This might sound a bit scary, but that’s what organised people have been doing – pretty much from the word go, which in my books is around the age of 5. Organised people have learnt from their parents or grandparents, never known any different. They know it takes time and commitment, but never question it – it’s part of their day. And that’s where you want to be, not thinking about it, it should happen automatically.
Next time you are talking to your parents or grandparents about everyday life when they were young, you might notice they talk a lot about habits and rituals. Past generations weren’t the fast moving super responsive bunch that we are nor did they have the tools to be.
Life without e mail, mobile phones and the internet was more measured, with greater emphasis on planning and firm commitments.
This kind of existence lends itself to habits and rituals. Things were done the same time in the same way and in the same place, week in, week out.
These days, to a large extend, we can disperse with this ritualised lifestyle, because we do have instant communication and are quicker to react and get from A to B.
But there is plenty of evidence that our species performs well when we act habitually. Incorporating good habits into our lives grounds us and helps us to repeatedly make good choices.
What scientists are telling us is that there are changes in the way our brains function when we form habits. The ‘auto pilot’ part of the brain starts to take over from the part that is responsible for conscious thought, and the behaviour or action becomes ingrained. This doesn’t happen immediately, but over time the neurological pathways favour the well-worn track of this regular activity and so an action becomes a habit. Pick a new Organising habit from the list below and stick to it for a minimum of 2 weeks. That’s when it should start to become a habit and you are able to pick up another one… till you are one of those organised people yourself.
Activities that lend themselves to a habit:
- Always make your bed before leaving the bedroom in the morning.
- Always unpack the dishwasher as soon as it is finished
- Always make a note on a shopping list when you run out of a pantry staple,
- Always hang up your used towels in the bathroom,
- Always close lids
- Always throw everything straight in the bin
- Always take the rubbish out of the car
- Never walk past something that needs to go away, when you have empty hands
- Always shop with a shopping list
- open mail close to the recycle bin outside; 50% isn’t worthwhile getting into the house!
- never wash on days you don’t have time to fold
- reward yourself once a task or a stage in the process was accomplished
(I thank all my facebook page friends and Organising colleagues for their input into this list – some of the items I wouldn’t have come up with!)
Any suggestions from your house?