You guys have all heard the phrase; If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail, right?
Today I want to open up to you guys about something that’s been really challenging for me my entire life.
I am that kid. You know, the kid that forgot their uniform on sports days, or left their homework on the bus, or turned up at the end of events instead of the beginning because I read the times wrong.
When I was in kindergarten I got my end of year report and my teacher said that I always lose my jumper and I need to keep better track of things.
When I was in year 6, I failed a huge assignment because I didn't know to chunk like-tasks and make progress.
When I was in 2nd year in my teaching degree, my supervising teacher told me bluntly that if I didn’t learn to be more organised I would fail at being a teacher. It was something that so deeply affected my self efficacy as a teacher that in some way I think it ultimately lead to me leaving the profession among other things.
I am not an organised person. Not in the slightest. And this is something that I have felt very shadowed by all my life. When I was a kid it was comical. As an adult.. well I've been called a hot mess more than a few times.
Whilst I have been acutely aware of this fact almost my whole life, the biggest struggle has not been this supposed "flaw" in my personality, it was that others have felt the need to point this out to me, told me that I needed to do better, but no one ever really showed me HOW.
So today I wanted to share a few things on this topic, but surprisingly not how I've become an organisation queen, and become a totally different person, but how I've over time learned to re-frame my thinking when it comes to organisation skills and the role it plays in my life and my self esteem.
The very first thing I did which was probably the hardest, was to make peace with the fact that it was a part of my personality (to a certain extent) that I could work on it but it would never come naturally to me, and that was okay. Why? Because I have lots of other strengths that do come naturally to me.
Am I amazing at tables and spreadsheets and online calendars? No. Am I the kind of person that will go to the shops, buy 6 things, and come home without getting the one thing I went to the shops to get? Yes. BUT am I a creative person that uses my strengths to create beautiful things for others? Yes. Do I use my strengths to create easy to navigate strategies that make other business owner's lives better and easier? Yes. And is that a pretty rad thing? Also yes!
So once I had my thinking around this topic in perspective, I then felt ready to re-look at the issue. In terms of organisation, there's no denying that this is an important skill to develop, so I did focus on getting better at the skill, even if I knew I wouldn't be a world champion.
I started by trying to work out which systems worked best for me and what areas I really needed to more organised. At first I tried to do a lot of online things because that’s the world we live in, but I found writing things down with pen and paper helped me remember it better! I was open and responsive to any suggestions people made, but didn’t pressure myself into having to make them work for me and my business. Lastly, I committed to continuing things as trial and error, accepting that I was going to have to work on it a lot and that slow and steady progress is fine as long as I keep working at it.
Soooo I won't ever have a clean car or an organised handbag, but it's not the end of the world and it doesn't make me a lesser person. If you also struggle with this like me, hopefully this helps you realise that no matter your "flaws" you're pretty great exactly the way you are.
And just for fun, I've re-worked the quote... "Fail to prepare, prepare to have to take a little longer to do things, and commit to trialing new and better ways to do things to suit you but you'll get there in the end!"
Not quite as catchy.....