Recently, a coaching client came to my office with a great amount of stress. She sat in my office and cried, “My life is in a place of chaos. I’m overweight, my marriage is rocky, I feel tired all of the time, and I don’t even have time to clean my own house. I am behind the eight-ball with no plan of escape.”
After listening to her desperate plea for help, I asked her to take out a piece of paper and play a game with me. The game was hide and seek. The goal of the game was to search (or seek) for hidden time in her daily routine that would allow her to find greater life balance. She looked at me as if I were asking her to do the impossible.
She said, “You don’t understand, I HAVE NO TIME!” I explained that I agreed that time is a tricky little bandit that gets away from us if we let it. I then assured her that I felt like a good 007 agent, up for the task of finding the time she had somehow misplaced.
As we took inventory of her day, we started with her morning routine and discovered that her lack of planning was draining precious moments from her schedule. We found 30 minutes lost due to a lack of planning her kids clothing and lunches for the day. We discovered another 30 minutes lost when she took calls from random friends with no real purpose but to say “hi”. Another 15 minutes was lost looking for her keys, shoes, or other pertinent items to each day’s kick-off. Best yet was the precious time she lost looking through senseless emails and building her “farm” on Facebook. As we continued “searching” throughout her day’s schedule, it was an eye-opening experience for her as we discovered an extra 2.5 hours in her day that were prime moments being wasted. After our meeting, she left with a new lease on life, a new outlook on her possibilities, and a new plan for reorganizing her time, her relationships and even her home.
In Tip #1, we discussed organizing your emotional space. In Tip #2, we talked about ways to organize your work space. So, today, when we talk about how to organize your personal space, we are specifically talking about your home-life. If you say, “Staci, I just don’t have time to clean or cook healthy meals.” I encourage you to play little game of hide and seek with yourself, too.
You don’t need HOURS to tackle the challenge of organizing your home-life. Like the old saying goes, “You can’t eat an elephant with one bite. But inch by inch, anything is a cinch.”
Take baby steps and set aside 15 minutes a day to tackle one project at a time. Here is a step by step approach you can use to get started.
Start your organization process by sitting down and assigning priority to each room in your home. Create a sketch or graph of your home and put a number on each room according to importance of clean-up. For example, if you have a desire to get healthy and change your nutritional lifestyle, Room #1 would be the kitchen and pantry. Room #2 would be the second room on your priority list, and so on.
Once you identify the first room you will focus on, break it into projects. For example, let’s say your kitchen is priority #1. Your first project in that room might be to organize your pantry, getting rid of all the processed junk food. Rather than looking at the kitchen as a whole, start with one area. If you have a lot of unhealthy carbohydrates that you know are sabotaging your wellness goals, start by clearing everything out of the pantry and sorting it in another room. Only put back in the pantry what deserves to stay based on your desire to change your life of wellness.
If you say that your bedroom is #1 on the list, perhaps tackle your nightstand first. Little wins are VERY important to a complete organization process. If you are tackling the nightstand, remove all contents in the nightstand. As you put items back in the nightstand, purge with passion. If you have not used something or worn something in a year, it’s time to purge it. If it has no sentimental value, let it go to a charity, a garage sale, or make a few bucks with it on Ebay. The point is, start somewhere. By dividing big rooms into small projects, you will have quicker success and stronger motivation to keep going.
One of the last statements made to my by my grandmother before she passed away was, “Honey, just keep on keepin’ on.” Those simple words have had such meaning in so many areas of my life. From the natural childbirth of my son after 17 hours of labor to the passion behind starting a non-profit organization from scratch to the sometimes daunting goal of keeping our family home organized and clean, I can hear her words ring loud and clear, “Honey, just keep on keepin’ on.”
Once you have conquered that first project, don’t stop! Find another project in that top priority room and dominate it. No matter where you start, whether it be a closet, pantry, bedroom, the kitchen sink, or any space of your choice, just keep on keepin’ on. Take those little 15 minute windows and make them prime-time for clean-time. Don’t just sit on the couch when you watch that reality show, go ahead and pull a drawer into the living room with you and organize your socks, de-clutter your jewelry box, organize your warranty papers. Make the most of your time by making your time work for you!
(Note: For those of you who are in need of true down-time due to being hyper organizers, chill out and enjoy the night off. For the rest of the 99% of time-wasters, however, enjoy a great game of TIME hide and seek and eat that elephant of clutter, one bite at a time!)
As a highly sought after speaker, thought leader, author and singer/songwriter, Staci Wallace’s messages of uncompromising boldness and truth equip leaders to be sent into the marketplace as the hands and feet of Jesus. With over 10 years in Executive Corporate Leadership, 15 in global ministry and 29 years in raising networks into the hundreds of thousands in direct sales, Staci's desire is to support the local church and resource leaders with tools and teams that equip leaders and send them to the four corners of the earth. Her distinctions in business success have enabled her to share the stage with five U.S. Presidents and many other high profile leaders of this generation as well as to be a featured life coach for he featured "Life Coach" for such shows as KTHV's Morning Show, NBC, ABC, FOX and is the current host of the "Warrior DNA" Live Broadcasts.