27 March 2007

Jumped back in the box

Unfortunately for me, this is not a special box. I am talking about my SHE box. For those who don't know, SHE stands for Sidetracked Home Executives, an organizational book that made its authors talk-show darlings in the early 1980s. I discovered the book well after its initial burst of popularity and for the past 10 years I've been attempting to stick to the system. I even have two boxes because I lost the first box between Attempts #2 and #3. The original system has been modified over the years by its creators and even inspired another system called Flylady, which I have also tried several times.

Why am I going another round with an organizational system that doesn't appear to be working for me? I am giving it another shot because I think that maybe it did work but I didn't give it a fair chance. During a conversation with ABM last week about trying to get our lives back on track, he mentioned I was the most organized when I was using "that box". According to him, things would be going smoothly and then I would make the system too complicated. I believe I know what he means. Whenever I try anything, I feel that I am not giving it a fair trial if I don't follow it to the letter. Somehow, if I make modifications to what is written down, then I feel as though I'm not doing it correctly. Each time I tried SHE, I would add in all the elements of the system and eventually wear myself out.

This time is going to be different. I am giving myself permission to use the box in the way that works best for me. I am going to organize the tasks in a way that works for me. I am not going to add cards for every single item on my to-do list. For instance, my Treo does a much better job of reminding of appointments and birthdays, so why should I put a card in the box for them? I am not going to set up my system in such a way that requires me to spend hours every day dealing with it. That is one of my main failings; I become so enamored of playing around with the system, making charts and rearranging cards, that I don't do any of the actual chores! This time I am going to make the system fit into my life and not abandon it when I get bored. I don't want to spend the second half of my life feeling as clueless and unorganized as I did in the first half.
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