A few weeks ago I posed the question to some of my readers, “What is your #1 challenge when it comes to getting organized?”
I wanted to know what their biggest organizing struggles were so I could find ways to help overcome them. I received a wide variety of responses, but the hands-down, #1 answer to my question was, “I can’t find the time to organize!”.
I’m not surprised by that answer at all. Regardless of our endeavors, time is something we all struggle with. That’s why there are so many books, articles, and blogs written on the subject – everything from how to manage our time to how to save time doing things!
Even with 24 hours in a day, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time.
So how do we find time to do the things we want to do, like get organized? I spent a lot of time (no pun intended) thinking about how I would address that issue and what advice I could offer to help people find time to get organized.
It didn’t take me long to come up with an answer. Not because I’m a time management expert or an organizing genius, but because the answer is just a simple truth:
You will never find time to get organized.
It’s not because there isn’t enough time or that you’re not managing it or yourself well. It boils down to another simple truth:
You have to make the time to get organized.
Finding time vs. making time
At this point you may be asking yourself, is there a difference between finding time and making time? Aren’t they the same thing? Not really.
“Finding time” implies that time is something that is out of reach; something we are trying to grab hold of, but never quite grasping. Since we can never seem to find or grab hold of time, we resolve in our minds that we don’t have it and therefore we can’t do what we want to.
On the flip side, “Making time” implies that we are choosing how we want to use the time we’ve been given. Making time is a mindful, purposeful intent that guides how we use the time we have to the fullest and best of our ability.
Think of it this way: “Finding time” stems from a scarcity mindset, which leads to fear, failure and discontentment. However, “Making time” comes from an abundance mindset and allows us to experience joy, fulfillment and success. Which mindset do you identify with more?
Making time to get organized
Now that we know that we need to shift our mindset from “finding time” to “making time”, we still have to answer the question, “How do we make the time to get organized?” Here are a few things you can do to carve out time and bring order to your world:
- Make getting organized a priority. Ask yourself how important getting organized is for you right now. When we believe something is truly important us, we prioritize and make time for it, regardless of what else we may have going on.
- Schedule organizing time. What gets scheduled gets done. We don’t think that we need to schedule organizing time, but if we truly want order in our lives we have to add it to our calendar just as we do exercising or spending time with friends.
- Start with small chunks of time. Making time to get organized doesn’t mean we have to devote large amounts of time to it. Even 15 or 30 minutes a day can bring more order to your life. Ask yourself how you can schedule 15 minutes to organize and see what a difference it can make!
- Change your vocabulary. Our words have power and what we say often becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. If you say, “I don’t have time to get organized” then you’ll often find that to be true. Instead ask, “How can I make time this week to get organized?” and you might discover time becomes available to you.
- Be willing to make sacrifices. Because there are only 24 hours in a day, it’s just not possible for us to do everything. Life is busy and sacrifices will have to be made. That may look different for each person, but in order to do the things we want to do, we have to be willing and able to say “no” to some things so we can say “yes” to our most important things.
I wish I could come up with a way for us to “find time” to do all the things we want and have to do. Unfortunately I can’t, and neither can you. If we truly want to accomplish the things in life that matter most to us, like having an orderly life, the only way we’ll be able to do that is by “making the time”.
Need help focusing your time and organizing efforts? Join the 180 Challenge, a 10 month decluttering challenge where we’ll work together to remove the clutter and take your organizing in a new direction. To learn more about the 180 Challenge and how you can sign up, click here.