Learning How to Organize is Like Learning How to Run

You know, organizing isn’t just like eating.  Organizing is also a lot like running.

I started learning how to run this past spring.  I’ve never been athletic but I wanted to find an excercise that I enjoyed and thought that it would be worth giving running a try.  During the past few months, I’ve noticed some similarities between the process of organizing and the process of running:

  • It’s something you learn.  Some people may be more naturally inclined to run or to be organized, but it’s a skill and therefore can be learned by all. Some people may be better at it than others, but we can all do it if we choose to.
  • It’s a process.  Both learning to run and getting organized take time.  There’s a methodology involved and you need to go through the steps in the right order.  If you rush it, you can’t experience lasting success.
  • It’s hard work at times.  With running, I’ve felt like I’ve tested my physical and mental limits.  Organizing can test your mental and emotional limits (and your physical limits, too, for that matter).  Celebrating your accomplishments is so important!
  • It’s good to have a goal.  Someone recently asked me what my goal was for running.  I realized that I had some vague ideas of what I want to be able to do, but once I defined my goal (“I want to be able to run a 5k in the spring.”) I got really excited.  I know that when I am weary, I can visualize myself running that race.  With organizing, keeping your goal in mind (“I want to be able to pay my bills on time.”) will continuously lend meaning to a process that can get overwhelming and tiring.  You can think about being able to find what you’re looking for quickly, saving money on late fees, and having less clutter around the house. 
  • Both are worth the work.  By learning how to run, not only am I completely blowing my own misconceptions about myself, but I’m also getting stronger and healthier.  When you take the time and effort to learn how to be organized, your life is simpler and more peaceful.  Now doesn’t that sound nice?

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