The Building Block of Discipline and Focus

Organization is the fundamental trait of being able to function with efficiency in life. How do we get to a point of organization? You need to start looking at what surrounds you, your environment.

Famed psychologist, Jordan Peterson repeats a mantra that everyone should take to heart. “Clean your room”. So many connotations to this common phrase. It shows the importance of order in your life before you can try to interfere in other people’s business. Put your self together by eliminating the physical, emotional, and nonsensical things in your life.

You need to start small and be realistic at first. If you have never been organized in your life before, you need to make it a habit. You take little steps at first. It starts with wants vs. needs. The majority of people have endless wants, but what are your real needs? Love, resources to live (food, shelter, and clothing), safety and protection are vital. When does it become enough?

When do all of these wants begin to overwhelm our lives?

Why do we live under the false pretext that we need the latest and greatest when what we have suffices? Why is is it when Apple introduces a new iPhone people line up around the block to get one? I just cannot understand this. What is the illusion that you are gaining besides unnecessary debt? This example pertains to cars, clothes, books, apartments, homes, or anything that is tangible. If what you have isn’t broke, why look for a fix? It only adds to our angst and clutter in life.

Professor Barry Schwartz wrote one of the most insightful books I have ever read. It is called, The Paradox of Choice, WHY MORE IS LESS. This book was written originally about 2004 and what he speaks of is actually many times more relevant due to the endless amount of choices we have today. The premise is that even though we have so many options and choices in life, Barry Schartz argues we are less satisfied and happy. In a nutshell, we become paralyzed by the sheer complexity of availability. A clear example of this is just going to our closets. If we had two pair of pants, 3 shirts, two pair of shoes, when we went to choose, it is relatively easy. We might have to make a determination of colors, dress shoes or sneakers, but the decision is quick. Now go to the same closet where there are 25 pairs of shoes, 15 pants, 20 shirts, etc. It becomes overwhelming and stressful.

So to start our journey to organization, begin in your bedroom. Look at your closet with clear eyes. Be realistic in what you have worn in the past month and separate them. If in the next two weeks, anything you have not utilized put them aside and consider donating them. Realize that the majority of your closet and I would bet 70%, rarely get worn. Enrich someone else’s life by donating them. Every week look to reduce the piles of “accumulation” throughout your living space.

Make it a goal every day to take steps to reduce chaos. Take care of mail, get rid of books and magazines, anything that takes up space and the focus off of your ability to utilize your mind and think clearly. Learn to develop the habit of taking care of things as soon as they develop. Make up your bed as soon as you get up in the morning. Recycle mail as soon as it is delivered. Delete unwanted emails, texts, and the like as soon as received. Put things in there proper place instead of just setting it down. One little simple thing that I do, is to clean up as I make dinner. If I am done with a pot, while something else is being prepared, the pot is washed, rinsed, and put away. By the time the meal is ready, most of the cleanup is done. Crazy, but simple actions like these help to make HABITS. Every little action accumulates into a greater good. Anything that will help you make organization a habit, do it.

Make it a point on this journey to take the first step of reducing the clutter in your life. In fact, make it a habit every day to become organized in every aspect of your life. In doing so, you will find it easier to make good choices. Remember, Discipline is all about controlling your mind, and you need a clear mind. The choice is always yours.

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