Retirement Redesigned

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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Retirement Redesigned

HomeRetirementThe benefits of an organised life

The benefits of an organised life

No matter how hard I tried, the organized life eluded me. I worked on everything from to-do lists to goal setting and beyond, but somehow it never stuck and it left me feeling foolish and incompetent. Until an event that I had not expected turned my head around.

First, the backstory. I had a personal assistant who worked for me for over forty years. Frankie Franz. She was always fully organized and able to deal with any emergency that came at her. In the process, she organized my life to the extent that I ended up relying on her for everything. My finances, my travel arrangements, my tax matters and many other elements of my life were in her capable hands. Frankie and I both retired and in the years that followed, I missed her very much. I have since been doing everything myself and there is much that slips through the cracks.

Frankie passed away recently and at her memorial, her two sons talked with passion and great tenderness about their mother and how she organized their lives. They gave some examples. Frankie, they both said, always wrote everything down. She kept an immaculate diary and never procrastinated. “Everything”, she always said, “has its place”. She was very tidy.

Frankie’s sons’ words made a big impact on me, and I have now adopted her values and some of her techniques as a tribute to her. I’m taking her advice for an organized life seriously. The lesson I have learnt is that for some of life’s most important skills, simply wanting to do something and believing in yourself to do it is not enough. You need a model for how to do it. And in some cases, we benefit from a coach or mentor to help us – someone who has already successfully applied these skills. And in my case, even taking inspiration from the legacy left by someone superbly capable like Frankie.

It’s never too late to make a change or learn something new.

– Johann

Our top article pick of the week:

10 Little ways to redecorate your home without buying anything—or leaving your house

Our take on the article: Re-organising your home needn’t be about removing things. It can also be about refreshing your environment. This article gives a few ideas for ways to refresh your home just by changing things around. This could be especially useful at a time when you are keeping a close eye on your budget. To read the full article by Real Simple click here.

Our most popular daily thought this week:

Very little is needed to make a happy life, it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. – Marcus Aurelius

So much of how we experience life is through the filter of our mindset. And we have control in these areas – our thoughts and our outlook. Getting our thoughts together and being intentional about how we view our lives and our circumstances is one portion of being organised.

Quote by Marcus Aurelius with a couple on a bench by a lake

3 Great reasons for getting organised

  1. Improved mood – decluttering helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
  2. Improved health – organised spaces are easier to keep clean and free from obstacles.
  3. Improved finances – unlock value by selling unused items.

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Johann is the founding partner of Reset Retirement where we focus on assisting people with planning for the non-financial aspects of their lives after full-time work. He had a long career in executive search and leadership as the founding partner and chairman of Heidrick & Struggles in South Africa where he was the head of the company’s board practice.