If you’ve been reading STYLE Savvy for more than fifteen minutes, you know all about personal and organizational styles. You also know that they’re part of who we are and what we do naturally, and they can be stumbling blocks or building blocks. Once we know these things, we can embrace them, but we also need to know what to do with them.
The personal and organizational styles guide the way we organize by helping us choose the tools that work and flipping existing habits into helpful ones, but they don’t provide a specific process. For that, we need a different kind of STYLE.
While each of these letters stands for an important piece of the process, the first three, in particular, are also an important part of the organizing by STYLE philosophy. These three concepts, combined with our personal and organizational styles, build the foundation to a system that works and is sustainable. And, once you’ve been doing this for a while, they can be a troubleshooting guide as well.
When I see something I need to improve (yes, that happens regularly), one of these three keys is often what leads me to a solution. If I start with successes, I begin by assuming I’m doing something right, even if the system isn’t working. This simple idea is energizing and opens the door to problem-solving: okay, if this part is working, but that part is not, what does that tell me about the changes I need to make? It may not happen all at once but, over time, it defines a blueprint for change.
Often, we become overwhelmed by the mere idea of getting organized. We might see the successes, but they seem so small compared to work we need to do that we’re tempted to quit before we start. If we take small steps, the task not only seems less daunting, but also builds in more successes along the way. Success breeds success and soon, we see progress.
Finally, the (relatively) simple task of deciding yes, it has a home and defining where that home is reduces clutter not only in the moment, but on a long-term basis as well. I don’t know about you but, at my house, homeless items make up about 90% of the clutter. If something is worth keeping, it’s worth creating a place for and, once we know what that place is, we’re more likely to put it there.
Whether you’re an organizing by STYLE veteran or you’re just starting out, these first three skills are key to embracing your styles rather than fighting them. Why does this matter? Because beating ourselves up is not only unhealthy, it wastes time and energy that could be spent on actually making progress.
And, as always, don’t forget that this is a process. Just as we won’t lose those pesky 20 pounds overnight, we won’t get organized that quickly either. The good news is the we don’t have to do it all at once. If we use our styles as our guide and take small steps, building on our successes, we’ll get there. Even better, we’ll get to a place where we can maintain what we’ve created because it’s built on what works for us.
Copyright 2020 Lisa Hess