Updated: Oct 10, 2019
One of the most practical ways to overcome stress in our lives is to be organized. Whether it be for work, or school, or for the errands of the day, being organized can be an invaluable and quite simple way to settle our chaotic energy and give ourselves some relief knowing that we have things orderly. Organization can be divided up into to primary ways: organizing space, and organizing time.
Organizing space means having the spaces around you tidy and in order. This applies to living spaces like your bedroom, living room, kitchen, and so forth. It also applies to work spaces like your office. This would not just include organizing things to be more tidy, but also to logically order the files, projects, information, and so forth that pertains to your work in a way that makes them easily accessible for the purpose of making your work easier. You can also organize and clean any and all places you live in and own, including your car. You can also organize your smartphone to be most logically capable of fulfilling your needs in life, prioritizing which apps truly bring you benefit and which apps are a drain of your energy and attention. All other media can be organized in this way.
Making lists allow for our mental space, our thoughts and even our self knowledge to be more organized so that things are seen more clearly. For example, if we make a list of our strengths and weaknesses, that would allow us to have greater mindfulness of ourselves and therefore allow us to take advantage of our strengths and work on our weaknesses, even in the moment they arise. Some examples of things in our mental space we can organize and have self-knowledge of is our feelings, our judgements, our biases, our cravings, our bad habits, what we love, what our dreams are, literally and figuratively, what we have appreciation for, and what are the greatest internal obstacles in our life.
Organizing time means making your life schedule and tasks orderly. Getting planners and using them, either written down or on your phone as an app are invaluable not only to make sure you are reminded of important events, but you also give yourself peace of mind that you will not forget them. Many of us are very busy people with work, and school, and kids, and love life. Organizing all of it in a planner can make things simpler, allowing us to take things one at a time. “One at a time” is the mantra of organizing time. When we do things one at a time we allow ourselves to give our focus only to what is present and not to three steps ahead. Making lists is also a way to organize time. The grocery list helps organize our thoughts about what we need to buy so we don't forget, but it can also be a way to allow ourselves to check off one item on the list at a time. That can make a different pace than if we were just impulse buying without a list.
Meditation is the ultimate form of organization. It is the simplification of all of our attention and action to one thing: the Transcendent. When we meditate we allow for the chaos of our thinking mind to slowly fade and allow for the pristine clarity of the innate mind to be known. For organizing space, we bring our minds to a transcendent space that knows no boundaries, who's meaning is felt deep in our hearts. For organizing time, It brings us into the present moment, letting go of abstraction into the future or the past, allowing ourselves to rest in where we truly are. This practice coupled with mindfulness practice throughout the day allows for us to develop a constant feedback about what our mind is doing and know how to steer it in the right direction, bringing a great organization of time, space, and mind. May you take advantage of the opportunity organization offers to bring peace and ease to your life.