Get Organized

Getting more organized is one way to help reduce stress.  On rare occasions, a person may be excessively focused on organization, which may cause more stress.  But for most of us, the problem is not being organized enough.  This lack of organization leads to irritations, falling behind behind on tasks, and a general feeling of things being out of control.

Tips for getting more organized:

1). Reorganize the things around you.  Get rid of things that are no longer needed.  Put things in order and in sensible places where they can be found easily.  Get rid of clutter.  I’ve seen a number of people feel as though they have gotten rid of a fair amount of mental clutter by doing these tasks.

2). Make daily lists of things to do.  This will help you to focus your thoughts on the items on your list.  It is also a good feeling to make the items off of your list.  There are a number of decent smartphone apps that can also be used for this.  Another good reason for doing this is that you off-load your mental task list to a piece of paper or a digital device.  You’ll spend less time with the thought of “now what was it that I’m supposed to be doing?”  If you have trouble sleeping at night, it can be helpful to make a list of things that need to be done the next day so you are not thinking about the next day and trying to remember what you need to do.

3).  Set personal goals.  It’s good to set personal goals that you can actually keep.  You may want to exercise 7 days a week for 1 hour, but there’s little chance you will achieve this goal if you have been sedentary for some time.  Instead, you may set a long-term goal of exercising 5 days a week for 1/2 hour, but have an initial goal of exercising 3 days a week for 10 minutes.  Then you can gradually build up to your ultimate goal.

4). Use a calendar or datebook.  This is another way to off-load some of your mental load for trying to remember appointments, events, and things that are to be done on a scheduled basis.  Get accustomed to writing down any appointments, events, meetings, bill payments, and so forth.  Again, you can use the calendar widget with your smartphone so that you will have reminders of these events.

5). Do things ahead of time.  Set out and iron your clothes for the next day before you go to bed.  If you have extra time to finish an important project, it is better to go ahead and finish the project.  You will save yourself stress by not waiting until the last minute.

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