Who taught you to ride a bike? Do you remember how different riding a bike was than riding your trike? With a tricycle, you really had to pedal hard to get over bumpy terrain, but with a bicycle you could almost glide over it. As soon as you mastered the skills of riding, you were given the joy of riding fast and easy. Remember feeling like you were flying? To go faster than you could run was addictive and you had the same joy a dog has with his head out the window of a Subaru, fur smashed back by the wind. This photo of my granddaughter, Brooklyn, calls up that feeling.
But what does it have to do with getting organized? Well, wouldn’t you say that every, able-bodied child can learn to ride a bike? Do you remember your pre-biker days? Remember how impossible it looked? Remember thinking, ‘I can’t do that.’? And then what happened? You learned! You could do it. When you were learning, there were basic skills you had to acquire in order to stay on the bike when your teacher let go.
● Enough speed
● Keep eyes forward
● Use your balance
● Keep pedaling
If you left any one of those basics out, you crashed.
The basics for getting organized are the same and if you leave any one of them out, you’ll crash (which we’ll do until we’re in the habit of using all four skills). When anyone says, “I’m fluttering,” what’s happened is they’ve left out one of the steps.
● Enough speed (timer)
● Keep eyes forward (calendar, watch)
● Use your balance (balance work, recreation and rest)
● Keep pedaling (decluttering)
Wouldn’t you say you know all about these basics? Now if you fail to use any one of them (just like you need the basic skills to ride a bike), you’re going to find yourself in a mess. But you know the saying, “It’s just like riding a bike,” implying once you learn, you never forget. So which basic skill or tool have you been leaving out? Once you nail that, it’s just a matter of putting more focus on using it and just like riding a bike; you’ll be back on top of things.
Commitment and Desire
But there’s more. When you were young, you looked at riding your bike as something fun to do, because the rewards for pleasure were great. You also had the commitment to learn, because you saw all the other kids having fun and there you were on your little, red trike, with a stupid bell that rusted into silence.
To get organized, you have to have the commitment to change your comfortable routine, in order to enjoy the fruits of that change. You can see the other “kids” with clean and neat homes and you know you would love that. You are a social person and you want to be comfortable when you have friends and family over. You’ll also discover staying organized is more comfortable than the routine that’s gotten you in a mess.
I’m working with a delightful woman who has a goal of having her home organized and clean so she can have her new granddaughter in her home (the daughter won’t let her babysit there until that happens). This woman has the desire to be able to babysit her granddaughter in her own home and she totally understands why her daughter won’t allow that until things change in her home.
This brings up one more thought; get the right reason to get organized and make it juicy enough to stick. When I got organized my reason was to have more free time to play. In 40 years of being organized my playtime has allowed me to do what I love to the degree that even my work (writing) is play!
So get the right reason and start using the skills you haven’t been using and get out of the mess. Let me be your “teacher holding the seat of your bicycle” until you get strong on your own. My book “The Joy of Being Disorganized” will have you on your way with the right reasons and the desire to get organized just enough to please you.