“It’s not messy; I know where everything is…”
Piles of papers and other items are strewn carelessly or stacked haphazardly blocking entries and exits. Rhyme and reason have taken a long vacation; no order exits. “It’s not messy; I know where everything is,” claims the inhabitant of such a space.
We all have natural behaviors regarding the use of time and how we organize time and space. Sometimes our styles work well for us, but when we do not understand how to work with our natural styles, we can get in our own way and impede our best intentions. Understanding what can work for us and what does not impacts the overall quality of our life.
For a NoRules™ person, finding necessary tools is a mission rather than a simple task. This rebel relishes living in the moment and spurns maintenance routines like neatening, organizing or throwing away items.
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This No Rules™ Space Style Preference™ can show up in people experiencing situational overwhelm due to life stressors and transitions, or it may be the case of those who struggle with chronic disorganization. Others may be dealing with chronic issues such as ADD, ADHD, or PTSD*.
A No Rules personmay not understand how others manage to function without creating a “mess.” In fact, someone who leaves a trail of undone and incomplete behind them no matter where they go, may be totally unaware they’re doing so.
She could be too overwhelmed by life situations to worry about straightening up. She may want to be more organized, but doesn’t have sufficient skills or knowledge to create a system that works. She also may not have had the best role models for categorizing, ordering, putting things away or may have missed the life lessons of critical maintenance tasks. She does understand however that organizing could improve her life.
Since it takes energy to live in a cluttered space, any additional stressors that can cause a lapse in energy. Factors that call for increased energy and engagement may be difficult to manage. Not keeping up with maintenance is a root cause of feeling out of control. These feelings can leave a No Rules person unaware of the discomfort others may be feeling in a No Rules space.
Cluttered spaces are usually difficult to navigate around and maintain without significantly repressing your feelings. When occasions arise that enhance stress, it can cause so much anxiety that a No Rules woman may feel unable to act or respond to the needs of others.
What steps can a No Rules take to use her natural space style preference to reduce physical chaos and the emotional overwhelm it causes?
How can a No Rules make others comfortable, create a workable, usable system of organization, and create a more enjoyable workflow?
Flow is defined as the “natural, effortless unfolding of life in a way that moves us toward wholeness and harmony” (from The Power of Flow, Belitz and Lundstrom). The gateway to flow begins with awareness, being present in the moment, and learning to manage your inner experience. Flow Steps™ offer simple choices to help resolve tension and restore freedom over time and space.
Here are some basic Flow Steps that can help a No Rules Organizing Personality Style enhance workflow:
1. Accept responsibility for yourself and your environment
- Start with small, contained areas like a closet shelf or a drawer
- Work in short spurts with a kitchen timer and a reasonable goal – 5 minutes – pick up 3 things
- Motivate with mini rewards and incentives
2. Adopt storage and retrieval systems that are convenient, simple, and suit your personality.
3. Get help from others – consider partnerships for a common goal.
4. *If you feel you may be struggling with life-long chronic disorganization or hoarding behaviors, or if you are concerned that the brain-related issues listed affect you, you may require the assistance and support of a professional team. There are specialists who deal specifically with chronic disorganization and it’s impacts on your life. If you’d like to learn more about hoarding behaviors, check out the professionals who are trained to specifically work with chronically disorganized individuals. Find the Clutter/Hoarding Scale at ICD – The Institute for Challenging Disorganization or connect with Children of Hoarders, Inc.
These are just a few ways to acknowledge your natural style preferences and recognize the aspects over which you have some control. Taking action on the things you can control can create a more pleasing living and working environment and enhance your overall productivity and daily experiences.
Once you identify your dominant style preferences – are you an Everything Out™, Nothing Out™, Minimalist™, Saver™, Straightener™, or No Rules™? – you can begin to take steps to integrate more Flow Steps into your experience.
The Time & Space Style Inventory™ (TSSI™) evaluates your style preferences and how you arrange space, tolerate disorder, and assign value. By learning your preferences, you can make the most of your style to increase flow in your life with Flow Steps that will help you successfully manage your inner experience.
EMBRACE your natural style!
Make it work for you – take the Time & Space Style Inventory™ and identify your time and space styles and enjoy your life @ http://bit.ly/tssifree. Cena Block (sanespaces.com) specializes in helping moms design work on their own terms and build smart supportive systems that create time for living. A business coach and author, Cena has collaborated with professional organizer and author Sunny Schlenger (suncoach.com) to create the Time & Space Style Inventory™ – a tool that not only identifies natural behavioral styles but also enables you to use that information to create a personalized road map to manage your time and space. Find Sunny’s new book: Flow Formula: A Guidebook to Wholeness and Harmony on Amazon.com.
Image courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net