Saturday, February 5, 2011

Time to Clear Out - Making Room for My MidLife Crisis

Welcome to February! If you live in Chicago, you're still digging out from the blizzard of the century, but here at FortyFabulous we're beginning a clean-up of a different sort. This month's theme is all about getting rid of the stuff that weighs us down - the clothes, the objects, the paperwork, the time commitments, the assumptions.

If it's going to be a year of meaningful change, I need to create room for my crisis! And that means approaching my daily life differently.
 "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
I'm really excited, because I found the best expert to help me tackle the task - Colleen Collins Josellis, owner of Organized Chaos. She started her business six years ago when she went through something of a midlife crisis herself. She'd had a long career as a clinical social worker, then taken time off to raise for her four boys, now 16, 14, 11 and 11 (yes, twins.) Once the twins hit first grade, she needed to return to work, but wanted to be home for her sons after school.

"I carved out some time for self analysis," Colleen tells me. "I asked myself - what do I do well? How can I use my strengths to earn enough money and still have the flexibility I want?" Since she'd been organizing people for free all her life, doing it professionally was the natural next step.

I met with Colleen on February 1, the morning before the storm hit. This chick is so passionate about organizing it's absolutely invigorating. In an hour and 15 minutes, she gave me so much powerful, actionable information that it's going to take me a couple posts to share it all with you.

But here's the surprising starting point when it comes to organization. It's not how you handle your stuff. It's how you handle your TIME.

"Schedules are like closets," says Colleen.  "Most disorganization comes from poor time management."

We're going to talk about this concept more in my next post, and please stay with me. Getting organized may sound dry and boring, but it's one of the most uplifting, thrilling things you can do for yourself, and unlike a diet or a budget - the results are immediate.

That's why Colleen loves her job. "When you start getting organized, it goes to other parts of your lives immediately. After I've worked with them, my clients are so happy! We're hugging and crying, they're so excited. It's wonderful to have a job that energizes you."

I've already started implementing Colleen's tips on how to effectively manage my calendar, paperwork, meal planning and belongings, so check back soon. February is gonna be a great month. I'm making room for a new me!