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Rashelle Isip

Rashelle Isip is a professional organizer, productivity consultant, blogger, and author. She is founder of The Order Expert, a website featuring practical and creative organizing, time management, productivity tips, inspiration, and much more. For more information visit:

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Are Organizing and Exercise Really That Different?

You may not think of it at first, but the process of becoming organized is a lot like exercising. How so? Take this example: Many times people will say they would like to exercise or to exercise more, and they usually have some sort of motivation—they want to look better, feel better, get stronger, be healthier, lose weight or have some other reason for increasing their activity level. What about that great physical sensation you get from a workout? Or the great sense of accomplishment and completion? You may get a similar sense of accomplishment and completion when you’ve organized something, such as cleaned up a stack of papers or tackled a junk drawer.

In one sense, organization is exercise—an exercise of the mind. We could transfer recommendations for physical exercise to the mind when organizing. Consider the following:

Plan your workout. Just as you might plan out a cardio or weights workout, plan your organizing workout. What will your organization workout, or session, include? Filing papers or organizing your shirts in your dresser drawer? Where will it be? What room of the house or office? How long will your workout last? Twenty minutes or an hour?

Pace yourself. Have you ever been in a rush or very excited to complete something? It could be running a race or tackling a project. Sometimes we're so excited that we jump the gun and rush off at top speed in the beginning, leaving us weary and bleary-eyed at the end. Help yourself by pacing yourself. Take your time to organize. Rushing will burn you out and leave you unnecessarily exhausted.

Training is key. It's unrealistic to think that one hour-long running session would automatically train and prepare someone for a marathon. Similarly, it's unrealistic to think that an hour-long session would organize a completely full and messy garage. Take small steps, "train" regularly and build on your achievements.

Most important of all, be patient regarding your results. They'll be worth it.

Learn more about Rashelle and read her post on organization motivation by clicking here.

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