. But when we postpone today’s work until tomorrow it creates double work for us. Most of us wait until the work piles up.

2) Interruptions: Interruptions reduce motivation to continue with the work. Some interruptions are inevitable and can be accommodated without disturbing our schedule while others can be ignored.

3) Mismatch between time and one’s capacity: When people over-estimate or under-estimate time taken to perform a task it leads to disorganization. When we try to do too many things in one time slot it can be frustrating. It reduces our pace. On the other hand, when we do too little in a given time period we are wasting valuable time.

4) Setting wrong priorities: We all have priorities that should be set up in the order of importance. When people indulge in the activity that is interesting but not really important for a long time it obviously leaves no time for the essential chores. Generally it is true with our day to day chores. Thus the work piles up making our life miserable.

Get organized:

1) Start: Getting started is the most difficult thing. Once you pull yourself up from that nagging inertia things become quite easy.

2) Plan: Most people think that planning is a boring and time-consuming activity. However, proper planning gives an overall picture of the task to be completed. It saves time in the long run.

3) Be natural: Everyone has a Circadian rhythm. It is our body clock. We are either an early bird or a night owl. Staying awake one night and sleeping early on the next disturbs this rhythm, and the body takes some time to adjust with the change. When we follow our biological rhythm we can function more effectively.

4) Determine your work style: Do you often do two or more tasks at the same time or do you finish one and then start the another? Do you to deal with the challenging part of the task first and then go to the mundane or vice versa. Again be natural. Each of these styles, if you are comfortable with it, has their own benefits.

5) Set up a routine: Setting up routine is very essential for mundane jobs. These are the jobs most of us dislike doing but they are unavoidable. If all the routine things become more or less automatic more energy is conserved for the more creative jobs. For example, set up days for cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc. stick to this routine. This saves lot of time, as we no longer think about these tasks.

6) Start your mornings at night: Steal time from your night. If before sleeping you keep your dress, bag, non-perishable breakfast items ready it can give you 10 minutes extra sleep in the morning. It helps during morning rush hour.

7) Make timetables for as many tasks as possible: Deciding what to cook everyday wastes lot of time. So make two weeks schedule for cooking. This not only avoids a repetitive menu but also makes shopping easy. This timetable or scheduling also works with study and work.

8) Have a clutter free house: it gives a real good feeling if you get what you want and when you want without searching. When we are motivated to do some work and initial time goes in searching for the necessary things naturally the result is quite discouraging.