When I am organized I get things done. I don’t have to worry when everything is in it’s place. This includes my mental organization. When I know what I have to get done and how to get it done then I am much more effective.
It’s one of the reasons procrastination has played a major role in what I’ve accomplished. Only one thing matters in crisis mode. Everything dissipates and I can focus on getting that one thing done.
It’s like when I was a kid and I threw everything from my room into my closet and shut the door. For the moment my room was clean, I could relax and focus on whatever I wanted to focus on. That is, until I opened the closet door. Then everything comes crashing down.
My teenage bedroom or my work desk…
Is a good reflection of my brain. It can be pretty cluttered.
Both kinds of clutter bog down my processing system. I lose focus, have a hard time prioritizing and ultimately end the day with less done than I wanted to accomplish.
I found this great article on how clutter effects our brains
In Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain has a chapter called Mise En Place. Which is French for “everything in it’s place”.
He says that you can tell a lot about a cook by his mise en place. When a cook knows where everything is and has a system for using his tools and ingredients he is more efficient and more effective.
Sounds like I could use some mise en place. Then I remembered I’ve had some training. Not that I’ve been putting it into practice. But at lease I know how to approach the problem.
A year ago I was traveling in Idaho for work. Before leaving on the rip I asked my brother if he had any good audio books to fill the time. He recommended The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I snickered but he was serious.
Now my brother is like our grandma. She would throw away pictures of the grand kids after a few weeks because she knew what we looked like after that. She didn’t keep anything. Granda Arave was Queen Mise En Place. That makes Ammon a prince at least.
When Ammon told me that he got something from this book and that it changed the way he filters through his stuff I knew it was worth listening to.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what that book is. Most organization books talk about categorizing and compartmentalizing. Marie Kondo takes a totally different approach.
Instead of organizing she has you hold the item and then ask yourself “Do I find joy in this item?” The idea being that we should only hold on to things that truly bring joy in our lives. That’s something I can get on board with.
Not that I’ve done anything about it. But I have the checklist on my bathroom counter. This is my year to Konmari.
You can pick up your own Konmari list here.