How do you get organized?

I love Marie Kondo’s book just as much as everyone else, but how does one organize the non-physical aspects of life? Her book, while helpful in sorting through your physical belongings by identifying what brings you joy and what doesn’t, deals with only the tangible: clothes, books, photos, furniture, bric-a-brac. For everything else, I recommend a book I found in my parent’s house ten years ago, which seems to not be as well known: it’s called Getting Things Done, by David Allen, who shares a simple, effective method for getting organized and capturing all the loose ends in your life. He breaks it into five steps (Capture, Clarify, Organize, Reflect, and Engage) but for me, the game-changer came when I started writing everything down. Some people have diaries, I have my list. This is an incredibly cathartic exercise, where you write down everything on your mind and later, decide next steps with each item. I have been doing this the past few weeks and already see an improvement in my productivity. You don’t need any special tools, just a simple pad or your phone’s notebook. Best of all, with this list in hand, you can fill small pockets of time by either working on the list, or completing items on the list– and feel great about it! No more boring commutes, endless waiting room visits, or not knowing what to do with free time. The result leaves you relaxed, observant and feeling in control. Would you try this?

Above: Jackson Pollack’s Untitled, 1948–49

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