How to Build an Organized Muscle

“I’m going to stop putting things off… starting tomorrow!”  – Sam Levenson

Procrastination is nothing more than postponed decisions.

“Oh, I’ll do it later.”

“I just don’t have the time, I’ve been so busy.”

“This really isn’t my mess. This is the result of children.”

Situational disorganization may occur from failing to unpack after a long trip, saying yes to every invitation, ignoring the mountain of mail, or when merging homes after a marriage.  Soon disorganization turns into chronic procrastination, chaos, and stress. Our daily routines become overwhelming and we feel stuck in the mess.  There seems to be no reset button in sight.

Today we bring good news. Being organized isn’t a personality trait. For the majority of individuals who are able to stay organized, it is a learned process. We like to think of it as a muscle. Unless we consciously work on developing, building, and shaping that muscle, it will remain as is, or worse, it atrophies. The muscle will not strengthen overnight.   Discipline and maintenance are required.


In order to maximize your muscle’s potential, you must start the process by tearing down your old muscles and rebuilding them to make them bigger and stronger.

So where do you start? Begin by making small changes that work for you.

Here are three tips to help eliminate your clutter tendencies:

1. Compete against the clock.

Set your timer in five to ten minute increments and race toward eliminating items on your to do list: cleaning out your fridge, replacing light bulbs, paying your bills, making a meal plan, or putting away a load of laundry. You’ll be amazed at what you can get done when it’s a competition.

2. Reward yourself.

When you’ve finished a list of to-dos, have a treat waiting at the end! It could be a handful of candy corn, or a download on iTunes, or extra minutes to read a magazine. Or maybe it’s simply taking in a few minutes of deep breathing

where you can actually relax because there’s less pressure hanging over your head.

3. Turn off your DVR. 

Watch your shows with commercials instead of without. Before you turn on your TV, grab your to-do list. When it comes time to fast forward through the commercials, don’t – work to check items off your list!

Completing small tasks helps us to stay motivated as we set out to meet our goals. Remember to keep in mind that being organized for most people is a learned skillset that begins with one small step.  Muscles are not built overnight and new habits aren’t formed in a single day.  Starting small and making tasks fun can help you concentrate your efforts and discover success.