To do lists, urgent-important lists, lists where you put down everything in your brain so that you can unclutter it, apps, software, suggestions, reviews……… The list is endless. Everyone wants to help us by sharing their personal favorite ways to keep themselves organized.
Why be organized? Many would say, it’s the best way to get a lot of things done.
The problem with personal organizing tools is that each of us look outside of ourselves to grasp a rope that will essentially “save us”. I myself have done this most of my adult life. It’s easy to say that the reason I am disorganized is because I don’t have this app that I just read about that will help me get organized. Having this app on my phone will change everything in my life.
Sadly, this is simply fool’s gold.
The hard truth is that this struggle to get organized represents a lack of connection or intersection of one’s self-interest and self-awareness. Both speak to the lack of understanding as to what we want in the long-term and what is the best way that we work or think about things to get them done.
The most difficult issue that you MUST resolve first is where you would like to end up. When we aren’t self-aware enough to have decided this, we drift. No organizing tool can help us when this is true. There can be no meaningful organization in your life.
You need clear long-term goals to help you generate a healthy self-interest to be able to first understand what is important for YOU to get done to get to your goal. Your healthy self-interest can then (almost automatically) separate important things to do (to reach YOUR goal) from the pile of things that need to get done (either for us or everyone else).
That’s when the magic of an organizing tool can bring you value.
Doing these steps in the right order is the key to never having a problem with any personal organizing tools you choose to try.