Thoughts and such like.....
I've been told by clients and one of my coaches that I have the ability to see clarity in chaos - in other words I can see a solution when there doesn't seem to be one. As my elder son says, it's a gift we have being dyslexic, ask us the answer, just don't ask us to explain how we got there! I also live in what I would call organized chaos, I have multiple projects and multiple books I am reading, and usually confine my 'mess' to one room, where I can metaphorically (it's a loft) close the door, without having to clear up. Each project, particularly those without a deadline, will get finished, but on my time - which could be a year or longer. Too, when I'm involved in a project I like to be surrounded by all the papers/books I need to get the it done. This would drive someone else nuts, but works for me. Interestingly though, I do get impatient with the mess of others, particularly if I can't understand why - so clothes all over the place, or papers not put away after they're read... I get impatient and annoyed, particularly if that person has difficulty finding their stuff.
What I do have, is systems in place to ensure work gets done on time, that I can find my keys and I'm able to work effectively. For many people, working on their own is difficult and is made even more so if they're running from pillar to post trying to get things done. I actually love systems, and often try out new ones to see if they fit! Recently I've spent a lot of time tied to my desk and found that at the end of the day my back hurt, my head hurt and I was getting larger behind. So, researching on line I found some ideas to use in order to move more when I'm in my office for hours.. I set my clock for 50 minutes, and then when it rings, walk around, maybe lift a few weights (aids my upper body strength) or just do some stretches - the way I feel is totally different, I can sit again for another 50 or so minutes and actually get a lot accomplished. I've put a system in place to ease my aching back, help with my fitness goals and keep me focused on the projects at hand.
When a friend came over the other day, she found me knee deep in lavender and fabric, and made a comment about how could I work in that space surrounded by this seemingly messy space - this project has taken over my dining room table as my loft is too hot in the summer. I pointed out my system, and she was amazed - she had just seen the chaos, not the method behind the mess. It may look like chaos to others, it might drive them mad if it was in their house, but I'm okay with it - it meets my needs and works for me. However saying that I do have my line in the sand. Sometimes, when I don't take notice I find I am overtaken by the chaos. Recently, I've been going through cookbooks to find a particular recipe and left them out, my knitting was sitting on the table instead of the bookshelf by my seat, I've a piece on fabric on the back of the sofa, I often put fabric out so that I can get ideas on what to do with it. It felt overwhelming and so I knuckled down and cleared up. Went through everything and put it in its place, at the same time I was able to take some magazines and put them in the recycling along with some books I'll not read again. I marked the recipe in the book, so next time I'll find it without having to take a dozen others out.
It's funny, often we spend so much time thinking what others might think of us, how we look, how our homes look we forget about us and and what meets our needs. When I go to friends houses, and look at how tidy and beautiful they look, I sometimes think badly of how I keep my home, but then I remind myself of how miserable I would be living like that - a place where I would be uncomfortable making my chaos. I've come to a place in life where I'm okay with being me.... maybe a little messy, maybe looking disorganized but I understand and like where I'm at. The important stuff like my papers, files for clients etc... are neatly filed and put away, I know where to find each and everything. My computer files are in an order that works for me and I have systems in place to remind me of deadlines, meetings and whatever other goals I have set... If I'm not given a deadline by a client, I'll ask for one, this gives me a destination to work toward and makes me accountable. If I reach a place of overwhelm in my business or life, I try and figure out what is it that's out of whack? Right now, I'm looking at calendars that I can share, and which will send reminders to clients - I've reached that stage where it would seem more efficient to have this done electronically, so I'm in the research stage and have a number of tabs open on my computer so that I can go back and look at the options each time I have a question. I have my note books, each labelled with a specific topic or client. It may seem bulky or difficult to others but it works for me. Each evening (or sometimes morning) I write all the projects I am involved in, and the next step (goal for the day), I list the people I need to connect with, who I'm waiting to hear from and then the things I must do that day - to some this might seem over organized, to others repetitive but it works for me, keeping me on track - and by writing it down I feel so much more organized, don't get as distracted as I might otherwise. I give myself the deadlines, and if by chance I get it all done, then I give myself time off - works for me!
What if you didn't spend so much time worrying about what others think, and found your own comfort zone? Would that make life easier for you? Ease up on yourself (thanks Danielle LaPorte) and you'll find not only are you easier to live with, but that you're more tolerant of others. Everyone needs to find a system that works for them, to understand their threshold in certain areas, what are they willing to tolerate in their lives. I can help inform you of systems, of ideas to try, but unless it fits your lifestyle and personality they won't work for you... Life is for living, not worrying about what others think - remember you only have this one life to live, live it like each day is your last, be kind to yourself and others and hey, if you want to throw everything in the air why not! It'll get picked up sometime.
Maeve O'Byrne's Blog