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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Enough Is { Rarely } Enough

When it comes to fitness and organization enough is rarely enough.

It's not often that you'll hear someone say "my abs are just right" or "my butt is firm enough." I've even known a few professional weight lifters who could rightly have uttered those words, but did not. Fitness is one of life's constant battles. Organization is similar in that despite the claims of numerous books and infomercials the panacea does not exist. You won't hear someone say "I'm perfectly organized," well, at least not anyone that I know. Then again, I don't know anyone with a nanny, chef, trainer, professional organizer, personal assistant, bookkeeper, housekeeper and gardener working full-time and all at once. That person might be perfectly organized; but for the rest of us getting and staying organized is a life-long process.

Being fit and being organized require constant effort; any little change can get you off-track. A new baby, a new pet, a move, even long hours at work can challenge even the most organized of people. So at risk of sounding cliche I've made a list of the most widely accepted exercise guidelines. You'll find that these rules work as well for organization as they do for exercise, even if it's annoying to hear them over and over again.

1) Don't let a bad day get you off track. When you pig-out or miss a few work-outs you may consider giving up. Organization is similar, when the stacks of paper grow and visible desk space shrinks, you may think why bother. Don't add to the pile. Start with what you are working on at that very moment and give it a proper home.

2) Keep it simple. An elaborate exercise regimen can be difficult to maintain. Being fit is about making conscious decisions throughout the day. Deciding to take the stairs instead of the elevator is a small step toward fitness. Make conscious decisions to stay organized. Toss junk mail into the recycle bin before you set the mail down, you'll have taken a step toward organization with very little effort.

3) Start slow. Just because you worked out this week doesn't mean you're ready for a marathon. When getting organized improve gradually. Elaborate systems implemented all at once will leave you breathless.........sort of like running a marathon without training.

4) Be consistent. Exercising for 20 minutes every day is better than trying to fit in an hour once a week. When getting organized you need to create systems that work. If your system is overly complicated you're less likely to be consistent. Be honest with yourself and create a plan that you can realistically follow. Alphabetizing your canned goods may sound like a good idea, but it is difficult to maintain and will frighten friends and family.

5) Get motivated. New running shoes or yoga pants motivate me to exercise. Sometimes you need a little motivation. New bins for your closet, a media organizer for your entry way, or a new desk set can be just the thing to jump start your organization efforts.

A little motivation for you.....

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