We live in a 24 x 7 culture. Addicted to busy-ness, we keep on telling ourselves that we are doing something right and maximising our productivity. However, if there is a mismatch between things you’d like to do or feel ought to do, then you need to pause and ponder. Jonathan Fields, author of Unbusy: A manifesto talks about “unbusy” as our awareness wake-up call. Busy-ness is a sign of what neuroscientists call “cognitive overload”, which affects the ability to plan, organise and innovate. In our autopilot mode life style, we forget to organise thoughts and things in their place which is critical for a congenial and coherent life.
One of my classmates always comes to college complaining how she couldn’t find a matching dupatta for her suit in her almirah as everything is in a mess and she is too busy to organise things. Another one usually comes without breakfast as she fails to manage chores in the morning. She nibbles from others’ tiffin. The whole day she remains in a bad temper getting cranky and cribs. Many of us live chaotic days worrying about stuff not done, wondering where our priorities lie, panicking we may forget something and then eventually surrendering in desperation and despair, telling ourselves, “Relax, be fit, tomorrow is another day”. But we fail to catch up that tomorrow or fitness, till we learn to control and organise our days and lives. Well said, Winston Churchill, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.”
I have learnt that a few quiet moments spent every night, before going to bed, just thinking and planning what needs to be done the next day is a success mantra for a peaceful and pleasant day ahead. Lately, I have started doing this like checking the fridge that vegetables to be cooked tomorrow are chopped and ready, the dress to be worn is ironed with accessories in order, books kept in folders, the handbag contains the necessary items and have experienced that I have been able to manage tasks faster and feel a sense of contentment and achievement when I leave home for my college in the morning.
A non-messy life
This is how I attained this. Ruthlessly, I identified the clothes, accessories, books, crockery and other items that seemed redundant, and distributed them among the needy people. A sense of lightness descended into my space as the things I had not been using lately were given to those who needed them. I learnt a lesson never to accumulate unnecessarily. Organising after clearing clutter – each thing in its marked space – life began to be smoother and easier. So, I believe we should make it a habit of restoring things to their original positions, be it our wallet or a newspaper that we have finished reading.
We may not realise but something as minor as a missing book or blazer can stress one out just as one leaves for one’s workplace. Time spent in looking for a particular kurta you wanted to pair with your plazzo, you pulled out lying crushed and crumpled under saris, really unnerves you as you iron it constantly looking at your wall-clock. I hope you understand what I mean. Organise not just your household items but important papers in separate files and convert them into a digital format to make things easier for you. True are the words of Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. So un-busy yourself, de-clutter and organise. Cultivate spaces in your daily routine. Invest your time in organising, and harvest its dividends. These small spaces will help you feel in control of your routine and life. With time in your hands you will be at peace with yourself and at ease to enjoy leisure and pleasure. Happy organising!