Monday, February 8, 2016

Organization Is Part Of Your "A" Game

Time not utilized for the betterment of your situation is time wasted. I'm not saying you must lose sleep and not take time off, as those two items directly influence your abilities and mental health.
 What I'm discussing is how much time you spend chasing down missing or misplaced items, buying new items when you know that you've already purchased it, but can't find it. These situations have a negative impact on you and your family. This also goes for grocery trips, meal planning, your job, your future and most importantly, the legacy you instill in your children.

I'll be honest, my storage sections in my home are a wreck. I generally only keep a few things flawlessly organized. Those are my critical items that directly control my life. My toolboxes, safe, ammo storage, reloading gear, and my computer files are kept immaculate. I know where and how everything is in those places. If I need an item, I know exactly where it should be. If it's something I *might* need, all bets are off. It may take me hours of digging in the spare room to find a spare charging cord, computer cable or spare notepad.

My work truck is pretty much always dirty, I might have some trash in the back seat and there is pretty much always a few cardboard boxes and a roll of wire in the bed, but if you open up the tool box, you will see a perfectly organized tetris style stack of power tool boxes and trays full of ancillary parts. Everything has a place, and it all fits perfectly without extra room for it to bang back and forth in the box. It's all fitted so that nothing can move. When I'm working, I don't have time to waste digging through a pile to find what I need. The profitability of the job depends on my organizational skills. I find that people that don't deal with the same constraints deal with the issue differently. A friend of mine keeps his truck immaculate. It's neat as a pin inside and he never allows trash in the truck. He washes it constantly, the appearance being as important as the functionality. At times I will help him out and his shiny stainless steel mirrored finish tool box looks like a Home Depot threw up in it. He knows it's in there, but where is anyone's guess. The tools are like strata that must be dug up in order to find the buried treasure. The going joke between us is that when I die, he gets my truck tool box.

Another item that requires scrutiny above most is your larder and survival gear. Let's face it, when you need it, you NEED it. If your food buckets are in disarray, you will need to waste time you could be using to make your situation better on the organization of items that should already be stored properly. In a situation where a blizzard has dropped power, is your spare heater and/or generator gassed up and ready to go? Do you know where the funnel to fill the tank is? When was the last time you tested your emergency items?

Your situational awareness is also directly affected by your organizational skills. If your EDC items are in order, you don't need to go patting yourself to find your keys. You know where everything is, and you have developed a habit of keeping them in the same spot, regardless of your attire choice. This allows you to keep your awareness directed outward, not inward on your lost items.

Breaking it down (much like your preparedness) is a fundamental skill that must be learned in your own manner. Everyone organizes things differently in their minds, so everyone will organize their items differently. That's fine, but I do recommend organizing things in tiers. Firstly, organize the things you touch and use every day. Next, organize your critically important items, finally you will start organizing your long term sustainment items. This will allow you to make progress without it becoming overwhelmed in the process. Your personal efficiency will increase exponentially, as will your ability to determine your needs.

I've always found that the most successful people I know are the ones that utilize their time well, or use lots of it. Either you can kill yourself working countless hours, or you can make those hours count for more. I choose the latter. My family and my community are better served by my presence as a youth leader and head of household.

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