By Leo Babauta
It can often feel like our lives are messy, cluttered, overwhelming, scattered.
Like a house filled with clutter, our lives can feel like a huge mess.
Today I’d like to share an idea for getting things in order: just as I recommend for decluttering your house, create a place for everything that matters to you.
In our physical houses, things can get messy when we just put things in random places. So when we declutter, it’s not just about getting rid of things we don’t want — it’s also about finding a home for everything we do want. A place for everything.
Once we have a home for each item, it’s a matter of training ourselves to put them back where they belong. And once this is in place, things can feel much more sane. It’s not about keeping to a perfect system, it’s about knowing where things go, and then allowing ourselves to relax into that structure.
What if we could apply the same idea to everything else in our lives? If something is worth being in our lives, doesn’t it deserve to have a place?
- Tasks can go in one place, a task manager app or text list that you keep in one place. Instead of keeping them in various messages and inboxes, put them in one list.
- If you have recurring tasks or events to remember, you could put them in one place: a calendar, or a reminders list, or your task list if it features recurring tasks. But choose one, instead of using all of these and forgetting where your recurring tasks might be.
- Doing your finances can become a mess if we don’t have structure … so we can create a daily habit (like checking your accounts or budget program) and a weekly review to pay bills and take care of other tasks.
- Do you have a thousand browser tabs open? What if the tasks that each tab represented all had a place? Like a list of things to read and watch, a list of ideas to consider for the future, a list of websites you’re using to research a project, and of course your task list if the tabs represent tasks you need to do.
- If you have a thousand messages in 10 different messaging apps, you might create daily rituals for checking and replying to messages instead of doign it randomly.
These are a few ideas, but you might find other places where you life feels messy, and then find a place or a structure to keep that messiness organized. A home for everything.
In the examples above (which you are not limited to), the main places to keep things might be:
- A task list for tasks.
- A calendar for recurring events and reminders.
- A notes program that has lists of things to read/watch, ideas to consider, research notes and links.
- A daily and weekly finance routine.
- A regular ritual to check and reply to messages.
If we had regular times in the day and the week to do these things, our lives would feel much more in order.