In her New Year’s Eve blog, BEYOND BLUE, Therese Borchard wrote about the importance of becoming better organized in order to accomplish all that she wishes to accomplish. Wanting to enjoy the PRESENT and not finding herself ruminating about the past nor focusing only on resolutions for the future, her single most important goal now is to develop the ability to organize her days with greater skill.

“Next year,” she wrote, “I am going to try my best to be as organized as I can so that all the stuff around me, reminding me of uncompleted tasks, to-dos, and unresolved issues won’t be interrupting my thinking process as I try to tackle the activity in front of me.”

Since so many people are struggling economically and emotionally these days, they often find themselves feeling overwhelmed by everyday tasks and family responsibilities. In doing so, they lose sight of the meaning and pleasure of being in the NOW and have no time to find ways to reduce their levels of stress.

With that in mind, Borchard also makes reference to Russell Bishop’s recently published book, Workarounds That Work: How to Conquer Anything that Stands in Your Way at Work. She states that “it is helpful in categorizing, sorting, and maneuvering your life in such a way that you spend fewer moments overwhelmed” and concludes that “Bishop’s compilation of wise and insightful advice is a map to navigate the complex terrain at work and is a manual for frustrating processes of life in general.”

As so many of us find ourselves bogged down by the “stuff” of life – from shopping for necessities to taking care of possessions and all the “technological conveniences” of twenty-first century living (all of which tend to break-down at the most inconvenient moments), it’s practically impossible to be productive when we are disorganized and feel at a loss for how to put our personal HUMPTY DUMPTY back together again.

The truth is that the clutter in our lives and the inability to figure out ways to be organized can cost us far more than time, energy and productivity. It can impact our health, reflecting directly on our inability to stay focused on projects and people that are most dear to us.

Therese no doubt hit upon something that I feel is necessary for me to do this year, as well. Being more organized WILL allow me to enjoy my days with greater ease and accomplish more in less time as I experience the pleasure of not being surrounded by things that I trip over or haven’t looked at in years but somehow haven’t been able to part with.

Likewise, I’ve never heard any of my patients say they feel good when they come home to rooms that are cluttered and disorganized.  In fact, their sense of self is diminished when laundry is waiting to be done, dirty dishes need to be washed, and papers are strewn about with bills that need to be paid.

Such external disorder merely reminds them of the clutter in their head. General feelings of overwhelming incompetence do not then allow them to proceed creatively or confidently in the important areas of their lives.

Despite the fact that most of us share many of the same resolutions each year – to diet or not to diet, to change jobs or stay bored and frustrated in our present one, to get married or remain single, to stay married or get divorced, to give whatever we can afford to charity or to give, instead, to those whom we know to be in desperate need of help – we often sabotage ourselves and are left unable to satisfy the majority of our resolutions.

The aspects of life that none of us can afford to lose, however, are the love and company of family and friends and the ability to pay our bills without spending more than we have. Remembering too, that our bodies as well as our souls need care, we must eat healthily, sleep well, exercise, go for our yearly physicals, ask for help when we need it, and offer help to others who may need it from us.

All the rest are life’s luxuries – and while luxuries can most certainly be enjoyable, life’s necessities are the fuel with which we are able to keep our engines running, our hearts beating, our lives moving forward with dignity and grace.

Here’s to lives with less chaos, many friendships, much love, good health, and being as productive as we are able to be!