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Motivation and Organizing…Oxymoron?

Office Organization by Organizing Maniacs

Motivation and Organizing…Oxymoron?

Motivation and OrganizingGetting and staying motivated is the secret sauce to accomplishing our organizing goals.

Getting organized is the #2 resolutions people make every year, followed by getting more exercise.  Unfortunately, by the 3rd week of January, most of us have failed at our resolutions.

Here are 4 ways to help you in staying motivated.

  1. Let Music Motivate You:  Studies show that music has a very real effect on our brain and the ability to get motivated according to TheGlobeandMail.com.  If you have been walking by and ignoring that stack of unopened mail day after day because it seems too big a task to dive into, try turning on a favorite tune and working through the mail just as long as that song is on.  I prefer fast-paced music to really get me in the mood to sort, but others would rather have relaxing melodies to calm them down as they attack difficult tasks.  Whatever you decide on, be sure that it is a song you already know by heart, so that you can really focus on your task.
  2. Make It a Game:  Anyone who has or have worked with kids will tell you that one great way to get them to do something is to frame the task as if it were a game.  “Hey Samantha, would you and your sister like to pretend like you work in a kitchen?  You would?  Great.  Here’s a chefs hat and a dish rag.  Remember that all great cooks start by washing the sink full of dishes!”  The kids never know what hit ‘um.  Adults aren’t so easily fooled, but there are ways we can trick ourselves into keeping up with our organizing goals.  Try setting a timer and seeing how long you can work for.  If you worked for 10 minutes yesterday, try for 15 tomorrow.  Or, race the clock to see how many tasks you can get done in that amount of time.
  3. Bring Back the Buddy System:  If you find that keeping on top of the day-to-day maintenance just isn’t something you can do on your own, it’s time to reach out and find a buddy.  Sometimes, just having another person around will give you the motivation you need to tackle those projects you’ve been ignoring and give you a sense of accountability.  There are a number of ways you can include another person in your organizing routine.  You can recruit a friend or family member, find a Body Double, or hire a Professional Organizer from NAPO or The Institute for Challenging Disorganization to help keep you on track.
  4. Reward Yourself:  Yes, I’m talking about the old Carrot and Stick trick here.  Sometimes, we need to know that there is something great waiting for us on the other side of that painful chore.  If you’re really struggling to get those tasks done, try setting up a reward system for yourself.  Working on paper for 20 minutes a day may earn you a manicure on Saturday morning.  Keeping up with the laundry could be your ticket to seeing the new action movie on Friday night.

Happy Organizing!


Cris Sgrott

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