When an unexpected event such as an illness or accident occurs, it can be a challenging time for most people. During a crisis, you can often feel like you're losing control of things. Your to-dos and goals start to fall through the cracks, and life can start to become chaotic. You begin to worry about all the things you need to do but can't as you need to deal with this unexpected crisis. And slowly your stress levels start to rise.
But it doesn't need to be that way.
In my experience being organised can help you cope when life throws you a curveball.
Recently, I came down with a terrible cough and when I say terrible I mean it was nasty, and it knocked me out for a good three weeks. The coughing was, loud, and intense and there were times when I thought my neighbours would be knocking on my door to see if I needed a doctor or an exorcist. The biggest struggle was at night, where nightly coughing fits were preventing me from sleeping. After a visit to my doctor, I was put on antibiotics which would take some time to kick in. In the meantime, the nightly coughing fits continued which I was able to manage by drinking hot water, lemon and honey but the relief was often brief.
Moving into my second week of being sick, I was feeling fatigued and exhausted. I had never been this ill or debilitated before. I didn’t have the mental ability to do anything but sit on the couch. But I had things on my to-do list that needed to get done, a blog post to write, a presentation to prepare, ironing to do, etc.
While it was frustrating not being able to complete my to-do list, I still remained in control. Being in control even when I was knocked down with a cough was due to the organising systems I have implemented.
One of my organising systems is documenting my projects, goals and tasks which I do electronically using ASANA. My big projects and goals are broken down into smaller tasks and tasks are given due dates. Having this system in place meant that I had oversight of what projects and tasks I needed to get done, but was too unwell to do. Having a clear picture of what I needed to get done meant I could easily reprioritise my tasks and set new completion dates.
There was only one task I chose to complete which was a presentation I needed to deliver to my networking group. Fortunately, I had already started working on the presentation, so I just needed to finish it off and present it. But all other tasks got reprioritise and getting better became my new number one priority. I also had to cancel/ reschedule social events and other commitments. And my weekly gym routine had to be put on hold, but I knew I could resume it once I got better. Accepting that I was sick and being able to reprioritise my work meant that I didn't have to worry about the things I needed to do, as I could resume them once I got better.
Whether you do it electronically or paper consider documenting your tasks. You will feel more in control of the things you need to get done.
Another organising system I have is ensuring that all my possessions have there own dedicated place. While I was sick, my apartment was getting untidy, but I knew I could quickly get things back in order once my health improved. It's a lot easier to tidy up when everything has its own storage location. When I was able to get things back in order there is no time wasted deciding where things should go. Everything just falls back into place.
Aim to have a home for everything in your home. This will make keeping your place organised much easier.
Living an organised lifestyle is more than merely having a tidy home. It provides a sense of control and calmness, especially when unexpected events occur. My own personal organising systems helped me to manage when I became unwell. Having a clear picture of my tasks, commitments and space, I was able to reprioritise and focus on getting better rather than worrying about the things I should be doing.
The last few weeks I have learned that no matter how organised I can be there will always be times when something will disrupt my routines, goals and tasks — that's life.
When the unexpected does happen, I accept it (it doesn't mean I like it), refocus, reorganise, and regroup. Which is a lot easier to do when I have established organising processes in place.
I'm a lot better now, while this cough still lingers, I no longer have extreme coughing fits at night. I'm now able to get a good night sleep and am now starting to pick up some of the tasks I had to put on hold.
Living a more organised life will help you to better handle unforeseen events and get you back on track quickly. If you need support getting organised send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0401 149 185 to discuss how I can help.
Photo 1 by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo 2 by STIL on Unsplash
Photo 3 by Holger Link on Unsplash