I have a friend called Megan. To a sanguine, creative person like me, Megan is a superwoman. Why? Well, she’s organised. She has systems. She gets up early and ensures her email inbox is always sorted. She has routines. She sticks to them. Marriage, kids and career all handled expertly. She always, always looks a million dollars. Gorgeous, like a cover girl. I’ve been at early morning prayer meetings with Megan. For most of us the miracle has already occurred in that we got there. Dressed in some clothes. Megan though – Covergirl. With ease.
To all you Megan – types, congratulations. You have a great gift that some of us simply don’t have. Being naturally organised. It’s just part of you. My Dad is this type. This species. Haha. The organised species. You don’t have to consciously try to be ordered like “we” do. My Dad has a perfect sock drawer. He has the same routine every night before bed. He goes grocery shopping every Thursday. Some fit in the grocery shopping when they can. For him. No. Thursday. It’s Aldi. Then there are some of us who have to park our car and deliberately double check EXACTLY where we parked, just so we can find it again. Past experience forces one to engage the double checking model.
Some of us feel suffocated at the idea of “routine.” Some of us have what my Mum calls, “the octopus spirit.” She means a unique ability to go in eight directions at once. This is an awesome, often highly coveted and very necessary skill. Sometimes. Only sometimes.
For some of us, spontaneity and flexibility is our middle name. We have got that part down. We are professional at the concepts commonly referred to as “spur of the moment,” “improvise,” “go with the flow,” and “play it by ear.”
As I said, all you naturally organised people, you’re sorted. You’re fine. For the rest of us – here’s the hard truth. You simply have to lift your game in this area, a bit. Not to lofty unrealistic heights, but a bit.
Accept that you won’t be Megan. You’re not supposed to be. You’re supposed to be you. The best version of you that there is.
The best version of you means you don’t lose stuff, forget stuff, have infinite piles of stuff that you’ll “get around to sorting out” and of course addressing the QUEEN BEE of all traits for you lot. You’re late.
Pretty much to everything. If you do manage to be on time (which is rare) or early (this will only happen if you got the time wrong, accidentally, because you’re disorganised), then you are frazzled upon arrival.
Believe me, I get it. My Mum has still not conquered this one. The “late to everything” life. (Can you see why they are married?)
You’re fun, you’re social, people adore you. You’re full of vision, ideas, positivity, creativity for days and you’re actually extremely intelligent, talented and emotionally switched on.
You also have to work at staying focussed. Over the years I’ve worked extremely hard at all these things that come naturally to some people.
You’ll need to challenge underlying beliefs that don’t serve you and actually change. For real. This may be an Everest to you, yet it’s time to put those climbing boots on.
I teach a whole workshop on FOCUS. However I’m allowed to. Simply because I’ve done it. I do it a lot. I actually love discipline. As I musician, I will probably never be an “in bed at 9pm” person. That’s ok though. Some days I’m up at 5am. Some days that’s around the time I get to bed. That’s ok too.
For those of you who have the octopus spirit, FOCUS is harder. Yet it’s not impossible. It’s actually vital!
What I’m saying here is, play to your strengths, yet also acknowledge and work on your weaknesses.
I’m now at a place where order, organisation, focus and streamlining are better than ever. None of that is natural to me. I’ve never made a spreadsheet. I don’t do Excel. I don’t have all the systems in place that I want – yet that is the goal. Actually my sheet music is organised better than any system of sheet music that I have ever seen. Truly. Thousands of songs in many genres, all alphabetised. It’s incredible. However I had much assistance over a long period of time from lots of fabulously organised people who brought their ideas and methods to make it all work.
Enlist help and support. You need it! Do a swap. “Can you help me organise my office if I teach you some gourmet cooking skills?” Just substitute in here what YOU can offer and enlist one of the Megan types. This is the stuff of life my friends.
If singing is your thing, pay attention now, then you need to be working on it daily. Practising. A lot. This takes focus, discipline and a decent level of organisation to create the space and time necessary to follow your passion.
The power of focus cannot be underestimated. The power of doing one thing at a time cannot be underestimated. The power of being organised cannot be underestimated.
So, if you’re pushing into OCD land where you are so rigidly organised, maybe you need to relax, change some things around and employ some flexibility. (Your loved ones will be overjoyed.)
If you’re fun, full of ideas, creative, disorganised and late, maybe you need to put some real energy (even financial investment) into getting some systems and organisation happening. Throw some stuff out. Let go. (Your loved ones will be overjoyed too.)
Today I spent some time in the library of the Conservatorium of Music. You want to talk about detailed organisation? Libraries are a classic example of order, systems and detail.
I don’t suggest any of you sanguines ever become librarians. You’ll wreck the library and those beautiful systems. However I met Marie today who handles all the jazz post grad studies. Marie is my oxygen now. She’s Detail Woman. And I love it. I told her that we need people like her in the world. She thought it was a wonderful compliment. I’m applauding her wonderfully systemised, detailed mind. Honestly if I worked in a library…mmm, I actually can’t finish that sentence. It’s too far from reality…
Anyway, these are important thoughts about where you are on the organisation continuum. If there are some areas you could tighten up, then be kind to yourself and take a step into a new way of order. Then just keep moving forward. You can do it. Just a little.
On a final note, now that your schedule is getting into order don’t forget to check out “Introduction to the Recording Studio” workshop and save the date. Find all the details here. Please register ASAP to avoid disappointment. The opportunity to professionally record your voice on a song of your choice is a wonderful gift to give yourself. I would love to see you there.
I welcome any tips you have to keep order and organisation happening in your life. Especially you Megan types. Share the love with those who need it!
Always remember, You Have A Voice!
Love, Simone xx
ps Here is a quick tip from Dr Simon Barker, “Focus on one thing in your music practise, master it, then move on. Don’t move on till you master it.”