Friday, July 8, 2011

Kicking Organization

I am restarting my organizing kick.  I had started to organize myself before Interactive Metronome therapy but had to take a break during therapy. 

As I talked about in a previous post, I feel much better and now want to do everything... that is, everything at once.   Sigh.  Now that is no way to be organized, is it? 

Also, I am finding that my original organizing strategy is not working.  I had originally thought about organizing things before I started organizing time, (that is, finding a time management strategy that actually works).  I thought I could shovel the floatsam and jetsam of the tide of stuff leisurely at my own pace. Then, freed from the tyranny of stuff, I could think about creating a schedule and pick up the pace a bit.  My original strategy was not to get my schedule messed up because I have to take the time to find something.Time ManagementImage by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

Now, that I am excited about being able to do other things with myself like paint pictures and move my body in dance and exercise, I want to do other things and not just chores.   In fact, I think it is necessary to do some sort of rhythmic exercise in order to keep up the gains of Interactive Metronome.  So I don't want to spend all my time just shoveling the mound of stuff. 

Being excited about doing things, while a wonderful feeling, actually interferes with organization.  For example, I am really excited about painting.  I am really excited about a couple projects and feel a biological drive to do them... like I'VE GOT TO DO THIS!  It is hard to calm down as I am really exhilarated at the thought of painting a couple pictures.  One will be a self portrait from a wedding picture.  Another will be a color field picture.  (I am so into relating to color emotionally and really like Rothko).  And, another will be playing around with gels.  But, have I done any of them yet.  No.  I just can't find the time to do it. So, I am a whirly gig of emotion.

I have errands to run and a few organizational projects like tackling the paper mess in our house, repairing some clothes, scanning pictures into the computer and organizing my computer that are also not getting done.  Also, not getting done.

The other problem is that I am not living along.  I have a husband who makes his own contribution  to the pile of stuff.  It is, if I may say so, a rather large and generous contribution to the pile of stuff.  We also have different organizational styles.  I am an Innie and Hubby is an Outie.  I am focused on putting stuff where I can't see it.  Hubby likes things out.   I wish stuff would stay in the closet.  Hubby wants his stuff outed.  For me, there are good reasons to stay in the closet. I have problems processing crowded visual fields... so if there is a lot of mess it is just hard on me to focus on things. TMI.  Too much information.  Literally. Also, I have found it is easier to clean when you are dealing with a flat plane.  The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.  That is,  stuff stays in its spot and you can run by with a duster quite easily.  So I stuff things in drawers.  Not always organized but out of the way. Hubby views things quite differently.  He likes things out where he can see it and touch it.  He loves crowded visual fields as he is quite visually spatially oriented.  So what to do.

Many marriages have foundered on this basic question of how to organize stuff.  My husband and I have a good marriage and we don't want to be separated by stuff.    Fortunately, we look at each other's capabilities and try to make allowances for each other's weaknesses.  Lord knows we can't follow any rules for  organization.  Yet, it does irritate us and we do waste a lot of time thrashing through stuff.  So, I have made an appointment for a professional organizer to come in and help us out.  We can clean up the place by ourselves but we just don't maintain it very well. Lord knows we've tried.  Our system is not sustainable and sustainability is the buzz word du jour.  Also, having someone in the middle who is trained to deal with negotiating different organizational styles will go a long way towards marital peace.  It is finally dawning on hubby that having a clean and orderly house is not something women like mothers and wives use to tyrannise the men folk.  Before Wife (BW),  he never had  a room mate and had gone from an extremely orderly mother to a bachelor man cave.  So BW, he was in a high state of blissful chaos.  After Wife, he hid from housework as much as he could until I started howling.  But despite the relief that howling brings, it is hard to maintain on a regular basis.  So I request and request and then a howl builds up and I let loose.  Sometimes he responds in kind and sometimes stuff gets done. I Howl.  He Howls.  We All Howl. Maybe I should write a poem like Ginsburg's Howl.  After the howling storm, our lungs are cleared and often time stuff gets done.  It's kind of like hot humid summer weather.  The humidity builds up and there is a storm and  then, quiet, cool sunshine afterwards. But there is surely a better way of doing things rather than cycle of howl..

So we have decided, we will tackle the office and paper work first and then work on our bedroom where stuff accumulates and then the kitchen (which isn't too bad except for the pantry).  Finally, there is tackling the Hades of our basement.  Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.  Verily.  But one thing at a time.  We will tackle the office and paper work and try to maintain that organizational system for a month or so.  We will focus on getting good maintainable habits in one room before tackling the next.

So what to do in the mean time while we are waiting for the organizer.  I think tackling these problems has to start with tackling the problem of time management.  I did write down most of the things to do in Toodledo on my iPhone.  For those of you not familiar with Toodledo, it is a great list manager with scheduling and alerts.  However, I don't think I am going to keep to today's list of things as I have lost something important and have to scurry about to find it.  So today's schedule is a bit pre-empted and I will have to retrench and reorganize for Monday. 

On my list, is fixing the watches that I have inherited from MIL. I need to replace batteries and wristbands.  I think the first thing to do in getting organized is to develop a sense of time.  I really don't have one.  I have tried wearing a watch in the past but wearing watches were always bothersome so I never acquired the habit.  They just seemed to weight too heavily on my arm.  Also, they interfered while typing.  I seemed to scratch the crystal a fair amount as well.  So, I have to make some time to get my watches together. 

static vs dynamic time management systemsImage by fwconsulting via Flickr
Next, is developing some sense of allocating tasks appropriately throughout the week.  This involves getting a good sense of estimation and prioritization.  I would like to get a schedule and a sense of what I am doing throughout the day and a sense of what is coming up in the week.  The iPhone is a godsend for scheduling and alerting but I just don't allocate my tasks quite right.    I think one problem that I have is a trying to use a static system for time management rather than a dynamic one.  Someone once recommended using a grid hour by hour to organize my days and my week.  That just did not work for me and I did not maintain it well.  So we shall see.


So we shall see.  I would like to have my Lack of Organization Stop Kicking Me in the Butt. I would like to kick organization myself.   I would like to stop going on organizational kicks and just have a nice steady flow of life rather than floating in the ebb and flow of stuff and time.



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