Since it’s Halloween today, let’s talk about our BRAINS! They’re squishy, mushy things which are AMAZING in how they function!
Scientists are continuing to learn more about our brains and how they function, yet there is so much more to learn. One of the characteristics about our brains is that there is a right brain and a left brain — they are joined together — but each part has separate primary functions.
Now I’m not a neuroscience expert, so don’t judge me on this, but I do believe that whether you use the right side of your brain or the left side does affect how organized you are – and how you see organization as a whole.
Someone who is predominantly right brained will see the whole of a room and therefore, if it’s messy and cluttered, due to seeing the “big picture” so to speak, they will become instantly overwhelmed. Whereas a left brained person can see the room in sections and can see how to tackle it one section at a time. This is a very high level summary but you get the idea.
There are websites you can take tests to see which side of your brain you utilize the most (http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3178 and http://braintest.sommer-sommer.com/en/ are two websites). I took one of these tests and, believe it or not, I ran about 50/50 – not much difference between the right side and left side usage. Hmmm…what does this mean? The beauty of being both left and right brained is that I can tap into my creative side (I grew up taking private painting/art lessons due to an innate ability to paint and draw), plus I can relate to clients who struggle with organization (I might just need that broken window blind to use for a project in the future), yet using my left brain, I realize the necessity for purging (throw out the broken window blind…please!), and I bring a sense of order in working with clients that doesn’t shut them down – because I GET HOW THEIR BRAINS WORK.
Most organizers come up with a plan of action that may not work with someone who is right brained. For example, we’ll proffer up my mom – thanks Mom! She likes to keep her unpaid bills in a place where she can see them – on the counter near her dining room table. She sees the basket everyday which reminds her (she’s visual) that she needs to sit down at the dinner table and pay bills. In my house, it’s a different setup: I have mine in manila file folders for each month (for each month I have two folders – for example, one folder says Nov 1-15, the other folder says Nov 16-30). We pay our bills weekly so we scan through the folders on our designed bill paying day each week to see what is due. Now if I took MY SYSTEM and put it into place for my Mom, since she’s more right brained and needs visual cues, it’s pretty likely that my mom would forget she had bills to pay because they would be in a wall pocket behind her office door…yeah, this won’t work for her. She wouldn’t see them and wouldn’t think about checking her folders. This is why her method works for her and our system works for us. KEY POINT: Use “systems” that work with what works best for your brain!
We face so many stressors in today’s world. Let’s eliminate one of those stressors and accept our brains as how they currently function. And work with someone (a friend, family member or professional organizer) who understands YOU and helps you establish organization systems that work in YOUR home and with YOUR brain.