by Ever wonder why making money decisions is so difficult? Because money is not organized. It’s not structured. It’s filled with emotion. Let’s face it. Financial lives can be messy, even if you are a neat freak. It’s more than keeping your desk organized. All though it is a good start.
Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economics for his research on the way the people’s decisions depart from the strict rationality assumed by economists. Kahneman says that we are quick to jump to conclusions because we give too much weight to the information that’s right in front of us, while failing to consider the information that’s just offstage. He called this tendency “what you see is all there is.1
In other words, out of sight, out of mind. To accomplish this we literally have to come up with an organizing money structure which begins in our mind, necessary to make effective decisions.
And there’s plenty of help. In and out of the field of money.
I help organize financial lives into 7 units, through a visual system I call MoneyCapsules®. My mantra- Organize. Understand. Decide.
Carrie Rattle from behavioralcents has organized 6 money profiles which helps women discover their unique money behaviors and emotional triggers, all visually represented as Greek Godesses.
Lisa Gessert from organizing.buzz, is a professional organizer who has a passion for helping individuals or groups with their time and space management issues.
As a guitarist I organize my guitar fingerboard into scales, arpeggios and chords to help me understand and make better music decisions.
I am a student of Organizing. I am forever organizing! In fact 43% of Americans categorize themselves as disorganized, and 21% have missed vital work deadlines.2 Nearly half say disorganization causes them to work late at least two times each week.
So when I discovered the book Organize Your Mind. Organize Your Life. I decided to give it a read.
The authors- Dr. Hammerness is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvad Medical School.
Margare Moore is codirector of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital and a founding advisor of the Institute of Lifesytle Medicine at Spaulding Hospital, both affiliates of Harvard Medical School.
Here are a few golden nuggets I picked up from the book.
1-Rules of Order/Tame the Frenzy-Control your emotions or they will control you. Our first step toward getting our lives better organized and more in control-by working to better manage our emotions.
2- Rules of Order/Sustain Attention- Pay attention, get focused. The ability to sustain focus is one of the building blocks of organization. You need to be able to maintain your focus and successfully ignore the many distractions around you, in order to plan and coordinate behaviors, to be organized and to accomplish something.
3- Rules of order/ Apply the Brakes- Applying the breaks means exercising “inhibitory control.” Inhibition means an ability to restrain or regulate or control your attention.
4-Rules of Order/ Mold Information- Use your working memory to mold information. The role of sleep in memory consolidation is huge. It’s during sleep that we actually process new information. How much sleep? The general recommendation is seven to eight hours.
5-Rules of Order/Shift Sets- Set shifting is your being able to turn the wheel on a dime and redirect the car when that distraction is worthwhile, significant or valuable. The ability to do all three is a sign of the organized mind.
6- Rules of Order/ Connect the Dots- What is the ultimate goal of the organized brain? Is it to a hyper efficient life where one is always on time and never late; a life in which every moment is productive and accounted for, where no one ever wastes time; a life spent with a home that is always neat, with a garage in which everything is labeled and stored in its proper shelf and receptacle? Of course not. The real goal of the organized brain is to be able to see the big picture and act on it- living from a higher plane of order.
I am personally most productive in my life when my resources are properly organized. My understanding is enhanced. My decisions are more effective.
I enjoyed reading Organize Your Mind. Organize Your Life. There are some great tips to declutter your mind and keep things organized. Remember, complexity is dangerous to your financial health. The antidote is to first get Organized.
1-Chip Heath;Dan Heath. Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work.
2- Dr. David Lewis. “Psychologically Toxic Office Space.” The Esselte Corporation, 10/18/2005