“Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave, and it sure behooves us to be kind to one another along the way.” – Alice Childress, playwright
How does this apply to organizational habits? It’s big.
If you are organized and efficient and are loving it, please know that most people are not organized and efficient – and accept that. Organizational Zen is about getting organized so you waste less time. Then it’s about using that saved time to think clearer and to work on big, meaningful projects in your life.
The goal is to keep focused on the work you choose to do – and then bear with the chaos!
I think of organization as a game.
- I waste as little time as possible
- I stick to my commitments
- I can easily find things in my house and at work
- I am prepared for meetings and phone calls
- I show up on time and don’t keep people waiting
But those are my rules. And don’t you know the people I live with and work with seem to have their own rules! When someone loads the dishwasher in a crazy way, I work around it. When someone keeps me waiting, I bring work to do or have something to read. Or I take time to meditate. If I think the best route is ABC and someone else goes CBA, who am I to judge?
Being tolerant of how the world works is part of organizational zen. You’re saving time and if someone wants to waste a little of it from time to time, that’s okay too. Just cut it off if someone consistently wastes your time by being late. You want to keep a clear intent about your time. Just don’t be a jerk about it 🙂
Bottom line: Be organized. AND be kind.
Side note: Did you know that kindness releases serotonin in others and in yourself? When you do a kind act, the person receiving the kindness gets a hit of serotonin which makes them happy. And YOU get a hit of serotonin!
Being kind also boosts your immune system. If you’ve been getting sick a lot lately, try this exercise and see if it makes you feel better:
Work hard this week to do something nice for someone. Maybe organize something for them. Or help them find their keys. Stop to help someone who is struggling. Or make one call to an old friend and be open to spending time listening to them.
Sending you warm thoughts, organizational zen – and kindness today.