Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Planting a Garden of Organization

I am sorry to say I abandoned you for a few days.  I didn't mean to, I just got caught up in life and the craziness that is my reality.  With that said, I am back with gusto.

Today I thought we would talk about gardening. You know what I am talking about, the growing of plants, usually somewhere around your home, with the intention of eating them, or in my my case, with the intention of killing them.  Did I hear you gasp?  Sorry about that.  It is true, I start a garden every year and I kill a large part of it every year.

Now you may have a few questions right off the top, so I will try and clear things up. First, I live in Phoenix where the best planting season is now. Our summers are so hot that there is no chance of a vegetable surviving.  My desert landscape barely survives. You know that joke about frying an egg on the sidewalk? Well as a kid we tried it, and guess what? It adhered to the cement.  Your second question, if you know anything about Phoenix soil will be, "How exactly did you plant anything in that rock infested hard pan soil?"  After using a sledge hammer to break things up...no, I didn't really do that.  I built raised planter beds and brought in gardening soil.

So now you may wonder why gardening is a topic of conversation at all.  I understand your confusion, but I think there are tons or parallels between gardening and Prepared Binder, so here we go.

Planting a garden takes preparation.  Gardening is not something you can do without any forethought.  Even if you buy a window gardening kit you must find a spot for it, plant the seeds and take care of it.  Outdoor gardening requires soil preparation, tool gathering and a lot of sweat equity.  I remember my dad slaving away in our clay infested soil as a child.  We always had a huge garden, but there was a lot of work involved in the process.

Gardening take patience.  Watching something grow from a seed takes awhile.  Some seeds sprout in a few days, some much longer. When it does sprout you see every bug and bird as a direct threat to you new baby plant.  You have to water it, watch it, take care of it and be patient to watch it grow. Eventually you have fertilize it and even prune it back.  All of this happens before you see any results for your work.

Gardening takes a lot of enduring to the end.  When I start out with a garden I am excited.  I love the thought of living things in my yard.  I think it is amazing every time a seed actually sprouts.  I enjoy checking on the plants and investigating their health and liveliness.  What I don't like to do is stick it out.  About the time the vegetables start to show I lose interest.  You would think it would be the other way around, but it is true, I lose interest.  I worked so hard to get that far and then it is really hard for me to want to pick the grown vegetables... it just seems like so much work!

So I let it die.  Yep, I admitted it.  I let my garden die.  I watch it sprout, I tend it lovingly, and then I watch it wither without harvesting much of the vegetables I worked so hard to get.  Am I crazy?  Well, yes, but most of that is unrelated to this topic... I think what I am is normal.  I burn out and just stop.

So here is the tie in.

Organization takes preparation, much like gardening.  You have to decide what you are going to organize, what tools you need, and then you have to dive in and provide labor.  While we usually won't be outside sweating while organizing, it is still hard work.  For most of us organization is an emotional process.  There are reasons we have clutter and organization forces us to face those reasons. 

Organization takes patience.  Very few people have only one thing unorganized.  In fact, I would be surprised if that was the case.  Organization is something people are not usually consistent about.  It starts when we shove the first thing in the "junk drawer" and continues throughout our homes.  Going back and making sense out of it is hard work.  It takes time and emotional energy.  Until you have completed the process in your desired area you won't see many results.  That takes patience. 

Organization requires enduring to the end.  The scary part is that it is only organized as long as you keep it that way.  A junk drawer is only clean as long as you don't stuff something new in it.  Your basement is only organized as long as you don't throw new things into it.  A filing cabinet is only organized as long as you put papers where they belong.  Arghh! How frustrating that we have to keep going.  (Now you see why I let my garden die!)

So don't let it die.

You CAN do this.  You CAN organize.  Don't try and organize everything at once, for the same reason you don't till up your entire backyard right now and plant enough food for the neighborhood.  If you do to much you will get overwhelmed and stop.

Start small.  Pick one thing and go from there.  Obviously I think Prepared Binder - Home Edition is a great place to start.  Think of it as a window gardening kit.  We provide the binder, the organization and the information you need to organize.  You collect the items on the list and you put it in the binder.  When you are done you have one success under your belt. 

Go ahead, get started.  Plant your organization garden one thing at a time.  Put the energy into nurturing it and be ready to reap the benefits down the road.  I promise the results are tasty!

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