Do You Follow Doctor’s Orders?

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-medical-pill-prescription-image25081695I twisted my knee last fall. (Note: This post was originally written in 2013, but now I’m working on rehabbing my ankle.) I saw a doctor for knee pain and was already on a Rx anti-inflammatory, which masked the symptoms and made it seem not bad enough to see the doctor again. But a few months later it still hurt, so I finally went to see a specialist. The MRI confirmed some arthritis and a torn meniscus (but not bad enough to warrant surgery). I was prescribed a number of things to do.

Doctor’s orders

  1. Continue losing weight. (Yay for 30 lbs., but I have a long ways to go.)
  2. Take joint supplements (CosaminDS, if you want to know.)
  3. Get a series of 3 gel injections (Euflexxa)
  4. Water exercise and/or bike riding (I’m a fair weather biker, and the weather’s been great!)
  5. Several sessions with a physical therapist, who in turn prescribed:
  6. New shoes with new orthotic inserts (even though I thought I had perfectly good ones already)
  7. Stretching and strengthening exercises

These To-Do’s are not in order of importance, because it was (and still is, for most of them) important that I do them ALL. What good are supplements if I continue to carry excess weight? Why subject myself to gel injections if I’m not going to get new, more supportive shoes? What is the point of seeing a physical therapist if I’m not going to do the exercises? (Note: I’ve slacked off on the exercises, and therefore guess what? I can feel it. When I do everything, though, I feel no pain at all.)

Organizer’s orders

My point? When I work with an organizing client I “prescribe” a number of things, including: determining goals and priorities; sorting and purging possessions; creating homes for everything and labeling containers; being mindful of bringing new items into the home; and dedicating time each day and week to using and maintaining their new systems.

Why sort and purge if you are just going to keep shopping and overflowing your containers? Why organize if you aren’t going to maintain your nice new uncluttered space? How are you going to “find” the time to do the things that are important to you if you never pause to plan your schedule?

Following your doctor’s (or organizer’s) orders leads to faster, more consistent results!

As I say in a previous blog post, Being Organized Isn’t Easy, when did I ever say it was going to be easy?

But it might not be as hard as you think, either. And it’s so-o-o worth it! Don’t you agree?

What other situations can you think of where a several-pronged approach is helpful?

When have you not followed doctor’s orders and regretted it?

Please share your advice and cautionary tales in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. I do the same thing with my clients. Ultimately, we can set a space to be perfect, but if the client doesn’t invest in the day-to-day maintenance, the results will unravel. Changes in small habits are not easy, but they are possible, and they really are the “secret sauce” of staying organized.

  2. First of all Hazel, I hope that you continue to feel better as you follow your doctors’ orders. I like how you’ve drawn the parallels between those orders and the “prescriptions” we organizers offer our clients. Change is a funny thing. We often want to result that habit changes will yield, but we aren’t always poised and ready to actually make all of the changes that are necessary. So baby steps. We do one thing successfully that will hopefully lead us to the next thing. It’s hard to change multiple habits at once.

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