Three ways to get seriously effing organisedBy Lorraine Murphy | Jan 23, 17 04:28 PM
Being organised is the secret sauce to living a remarkable life, says Business Chicks speaker Lorraine Murphy.
I published my first book – Remarkability – in June 2016 and was flabbergasted at what person after person told me was their favourite chapter.
It seems that the “Get Seriously F*cking Organised” chapter outshone every other one for most people – even beating sales, leadership and stress management!
However, it does make sense.
Our lives are becoming more and more chaotic – with the all-consuming nature of our businesses and careers, the needs our loved ones, the ever-running battle to stay on top of basic life admin. Throw the 24-hour cycle of media and social media into the mix, and is it any wonder many of us are struggling to stay on top of life?!
I pride myself on generally being organised, which for me means that the stresses of life are somewhat contained. I truly believe that having my shi*t together (to a point) has been the secret sauce to me being able to start and run multiple businesses, write a book, nurture my relationships with my loved ones and actually get some time to sleep.
In 2017, I’m going to need to be more organised than I ever have been before with the arrival of our first baby – fellow entrepreneurial mums send tips on a postcard please!
In preparation for what will be my biggest year yet, there are some things I’ll be doing to help it run as smoothly as possible.
1. Do an epic declutter
Our home looked quite tidy to the average visitor, however only my husband and I knew the terrors that lurked beneath – that store cupboard that acted as a dumping zone for miscellaneous items (e.g: 8 x large empty beer bottles that we had been meaning to give to a home-brewing friend, a “bargain deal” of six huge tubs of wet wipe thingies to clean the car), the never-ending stack of letters/invitations/bills on the kitchen bench, the handbags that really were never going to be used again...
These “danger zones” in the house were a constant source of niggly stress as they became a magnet for yet more clutter, and over and over we made plans to tackle them – to no success.
And then I read Marie Kondo’s smash-hit book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. This Japanese decluttering whizz outlines her approach to getting rid of excess stuff, and the beginning of the new year felt like the perfect time to give it a try. “Epic declutter” went into my husband and my diaries for last Sunday, and it was game on.
In a nutshell, Marie’s approach is to pick up everything in your home and ask yourself if it sparks joy – if it doesn’t, out it goes. This approach sounds rather nutso I know, however it works a charm! It gets around the “I’ll wear it one day”, or “I should really re-read that book” – if it doesn’t make you happy, then what’s the point of having it around?
An entire car boot full of items for Vinnies, three wheelie-bins of rubbish and some very smug “after” Instagram stories later and our house felt like new – there is a beautiful fresh energy in it, and it feels so good to know that every possession in our home makes us happy.
If you’re doing battle with the clutter every day right now, take the opportunity as a new year unfolds to tackle it for once and for all - book a day in your diary, throw on some old clothes and get to work.
I guarantee you’ll have buckets more space, not just physically but also mentally – to create a remarkable 2017 for yourself.
2. Create a routine that works for you
I am a huge believe in the power of having an effective morning and evening routine. Having a peaceful way to start the morning sets me up for a productive and happy day ahead. For me, that involves getting up early, meditating, journaling, checking in with my goals, vision board and affirmations and having a warm lemon drink.
This all sounds terribly onerous I know, however the whole thing takes less than an hour to complete and it makes an enormous difference to my day. I feel flustered and a bit lost if I don’t get to do my routine for whatever reason.
There are a couple of key things to remember if you’re overhauling your morning and evening routines.
Firstly, no two peoples’ routines will the be same – find what works for you, and stick to it like glue. My friend Lisa Messenger for example is not an early riser, and she finally gave up trying to fight her body’s natural rhythm a couple of years ago and now arrives at the office at around 10am every morning. She feels collected, calm and ready to kick ass when she arrives each day, which is a hell of a lot better than feeling groggy because her body hasn’t had the sleep it needed.
Secondly, don’t try to take on a complicated new routine in its entirety. It takes 21 days to form a new habit, so take a “layering” approach to it. For example, becoming an early riser required a lot of conscious effort from me. Once I was in a groove with that, I layered on a morning meditation practice... and so on. Set yourself up for success by taking on one layer at a time, and in just a couple of months you’ll have a whole new routine that you won’t even need to think about!
3. Plan in time to plan
I’m a big believer in “planning halves doing”. If we take the time to map out tasks and how we’ll approach them, the actually doing of the tasks takes half the time. Something that helps me stay on top of everything is to take time every weekend to plan the week ahead.
This involves sitting down with my Google calendar and reviewing all of the meetings/commitments coming up over the following seven days. If anything needs to be moved or confirmed, I do that. I then book in all of my exercise for the week – if it’s not in my diary, then there’s a slim to zero chance that it will actually happen! I then book in time with my husband and friends, and make a note of any appointments I need to make for the week.
I find it very helpful to colour code different types of appointments in my diary – I’m visual, so it gives me an accurate picture of how much time I’m dedicating to different areas of my life in the seven days upcoming.
So for example, all health/exercise is in turquoise, time with my husband is in pink (for romance – ha!) and regular life maintenance like hair appointments are in gold. I can tell at a glance if my week ahead isn’t balanced – be that as there’s not enough “health” time, “romance” time or (this has yet to happen) “business time”.
Wishing you a truly remarkable 2017 – I hope it is filled with happiness, success and adventure for you!