Organize Your Brain: Fun Tidbits to Improve Your Daily Life

I was fortunate (again) to listen to Janice Simon speak. She was our guest presenter for the September NAPO Houston meeting (aka National Association of Productivity and Professional Organizers). She was just as good as the first time. Hilarious and full of interesting facts and suggestions on improving daily life. The fun topic? Organizing Your Brain!

So many takeaways that I can use in my daily life that I want to share with you. Enjoy!

First, multi-tasking causes your productivity levels to decrease 20-40%. Hmm, do I multi-task? Yes. Does everyone? I think so. It will take me some time to train myself NOT to multi-task. Case in point: today was an admin/meal prep day. I jumped back and forth between my computer and the kitchen. When on the computer, I jumped from one project to the next, not successfully completing any of the assignments, more making a longer to-do list for myself (sigh). So…it’s 5pm, the “end” of the work day, and while I have a yummy cauliflower soup, tomato/basil/bacon quiche, I have a sliced thumb (#Distraction), and just started writing this article (which was first on my to-do list today! double sigh).

Another tidbit is HALT! Don’t make decisions when you are:
-Hungry
– Angry
– Lonely
– Tired

I feel like I constantly make decisions when feeling one of those emotions. How about you? I remember when I was living in Dallas and would have a day off from work. Rather than relax at home (or meal prep, do laundry, etc.), I went shopping (food, clothes, just wasting time walking up and down aisles). I eventually realized I was spending wayyy too much money out of loneliness/boredom and nipped that bad habit in the bud. Now when I have an urge to go shopping on an off work day (just to shop, not when I have a list), I’m able to realize what’s happening and stop myself before I leave the house. Wahoo for rewiring past bad habits.

My favorite: use your brain for thinking, not remembering. Aka, write down lists, utilize calendars, have your computer or phone send you reminders. When I can’t sleep because I have a thousand thoughts in my head, I’ll grab my phone, open a new note, and start writing down my to-do list or the tidbits that keep floating through my mind, preventing me from reaching la la land. Set my phone back on the night stand and immediately fall asleep. ZzzzzZzzzz.

If you decide that you want to organize your home or garage, make sure that you eat a balanced meal before you begin and continuously drink water to stay hydrated. If during the process, you feel unfocused or mentally exhausted, take a break, eat a snack, chug more water. In addition, you can step to a window and look outside to a (hopefully) green area. Nature relieves decision fatigue. Or turn on a 5 minute meditation.  Utilize any activity that will give your brain a break from decision making for five to fifteen minutes.

Some last minute words of encouragement:

-Set yourself attainable goals. You won’t declutter your entire home in one day, but you could work three hours every Saturday.

-Incorporate leisure activities into your life to avoid burnout. Decluttering your home is WORK. You cannot use all your free time for work. Choose an activity that makes you happy.

-When you feel you’re becoming too emotional in a situation, start counting backwards from 31 to 0, by 3’s.

-Don’t hesitate to ask others for feedback, especially if you’re in a situation where you feel your decisions are being clouded by emotions.  

I hope these tidbits help you a tiny bit with decisions and organizing.

Have an awesome week!

SFK

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