Today I had the fortune of listening to Lorraine Murphy speaking about her second book Getting Remarkably Organised. I say fortunate because I’ve heard her before and she is amazing. The way she breaks everything down into implementable principles, shares her story, and encourages you, is what makes her quite the rockstar.

I just love to share the message of Lorraine’s work, as it resonates so strongly with a key principle which has featured through all my successes – prior preparation predicts performance.

My early career steps had me immersed in the sporting world, first on the Sydney Olympics and later at the Australian Institute of Sport and the Australian Sports Commission. I loved being part of the action in the sports industry because it meant I was working on something which underpinned Australian culture, and which was all about one of my first loves – performance. Being involved on the business side, I got to meet many amazing people functioning at their best, see glimpse into the behind the scenes, and see what gave the athletes and their support crews the edge and the leverage on their time.

Ultimately, these people were performing at their best because their prior preparation predicated their performance.

I take this into all aspects of my life – from building businesses, to evolving my health and wellness, to fuelling my growing family, to getting truckloads done in my day, and even on to enjoying life on holidays with three young children.

I also love how Lorraine curates others awesomeness, integrates it, tests it, evolves it, and then shares the love.

Lorraine’s new book will no doubt be awesome, but today I took a few notes on my key takeaways which I wanted to share.

Key takeaways

  1. When you’re organised and in the driving seat, you can be proactive versus responsive where you feel totally out of control.
  2. Flex your muscles and develop strength – strengthening your organisation muscles is the infrastructure for success in all areas of your life. Once they’re stronger, it’s easier.
  3. What is organisation?
    • A switch to proactive mode from reactive.
    • Feeling on top of commitments and tasks.
    • Downtime can actually be downtime. Feeling unorganized pulls you down and is a buzz killer, even when you’re trying to have the down time.
    • Make it like a chocolate layer cake, and layer in one small thing, gradually.
  4. Small steps consistently for major life overhauls. Problem is, you can’t go back. Smaller things are also easier to manage than big chunks, and you’re more flexible.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Be your biggest fan. Speak to yourself how you would speak to others when you’re leaning or teaching something new.

One key principle

The key principle of how to feel remarkably organised? Take care of your future self, now.

Whether it is writing your to do list the night before, getting up half an hour early to move your body, or washing your hair before you travel saving you time and lugging around extra gear, it’s all the little things about taking care of your future self now which will make the difference to how you feel.

Book cover - Get Remarkably Organised by Lorraine Murphy

Seven steps to getting remarkably organised

Step 1 – change your self talk, and self leadership. Start talking nicely to yourself, rather than using language you’d never dare use with others. Practise self leadership, and be your biggest cheerleader.

Step 2 – offload excess stuff. It’s all about how you feel. As Marie Kwondo notes, ‘physical clutter creates mental clutter’. Over ride our rational mind when decluttering by picking up every item and asking does this spark joy? Rather than I should or I could, or it was expensive, or so and so gave it to me. Apply this to relationships and commitments too, when these no longer bring joy. Consciously spend your life in spaces which bring you joy.

Step 3 – plan weekly planning time. Planning halves doing. Initially takes a while to plan, then once your muscle is stronger, it can only take 20-30 minutes, and colour code your week.

Step 4 – prioritise your task list. And makes sure you attribute how long it takes for each task, so you don’t feel breathless when you look at the A4 list. When you get your MITs (most important tasks) done first, how you feel afterwards is invincible, no matter what happens next. Most important things (or Brian Tracy’s ‘frogs’), and everything else feels doable after you’ve done the big things. Then medium. Then quick (less than 3 mins). Then personal tasks. Cascading waterfall of priorities. If the wheels fall off, we’ve done the most important things.

Step 5 – morning routine. Three pillars to include – white space, focus and energy (Eg breakfast). Book inspo is the Miracle Morning and Morning Pages where you’ll create SAVERS – silence, affirmation, vision, energise, reading, scribing. Initially they will take 60 minutes but once your muscle is stronger, you can take just 6 minutes to great effect. (Side note: I remember when I stopped ‘shoulding’ on my early morning yoga. Rather than asking myself ‘should I’, I just didn’t ask the question.)

Step 6 – conquer distractions. Tips. Turn off notifications. Distractions are a mini task, and multiple notifications go off on multiple devices and amplifies how you feel. Phone on silent and face down at a minimum, if not in another space or a drawer. Hampster brain wants to keep running and checking your phone. Tell people when you’re not available, because little things never take two minutes to do a task, plus it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back task you were doing to get back in flow state. In a team situation this multiples. You’re talking about so much time, energy, and money – build in infrastructure for this.

Step 7 – kick procrastination to the kerb. Tips. You always make things worse in your head. Put it in your task list as your MIT. Don’t write your projects as tasks, chuck them into tasks. Project plan. Start with easy ones, and short time periods, to get going, and break the bigger and hard ones into smaller chunks (like 5 minutes). Self incentives. You can download Lorraine’s free weekly habits scorecard here – http://lorrainemurphy.com.au/product/weekly-habits-scorecard-download/.

Get remarkably organised with Lorraine Murphy

Enjoy the feeling of a proactive approach to life, and the performance which comes from it.

Ciao for now,