How to become organized

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How to become organized

Tried several times but lost the desire to continue?
Don’t know where to start from?
Wondered how so many simply succeed at it?

One thing is for sure, there is no such thing as some born organized and others not. It’s a skill that everyone can learn, and a very vital one I must add. The only big difference is how it ‘clicked’ to each, each person changes when a good reason ‘clicks’.

In this article I will show you how to make it ‘click’ to you and how to start with very small and easy things to make you organized.

Mirror neurons, inspiration and productivity

In our brains there are cells called the mirror neurons. Those cells enable us to put ourselves in someone's shoes so that we can experience the emotions he is experiencing. The reason we have empathy is that our mirror neurons copy the emotions of others and let us experience them.

So how can you use this fact to your side?
If you want to build a never-ending motive to keep you working towards change, keep watching people that inspire you. If you want to keep the motive of being organized, keep watching people and videos of organized people. Visit people who you know are organized, talk to them about their love of their systems and see how they enjoy it.

Remember the last time a movie inspired you to do something? It was the act of mirror Neurons. Whoever and whatever you continue watching will feed enough inspiration to keep you motivated and enjoy being organized. (see also How to motivate yourself instantly)

How to change your brain structure

I know I said no one is ‘genetically’ born organized or unorganized. However, each person is born with a skill that they can do a bit better and quicker than others. The reason for this is that they have more brain connections in this specific area of the brain. (see How to learn any skill)

This doesn’t mean you can’t be as skilled though, because the more you practice a certain skill, the more you build brain connections, and at some point you can even build more connections that the naturally born skilled person if they don’t practice. (see Do i have to be talented in order to succeed)

So what’s my point in all of this?
Don’t rush for change.

If you’re not born a rabbit in being organized, do it the turtle way. Take small but definite actions towards you big goal. Organize your life bit by bit.

The first most definite thing to start with is a daily to-do list. Take 5 minutes each night to plan for what you want to do the next day and start with only as few as 5 tasks per day. You’re starting with the turtle, never forget this. You keep being a consistent turtle and you will soon become a consistent rabbit. (see also This is why you should write a plan)

Understand how momentum affects motivation

Take a piece of paper and a pen, and gather all the things you need to do.
When you have all the things you need to do and wish to do all gathered in one place, write 5 tasks you want to start with tomorrow and keep them either in your agenda or plan to keep them in your pocket the next day.

Decide that you will not let the day pass before you finish these tasks. As you finish a task or organize something that you wanted to organize, go to your list and tick it off. Very few other feelings feel as good as the sense of achievement. Ticking off will keep you motivated. (see The connection between motivation and momentum)

Let the tasks become unconscious

Organizing is not about collecting things and squashing them somewhere out of sight.
Why? Because in no time things will clutter around you again.

So my advice to you is, when you are organizing something, take up more time to set up a system as you are organizing. This way you know where everything goes the next time you use it without thinking too much about it.

The more you practice something the more will it turn into an automatic program in your subconscious mind that runs without your conscious attention. Studies found that the brains of people who got used to certain tasks spend less energy doing those tasks than others.

Not sure how you can set up a system? That’s very easy. Imagine what you usually do when you use whatever you’re organizing and keep a place for it. When you’re done, don’t worry about setting a system that’s not perfect. As you use it, you will discover the things you may have forgotten to consider and you will tweak your system as you go along.

One thing to remember here is once you’ve set up a system, stick to it. Now you can see why being a turtle is very important, this way you’re not introducing yourself to many that you can’t keep or plan for and instead introducing each one by one so you can get the hang out of them.

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