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Advice Category: 

FrustrationDo you wake each morning and don't know where to start.

For many years, I was one of those people. Fortunately I married a sharp woman who had found the answer. I watched to see how she did it. While space does not allow a full discussion, here is one of the things I learned from watching my wife.

Everything has a place!

When I was young my mother told me that everything has a place. In my young mind I thought – Who cares? How is that going help me have a better life? But now I know, if you don’t know where things are you will incur a lot of frustration and spend a good portion of your life trying to find the things you need to complete a task.

Here is an example of how much time you waste when things are not in their place, time you could be used for other more fun things. Say a screw is loose on a kitchen cabinet hinge. Your thought process might run something like this. Where did I last use the screwdriver? What was I working on? Was I in the garage or down in the basement? By the time you search and hopefully find the screwdriver you have invested say 15 or 20 minutes in a task that should take only a minute! That is 15 or 20 minutes of your life that is wasted.

Let's use the bathroom as an example of things having their own place. When you get up in the morning, apart from the call to nature, what is the first thing you do? For most of us, it is to brush our teeth, floss, use mouthwash, perhaps put our contacts in and for men to shave. So your toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, contact case, razor, shaving cream and aftershave should be in their exact same spot every single day and exact spot is not defined as somewhere on the vanity top. Think of each spot as having a label on it – razor, shaving cream, etc. When you finish using the towel, hang it up. Don’t drop it on the floor thinking you will do it later. Do it now! If you don't complete tasks, at the end of the day you will be standing in a clutter of uncompleted tasks and now you are in the "I don't know where to start" mode. After two or three weeks of putting things in their places, the habit will become automatic and you see a significant reduction in frustration and time spent doing a task.

Hope this helps.