The Proverbial "Later"

I want to start this post first with a belated Merry Memorial Day and heartfelt thank you to all the men and women who have served and/or given their lives for this country.  A huge number of my family have been military including my Air Force daddy, a grandfather who served in WWII and a great-uncle who was a German-held P.O.W. in WWII.  This country wouldn't be the nation it is today without the efforts of these great people. Admittedly, I spent a large portion of my day watching the Hoarders marathon on A&E. 

Bus man's holiday? Perhaps.  Except for two things:

  1. I don't work with true hoarders.  That's a whole psychological issue COMPLETELY different from your run-of-the-mill cluttered, hot mess and needs a licensed therapist first.
  2. I'm utterly FASCINATED with the show, the twisted logic that each hoarder presents and how they are able to function and move their way through this world. 

Bottom line, even when I'm not working with my clients, I still love to see other organizing projects on television.  It's good to love your work!  Also, there is almost always something I can glean out of it that will work for my clients.   One thing that I saw and heard over and over again as I watched yesterday was the word "later."

I'll do it "later."

I can't do that right now...I'll save it for "later."

I'll look at this "later."

I've heard it from my clients as well.  Typically, their homes reach the state of disarray they're in because of "later." 

"Later" NEVER comes.  There is always something more important.  More pressing.  More fun.   (Organizing is fun for me, but I recognize that I'm in the minority.)

A while back I read about the "touch it once" principle, and I try to employ it as often as possible.  The idea is that you as soon as you come across something, you deal with it right then and there instead of saving it for later.  It was in regards to email, but it's a good principle to apply for many things. 

  • Read an email - answer it, read the article, respond to the RSVP, etc.  And if it's a newsletter that no longer delights you when you see it appear, then un-subscribe. 
  • When you bring in the mail - immediately put junk into the recycle bin, open remaining and deal with appropriately.
  • When you've finished your meal - deal with the dishes immediately instead of waiting until later.

The list could go on and on.  When you touch things once and deal with the immediately, it frees up time and TONS of brain activity and energy spent on thinking of all the things you need to do instead of just doing it and getting it done.

Don't wait for "later."  Take action now!