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10% Can Help You Be More Organized

10% Can Help You Be More Organized

So I read a book outside of my usual genre recently. I guess you could call it a self-help / positive psychology read. Others might refer to it jokingly as the "woo-woo" variety. I'll admit I had my doubts when it was recommended highly on a weekly podcast I follow, but I checked it out of the library nonetheless.


The book was 10% Happier: How I Tamed The Voice In My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, And Found Self-Help That Actually Works -- A True Story by Dan Harris. Some of you may know Dan Harris from ABC News where he's a prominent news anchor.


The upshot of the book is that Harris has a panic attack on live television and realizes he needs to find a way to manage his stress, anger, anxiety, and self-destructive behaviors so he turns to yoga and meditation. The book chronicles his self-help journey in a candid and often humorous way. When he comes public with the book he gets asked repeatedly why he became a devout yogi and the honest answer he came up with was: "...because it makes me 10% happier." Really, who could argue with that answer?! It made sense to a lot of people.


This 10% number stuck in my head and it got me thinking about organizing and how even if we just did something 10% that it would be enough to make a difference in our disorganization. 


Think about the strides you could make in leading a more organized life if you did 10% of the following:

  • Decrease your spending by 10%.
  • Spend 10% less time on social media.
  • Send 10% fewer emails.
  • Donate 10% of the items in your closet. 
  • Tidy your kitchen counters by 10% each night. 
  • Lop off 10% of your to-do list each day. 
  • Go to sleep 10% earlier. 
  • Make your bed 10% of the time. 


If Dan Harris can be 10% happier just by meditating each day, you can be 10% more organized just by doing some of the things on this list.


Now 10% sounds pretty puny compared to 50%, but it sounds way better than 0% doesn't it? You have to start somewhere, right?!


Is there something you could decrease or increase by 10% to get you farther along on your organizing journey? 

And on a related note, is there a "woo-woo" book that made a difference in your life? Please share!



Categories: Productivity


  • This has piqued my interest. I see Harris has a follow-up book about meditation for "fidgety skeptics" - that probably describes me. Thanks for the recommendation!
    1/22/2018 4:02:14 PM Reply
    • @Janet Barclay: Ooh, didn't know about his other book! I'll have to check it out. Thanks! ;)
      1/23/2018 3:10:51 PM Reply
  • I remember hearing about this when Dad did his promotional book tour. I think it can be surprisingly powerful. If I got rid of 10% of the items in my closet, that would be significant. Since my keyword for the year is, "listen," I think maybe I should shoot for 10% more quiet time!
    1/19/2018 2:51:50 PM Reply
    • @Seana Turner: I love how you connected this back to your focus word! Ten percent is a great starting point for a lot of people and can truly make a difference in freeing up areas in your life.
      1/19/2018 3:25:27 PM Reply

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