Awareness – How to Stop Sabotaging Your Organizing Efforts
Setting off down the path of organizing is half the battle. Celebrate your successes and give yourself a break when your efforts slide off track. Realize that it takes 21 completions of a new behavior for it to become a habit. Keep going until you get to 22. Repeat.
Examine what holds you back from the environment you want to create. Do you sabotage your own organizing efforts with these common behaviors?
Waiting for the perfect time (or container).
- Continuing to shop. How can you declutter your space if you keep bringing more stuff in?
- Making it complicated. The simplest way is usually best.
- Rearranging without a plan.
- Not finishing. Not completing an organizing task means remaking the same decisions when you come back to it.
The perfect time is now to catch up on the decisions you put off until later. Spend small amounts of time doing those tasks. When you go all out, you burn out. Press through the temporary discomfort of letting go of stuff. Change your self-talk from “I don’t have time” to “ I’ll do it real quick.”
Raising your awareness of sabotaging behavior allows you to change your intentions.
Here are several ideas to stop sabotaging your organizing efforts:
- Examine why stuff piles up in that corner. Improve just that one spot. Then do another.
- Evaluate and set intentions. Make decisions now about what to keep and what to buy in the future.
- Ask yourself what you want your life and environment to be like. What do you need to support that life? Do you spend your time and money in line with those goals?
- Plan ahead for interruptions so you can move back to work instead of getting completely derailed.
This article originally appeared in Sage, June 2008.