Recently I read “10 Things Organized People Do Every Day” by Jordana Jaffe at MindBodyGreen. Jaffe is the founder of Embarkability, and her ten simple habits about being organized seem very practical and real. I hope she doesn’t mind that I quote the ten for those people too lazy to go read her article with explanations. They are:
- They plan each day the night before.
- They have and keep only one to-do list.
- They spend at least 30 minutes going through and addressing emails in their email inbox.
- They clear their desk of paper piles.
- They have a morning routine and an evening ritual.
- They spend 10 minutes at the end of each day tidying up.
- They put their clothing in the laundry bin.
- They never leave dishes in the sink.
- They carve out time for lunch.
- They open up their mail.
The ten truly resonates with my cluttered lifestyle, so I feel maybe she’s right.
I guess this is why I’m not a successful entrepreneur. I do eat lunch every day, mainly because going without would be painful. And I’m pretty good about putting my dirty clothes in the proper bins. But I’m pretty bad about the rest, especially opening mail, processing email, and leaving piles of paper on my desks. To pat myself on the back a little, some days, not most, but some, I put the dishes right into the dish washer after eating. I keep trying to-do lists and failing, and I’ve often tried to develop morning and before bed planning times. Unfortunately, I always drift back into unorganized chaos.
My scientific question is: If I faithfully make these ten routines into regular habits will it change my brain so I’m an organized person? People seeing the way I work and live will not believe this, but for my whole life, I’ve wished I could have an organized person with an orderly desk. Jaffe tells us organized people follow these habits, but I’m not sure if changing my bad habits into good ones would transform my brain and make me into an organized person. It’s an interesting experiment to consider.
However, looking at the piles of unopened mail, magazines, forms, warranties, etc. sitting on my desk, and checking that my email inbox has 2,054 messages, makes me think it might take a while to get my neurons to dance a different jig. I think I’ll try, and I’ll even tell my wife and lady friends to nag me thoroughly, which they love to do, and I start testing this hypothesis.
I wonder how many days of following these ten habits will it take to rewire my brain?
JWH – 5/20/14