7 Things I Learned From How to Get Organized

How to get organized? I had no idea back in the day. I’m disorganized by nature. I need structure, goals and plans to keep me on track. Without them, I’d never get a damn thing done. I’d be aimless.

book cover 12345See, my mind does a decent job of prioritizing tasks, but keeping everything organized rarely makes it to the top. In college, my place was always a disaster. Clean my room or go shoot jumpers? Getting buckets was alway prioritized over cleaning.

While I could get away with clutter in college, the real world hit me like a brick. Sales was tiring and trying. Work wore me out every day. If I wanted to stay in shape and maintain some type of social life, I knew I had to get organized.

How to Get Organized

I did. To the best of my ability. Organization wasn’t a strong suit, but I figured enough out to get things done. I got organized enough to work, stay swole, and have some fun.

But I certainly wish I had How to Get Organized by Will Freemen back then. 

A ton of the testing and tweaking it took to become marginally organized would have been removed. I could have gone from unorganized to organized within a week. Will covers it all in his guide to getting organized.

And even though I’m better than I once was, I can still become more organized. With this in mind, I checked out How to Get Organized. Here are seven things I learned from the book:

  • You Need Organization

Due to my past, I’ve always undervalued organization. I knew the value organization could offer me. I took some steps to improve the organization of my life. But I never took it as serious as Will does. How to Get Organized will convince you to focus on organization more than you ever have before.

You’ll quickly start to see the benefits of organization and how a few tweaks to your system can pay huge dividends over time.

  • Throw it Away

“You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.” -Tyler Durden, Fight Club

Truer words, and shit. I’ve been traveling for a decent amount of time. Minimalism is a major key to travel. But it wasn’t always like this for me.

I used to herd things. Basketball cards. Camp t-shirts. Workout notebooks. I had a problem. I’d go to college, and my car would be chalk full of stuff.

Then I decided to hit the road. At first, I started out carrying around a huge piece of luggage. By my second trip, I was bringing half the stuff. You really don’t need that much stuff.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re traveling or not. In How to Get Organized, Will lays out the case for minimalism for non-travelers. He details exactly why every man should become a minimalist.

Then breaks down exactly how you can become a minimalist within one week. If you still have a lot of stuff, this chapter alone is worth the price of admission. It’s that important.

  • Clean Place, Free Mind

Keeping your place clean isn’t always easy. Personally, I usually have a maid come once a week while I’m on the road. It’s just easier. I’m thinking about changing that up once I get healthy. My biggest takeaway from How to Get Organized is the quick cleaning tips that declutter your life.

The five rules laid out in this organization guide will ensure your place stays tidy and your mind free to focus on tasks of greater importance. And there so simple anyone could implement them TODAY.

  • Wunderlist & Wow

As a testament to my lack of organizational abilities, I’ve never used a task management app before. Sure, I’ve kept notebooks and such. But an app? Nope. The closest I’ve come is the built-in Notes app on my iPhone.

Then I learned about Wunderlist in this book. Wow! The app is simple, speedy, and best of all – FREE.

In Wunderlist, you’ll create folders like:

  • Tasks
  • Shopping
  • Projects
  • Goals
  • Routines

Then Will guides you through filling these folders in. He details the exact type of info you need in each folder and how to set them up to optimize your life.

  • Long-Term Focus

“When it comes to defining the right mission for you, the criteria is simple. The right mission needs to do two things for you: it needs to give you meaning and get you paid. When you find the right mission you get emotional fulfillment and financial security, two of the most important things in life.”

Building your goals starts with finding your mission in life. Once you know your mission, you can start detailing goals that’ll help you find the success you desire.

One of my favorite aspects of How to Get Organized is the long-term focus and clarity. Will details how you can find what’s important to you and build an organized life around what you want. Then he breaks this down by days, weeks, months, quarters, and years.

  • Motivation Doesn’t Matter

This one surprised me, as it’s naturally difficult for me to stay organized. Once you get your system in place (minimalism, Wunderlist, etc.), Will claims you won’t need any motivation to get everything you want to get done. But when you think about this, it seems to make sense.

“Do you need motivation to brush your teeth? No you don’t. Because brushing your teeth is a habit. It’s just something you do. And being organized is now just something you are. You’ve done the hardest part already and turned the ship around. Now all you need to do is keep at it for the next three weeks, and it’s smooth sailing from there on out.”

  • Media Maintenance Tips

Will’s tips regarding media management are simple, but also quite useful. I’m known to have 20 documents open at once, along with ten tabs online. You may be, too.

The media management tips found in How to Get Organized are sure to help you clean your computer, phone, music, and more. These tips are easy to implement and offer the quickest way I’ve found to organize and optimize my media.

How to Get Organized – Overall

Less is more. Just like Will suggests a minimalist lifestyle – he keeps this guide to getting organized short and sweet, too. While short, you’ll find every page can add value to your life. You just have to apply the advice given. How to get organized? Take action. Read Will’s book and make getting organized a priority.

Remove the clutter from your life. Grab a copy of How to Get Organized by Will Freemen here. 

Update #2: The Two Articles Per Day Challenge
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Jake D

Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.

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