I’ve never realized how important organization is. I get that it’s important. It makes life easier. When I’m in the middle of a mess I feel claustrophobic and stuck. Often times I can’t do anything until I’ve organized it. Only after that can I make sense of things and make a decision about what to do.
But it’s important. Like extremely important. On the level of the only reason I am beginning to understand it’s importance is because I’ve experienced it’s importance. Then again everything is that way. Or at least it feels that way.
This all came about in this last week when a couple of different things got brought up.
Like many things, looking at them separately it’s hard to see the connection but because they happened at the same time for me, they over lapped like a van diagram. It may have unearthed something that could be totally life changing.
I don’t want to oversell it, nor do I want to commit to something before it’s worked for me. But the experience connected a couple of ideas for me. That in itself was powerful.
In 33 Strategies of War, Robert Greene talks about the ability to execute strategy can make or break someone’s career and what they accomplish. See at a 30,000 foot level can be extremely beneficial for everyone no matter what world they’re navigating.
Of course after hearing this I get all excited about being strategic with everything I do. But, he says, before I can start thinking and working strategically I need to get organized. It’s not until the different elements in my life are organized enough to work as efficiently as possible that I can start getting strategic.
Chess is the classic example of strategy. In order to play at any level there has to be a certain amount of strategy. The benefit of learning strategy in chess is that the organization is already done. I know how the pieces move. I know how they attack. I know the layout of the board. I know the goal of the game. All that’s left is playing the strategy.
I get it. If things aren’t working for me on the ground level then there’s no way a 30,000-foot view is going to help. It’s the same logic as I shouldn’t start investing my money until I have an emergency fund set aside.
I can’t run before I can walk. Got it.
A while ago I had written off organization. There’s a reason I’m an improvisor. I’m not so bad that I can’t accomplish anything but I live in a certain amount of controlled chaos and I’m okay with that.
The first time I saw the real power of organization was when I was assigned a stage manager for the first time. It completely changed the way I directed. I could focus on what was important because everything else was taken care of. It was eye opening.
The unfortunate solution from that experience is to hire a personal assistant. Since that’s out of the question I stuck with my original write off plans.
But….I’ve come to realize I can have all the grandiose plans in the world, but unless I can be strategic about them they will never happen. Time will keep ticking by. Before I know it I’ll be an old man and then I’ll be dead.
If I want the benefits of being strategic, which I do, then I need to learn how to be organized.
I gotta get my crap together.
Low and behold I get an email from Rhett with a video explaining this:
I’ve committed to using the bullet journal for two months. So far (a week or so), it’s been an interesting experience. In a good way.
Like any other new habit there are a few bugs to work out and I’m still learning how I use it. But I love the process and it’s put into motion something I’ve been trying to do for years.
I like the bullet journal because it’s all encompassing. I can put anything I want in there, wherever it happens to fall. Thanks to the index at the beginning I’ll be able to find it later. That one thing alone has been freeing.
In the past I have felt so confined by subject, feeling like I can’t cross contaminate my notebooks with multiple subjects. I mentally compartmentalize, which means I have to physically compartmentalize. Everything goes into my bullet journal and it’s not disrupting the organization of the information. Awesome!
I also love that it’s analog. There’s something about holding the list of things that I want to do. Physically going through them and crossing them off.
With the future log I feel like I’m looking enough into the future to keep things in mind and plan for them.
I have found that I’m using it to write things down that I’ve done, not that are necessarily on my to do list. Like when my kids ate their dinner without being coerced into it. I want to remember what it was so that I make sure it’s on future dinner plans.
Writing those things down helps me track what I’m doing. Giving me a realistic idea of what I spend my time doing [link].
It’s in the very early stages, but I am enjoying it way more than I ever anticipated. I’ll take that!
What have you found that has worked to keep you organized?