- Hey, what is up, guys?
So I want to start off this week's video with
a little story about my formative years.
So back when my brother and I were kids,
we were the recipients of many pieces of advice
and lectures from our father and out of all those lectures,
out of all the advice he gave, there are two main pieces
of advice that stick out to me
and that I've remembered more than any others.
The first of them, which I am sharing here
simply because it is the most prominent one in my head is,
there are two ways to do something: right and again.
And we would often hear this after being told
that what we had just done was not good enough
and that we did have to go do it again.
So that's the one that sticks out the most to me.
But only slightly less prominent in my memory
was the common command to always put things back
exactly as you found them the moment you are done with them.
And it is possibly because I heard this so often
and found myself grounded or otherwise in trouble
because I ran afoul of it,
that ever since I have been basically obsessed
with being an organized person.
It's why I try my best to keep my room as organized
as possible despite having a lot of equipment in it.
And it's probably why I have color-coded calendars
and why I love to go on and on
about the beauty of elegantly-designed
tree-like folder structures on my computer.
But of course there is more to being an organized person
than just having color-coded calendars
and making sure to keep all of your folders
off of your computer's desktop
so in today's video I'm going to be going over
seven things that organized people do
that you probably don't do.
Now, I can already hear you getting defensive
and in your defense, yes, you probably do
at least one of these things and possibly some of them.
But do you do all seven of them?
Well, we're just gonna have to go through the list
to find out so let's get started.
Item number one, which is actually not written down
on this notebook paper because this is just random numbers
from an older video, organized people do not rely
too much on their brains to store information
because organized people understand that our memory
is fallible, things fade, especially when we don't use them.
So when they want to remember something,
organized people put it into a system that they trust.
Now what exactly separates a system that you can trust
from one that you can't,
from one that's probably going to fail you?
Well, I think there's a few different criteria
that we have to list out here.
First and foremost, a system that you can trust
is one that is not going to lose your data.
This immediately rules out your brain,
because our brains forget things all the time,
but it may also rule out a paper notebook
if you don't keep that notebook backed up some other way
such as digitizing it.
On the other hand, you've got systems that are designed
with data retention in mind, apps like Evernote
or OneNote or Google Drive or anything else
that has redundant servers across the world
that make sure your data is backed up and safe
even if the computer where you originally recorded that data
ends up breaking somehow or gets burned up in a fire
or is otherwise destroyed.
Secondly, that system needs to be easily accessible.
So if you do really want to use paper,
make sure it's a paper notebook
that you are keeping with you wherever you go.
Or if it's a note-taking system,
make sure it's a cloud-accessible note-taking system
so whatever device you're using at the time
you can easily search it to find what you're looking for.
Third, that system needs to be well organized itself
and easily searchable.
So whatever app or tool you decide to use,
make sure that it has a logical file or folder system,
make sure it has a usable search tool
and make sure your naming convention makes sense.
Secondly, organized people make sure to label things.
And they're especially diligent about doing this
with things they aren't going to use or interact with
for quite a long time.
To give you a very succinct example of this,
the desk right next to me has some hardware
that I almost never need to use
except for in instances where I'm moving.
So of course I've tossed that hardware in a plastic bag,
it's in one of my cube organizers, it's safe and sound
but if I didn't label that plastic bag
and I go maybe three years in between moves,
I'm probably not going to remember exactly
what that hardware is or what it goes to
when I pull it out of that cube organizer
and try to figure out what to do with it.
And, actually, this is a pretty timely example
because I've got plans to move out of this apartment
in just a few months.
But luckily my past self thought about this
and remembered to buy plastic bags with little label areas.
So last time I was moving and I put all that hardware
into that plastic bag, I remembered to write down
that this hardware goes to my desk.
So when I go to move in a few months,
it's going to be very easy to find it
and I'll know exactly what it's used for.
Now this is just one example
and there are probably other things in your life
that you should be labeling besides just plastic bags.
For example, if you have one of those physical hanging
folder organizers, you probably wanna use the labels
that it comes with to write down
what should be going in each one of those folders.
Item number three, organized people build
what I like to call a mindfulness loop
which constantly goes through the different dependencies
in their lives and basically checks up on them.
What exactly is a dependency?
Well, it's pretty much what it sounds like
and I'm gonna give you a really simple example here.
So every single organism in existence,
down to the most simple single-cell prokaryotic blob
has things that they depend on.
For example, our little blob creature needs a watery
environment to move around in and a food source.
It doesn't have a whole lot of dependencies in its life
but there are still dependencies
and without them it will die.
And what is true for our blob is true for you as well,
except for that you're a much more complicated organism
and you have a much more complicated life with many
different facets, you've got a lot more dependencies.
You have your food, your shelter,
your academic goals, your relationships,
there are so many things to keep track of.
And here is where one of the biggest differences between
organized people and disorganized people can be found
because disorganized people are constantly being
caught off guard by one of their dependencies
needing maintenance, needing action from them.
And on the other hand, organized people are constantly
looking ahead and figuring out what those dependencies
are going to need in the future.
They have this mindfulness loop constantly going on
in the back of their mind.
My absolute favorite example of a mindfulness loop in action
actually comes from my mom.
This was a story back from when I was probably 14
or 15 years old.
I think I was up in my room on the computer
just doing something that a 15 year old does on a computer
and I heard her shout up to me,
"Have you brushed your teeth today?"
And this was like at two P.M. in the afternoon,
she was doing something completely unrelated
to teeth brushing and yet she thought to ask me.
Well, the health and well being of her children
were one of her main dependencies.
And because my mom is an organized person,
she got this regular mental notification
to check up on that dependency.
Now, admittedly, this is one of those mental patterns
that does take a lot of time and effort to build,
you're not going to be able to flip it on like a switch.
But I think the first step to building this mental pattern
which is incredibly useful is to sit down
and consciously list out your dependencies.
Maybe even sit down and draw a mind map
of all of your life's different dependencies.
And with this application of conscious thought,
all the different aspects of your life,
over time it's going to sink into your unconscious
and you're gonna start building that loop.
Item number four, organized people live by the mantra,
two is one, one is none.
Essentially, this translates to have a backup
of anything that you use on a regular basis,
especially if running out of that thing
in the middle of your work would hamper
the rest of your day or screw it up.
For example, the camera that I'm filming this video on
right now relies on a battery to run
and if that battery were to die during filming,
well, luckily for me I have an extra battery
that's always on the charger on the wall,
always fully charged, ready to go
because two is one and one is none.
If the battery ran out and I didn't have the backup,
I wouldn't be able to film and I might not
even get a video out on time.
And the same goes for many other things in my life.
Memory cards, I've got many, many backups.
Smoothie ingredients, well, there are two jugs
of milk in my fridge instead of just one,
that way if I run out of one while making a smoothie,
I've still got milk to use and I don't have to abstain
from my smoothie that day.
So just remember, if running out of something
would cause an interruption in your life,
make sure you have a backup of it,
that way you can use the backup, go on with your day
and then replace it when it is convenient for you to do so.
Item number five, organized people set things up
in a way that is useful to them and that works
based on their own experience and experimentation
not simply based on dogma or how other people do things.
Now, my favorite example of this principle
comes from one of my favorite books which is
Anthony Bourdain's book, Kitchen Confidential.
In that book he talks about how many chefs inventory
all the stuff in their kitchen alphabetically because,
well, it just seems like the obvious way to create a list.
But he didn't, instead he organized his inventory sheets
so that the order of the items mirrored
the geographical location of everything in the kitchen.
And this actually makes a lot of sense
when you think about it but, of course,
not everything that people do is based on sense.
So ditch the dogma if it doesn't make sense,
question the established ways
and constantly experiment with your processes
and the way that you organize things
so you're doing things as effectively as you possibly can.
Item number six, and I have run out of stupid things
to do with this notebook prop.
Organized people respect the value of mise en place.
And this is a French term that roughly translates to
everything in its place.
To call back once again to Kitchen Confidential,
Bourdain describes mise en place as your setup,
your working environment,
and to some degree, your state of mind as well.
And within the culinary world,
this is one of those concepts that every single
competent chef and line cook swears by
because to not use it, to not respect mise en place,
would mean to work in chaos.
And you don't wanna have burners on the stove,
you don't wanna have greasy or meaty hands
when you're trying to find your chef's knife
or you're trying to find something else that's important,
you wanna make sure that everything is in its place
and you know where it's supposed to be
and it's organized before you start working.
And this is a concept that's not just useful
in the culinary world, it's useful for anybody.
Make sure that your work environment is set up properly
before you begin your work.
And once you're done, put things back exactly
as you found them, as my dad constantly yelled at me to do.
And, finally, the list has led us inexorably
to item number seven which is worthy
not of a notebook, but of a Captain America shield.
Organized people are very deliberate
about what they own, what they buy
and what they choose to keep.
And, of course, choosing to keep this shield
was a very worthwhile decision.
Now I am not going to say that I am a minimalist,
mainly because my best friend, Martin,
who is a minimalist and who runs my website
would probably hack my website and destroy it
if I used that term, just out of pure annoyance.
But I do take care to buy things that bring me value,
that bring me joy or utility.
I don't keep things around if they're not useful to me,
I don't let them clutter up my space.
And I think this is something that you should keep in mind
as well because remember, the more things that you own,
the more energy and time you have to spend maintaining them
and storing them and keeping them organized.
And it's a good thing to remember that organized people
don't spend more time and energy than they have to
on organization, it's a means to an end.
So be deliberate about the things that you buy,
ask yourself, am I buying this because it will
bring me joy or utility or am I buying it
for some frivolous, stupid reason?
Or, am I buying it just to impress somebody else?
And likewise with things you already own,
be asking yourself on a regular basis,
do I still need to keep this thing?
Could I donate it to somebody else?
Could somebody else get more use out of it than I could?
Or, can I just get rid of it because it's no longer
valuable to me or anyone?
Do that, along with the other six things I've mentioned
in this video and you will be well on your way
to becoming an organized person.
Now at an earlier point in this video I talked about
a concept that I like to call the mindfulness loop.
This is the process of constantly checking through
the different areas of your life
and making sure that their dependencies are taken care of.
But the mindfulness loop actually has different levels.
At its lowest level,
this tool is simply concerned with maintenance,
with maintaining the state of your life as it currently is.
But at a more advanced level, it's also looking forward,
constantly prompting you with questions about
what you could do to set yourself up
to take advantage of future opportunities.
And if you wanna put yourself in a place to take advantage
of a wide array of those opportunities,
then one of the cognitive skill you're probably
gonna want to work on is that of lateral thinking.
Lateral thinking is the process of solving problems
using indirect lines of reasoning.
It requires lots of creativity and it also requires a wide,
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Big thanks to Brilliant for sponsoring this video
and being a huge supporter of my channel.
And, as always guys, thank you so much for watching.
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Thanks again for watching and I will see you
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