One thing I do to escape this Indiana-Jones-style Incan deathtrap of malfunctioning neurochemistry is make lists. I'm terrible with keeping all my plates spinning of my own volition. Food will rot, clothes will pile up, and self will be unwashed and underfed. Once, a mouse crept behind my CD cabinet, got trapped somehow, died, and liquefied in its decomposition, creating a smell that bugged me for a week until I located its source. That may not be related to my disorganization but it's a good story, I think.
So I create to-do lists to remind me what needs doing. I come up with items all day long, as events warrant, and record them on Post-It notes, in my Moleskine date book or any of the three journals I maintain, or in a special little Moleskine reporter's notebook I keep in my winter jacket, if I happen to be outdoors when a good idea hits me. Every few days I assemble all these notes into one large to-do list and that night I begin to attack it.
|Many of these items are actionable.|
And it's okay if some of those list items are stupid. One of mine was to catch up to my wife with watching Parks and Recreation. Great show, but viewing it is hardly a life achievement. Still, I wanted to do it and currently I have some free time (see above) so I finished Season Two while filling out eight Postcrossing postcards destined for Germany, Russia, and Poland--strictly a coincidence. I'll note that I took care not to put apply the Ronald Reagan commemorative stamps on any postcard going to Russia. Don't want to pick at any scabs. So that's two items scratched off my list right there.
Next, I've joined NaNoWriMo and will begin hacking out one of the novels I have locked in my skull. I can also get caught up on my other writing pursuits and eliminate a couple more slots on my list. See how this goes? By tonight, I will feel a tremendous burden lifted off my shoulders, and a sense of freedom mixed with competence will infuse my chest cavity. And not a dime of discretionary funds will have been spent: this is all stuff I can do right here, in my apartment, with presently afforded resources and my mitts.
Lists might not be for everyone. Some people are organized on their own; other people can't read or write. But for me, this is a perfect solution for a long-term, persistent problem I find otherwise inescapable: life.