Depression and Organizing
Organization is often one of the last things people want to create when depression is active. And that is really an oxymoron - "active depression" usually manifests in lethargy, inaction and lack of order.
But Organization is sometimes what people really need to pull up out of a bad situation. The process of cleaning up and making sense of things could be therapeutic, and the result of having an ordered space brings calm in a sensitive time.
These are a few approaches I've found effective for depressed individuals.
1. Small chunks: 10 minutes at a time. Or a square foot at a time.
2. Call a friend: Have someone just on the phone while you do a little work. Set up an appointment to do it again soon.
3. Break your tasks down into a list. Do JUST one task at a time.
4. Appreciate yourself when you've made small improvements.
Other tips for moving forward:
Buying containers for organization
When I walk into an organizing or office supply store, I find the offerings so tempting!
Who wouldn't want the latest bamboo photo storage box or the fabric covered shoe organizer? Those floral file boxes? Lovely! Stackable plastic boxes with snap lock lids? You bet.
But the practical side of me says to stay within my means. Not financial means, but spatial means.
Really, how much space do I have for new containers? In my house, not much.
I'll base my container selection and purchases on some key factors:
If you are upgrading or upsizing or just replacing a container, make a plan for that old one. If you can't use it, can you "afford" to store it? Sometimes the answer is no, there just isn't a good space. In that case, pass it on to a friend if you can.
I recommend a practical approach to purchasing containers, the same attitude you used to decide you needed some!
How do I get focused?
Getting things done - you do it all the time.
Why is it, then, that there's always that one task that just doesn't get done?
The reason is probably a lot of procrastination or a lack of focus.
I think procrastination is usually a symptom of a deep seated emotion that we just don't want to face. Fear, extreme dislike, frustration, dread - these all breed procrastination of a job we just don't think we'll enjoy. You see it so frequently in tax season, but if you stop to think why you haven't done another task in your life, you might find a strong feeling is behind it.
Whether or not you've been procrastinating, when you get down to tackling a particular task, focus is important for getting it done and doing it well.
Here are my tips for improving your focus:
Here's to your success with some introspection and deliberate scheduling!th some introspection and deliberate scheduling!
Where do you open your mail?
Does this sound like an odd question? If you are dealing with persistent paper clutter, this is a really good place to start making improvements.
Let's back up and think about how anything you do works most efficiently when you have everything you need for the job right there at hand. When you bake, you don't walk into the bedroom for mixing bowls and out to the garage for flour. That would be silly. You keep everything in the kitchen, where it is right at hand.
But by the same token, when you open mail, you shouldn't have to walk around to find your letter opener, recycling bin or trash can. It all should be right there when you do this task! Even better, open your mail next to your files and bill payment station - all important records can go right in the drawers and bills can get set up for payment immediately.
So - where are you going to open your mail now that you know better?