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Learning to Love Logistics and the Freedom of Getting Your Shit Together

logistics

Logistics can be a pain in the ass.

While I sometimes find filling out paperwork oddly soothing, I have a tendency to be just one signature or one form away from getting the job done. (E.g., I’m almost 100% Kate Northrup Watts except for my driver’s license because, really, who likes going to the DMV?)

But getting our logistics handled gives us the brain space and energetic freedom to focus on bigger things like following our bliss, making meaning of life, and you know, enlightenment.

Chaos in your logistical life distracts you from what really matters. (Tweet it!)

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Logistical chaos – like always scrambling to pay your rent and living under a mountain of tax documents that you never seem to finish – can be a culturally acceptable form of avoidance.

The Pay-Off of Busy

Our culture worships “busy,” and logistics are great at creating “busy.”

And constant busyness is one of the best ways to avoid true intimacy with ourselves and others. It’s those moments in between busy times where the breakthroughs usually happen. And the breakthroughs often require us to feel things that are uncomfortable. So logistical chaos, while seemingly uncomfortable, actually feels better than getting our shit together.

When you pay your credit card bill on time, put money aside for your mortgage, sit down with your lawyer to create an estate plan before you think it’s entirely necessary (side note: it’s always necessary), you free yourself up to be present for your kids, for your spouse, for your family, for your friends, and most importantly, for yourself.

Learning to Love Logistics

If you’re not someone who gravitates toward being logistically organized, I recommend making logistics a spiritual practice (or at least finding ways to make them fun).

I’ve been resisting making appointments to interview potential new financial advisors for a while now. It doesn’t feel urgent. We have more important things to do. It takes time I don’t feel like spending.

But I know how powerful getting our financial house in order is as a foundation for building our dreams.

So, rather than categorize “find new financial advisor” as a task outside what I want to spend my time and energy on, I’m pulling it under the umbrella of “tasks for practical spiritual living.”

Caring for our logistics is part of caring for ourselves. (Tweet it!)

logistics

Caring for ourselves, of course, is not only a spiritual practice, but also paramount to truly caring for anyone else (as opposed to caring for them in a way that leaves us drained and resentful because we’re not caring for ourselves first or at least simultaneously).

Over to you:

So this week, what can you do to dot some i’s and cross some t’s in your logistical life? What logistical item can you handle so you free up some bandwidth for the stuff that you find the most meaningful?

I’ll be making appointments to meet new financial advisors. I’d love to hear what you’ll be doing – and how you’re going to reframe it to make you want to do it more – in the comments below!

  • Susie says:

    Kate this came at a great time for me, thank you! I am struggling a little with my first online launch (so much back-end work!) and I keep putting it off which is delaying my launch. Everything is otherwise ready to go! Do you have any suggestions for me? I get overwhelmed and a mental block kicks in with all of the technical pieces … I just want to shut down and do something else! Your suggestions are appreciated :)

    xo

    • Kate Northrup says:

      Susie – I like to think of the results that I’ll create when I do a task that I don’t want to do. So think about the money that you’ll have in your bank account when you complete the launch – that may make tackling the back end work more fun if you directly connect it with a reward in your mind.

  • Gina says:

    I am doing 3 things; one HUGE one is finishing my website which will free up so much time for me, and I met my goal of having it done by your SF event (YAY)! The 2nd I am committing to RIGHT NOW which is picking up the phone and scheduling a dental cleaning (talk about self care and putting stuff off eek)! And finally, I commit to writing my last blog post of August that I have been avoiding, but it will help me feel stress free when August comes. Thank you!!! LOVE THIS!

  • Christiane says:

    I just reviewed my estate plan. And loved every minute of it!! It has taken me decades to hone this skill. But now I have an amazing team of professionals who I consult with. And indeed it is VERY freeing!!!! Nice blog!!!

  • This post is such a gem! I’m a major dork for logistics – it’s one of my favorite things – and it’s such a drag to see so many folks avoid them. I know they aren’t “fun” or “exciting”, but once you have everything in-place, you free up so much brain space + straight-up time to do all the other amazing things life has to offer :)

    Me personally, I’m on the hunt for new clients and taking my business to the next level, so I’m tightening up my social media profiles and seeing who else I can help!

  • Sarah says:

    This is so true, so this morning I took 5 minutes make an appointment to have the tire checked on my car. This has been on my mind for a few weeks and now I feel much freer.

    Thanks for this.

  • Kim says:

    Love this post Kate as I am in the process of getting my shit together after years of crazy avoidance behavior and self sabotage! One step at a time!

  • Brooke says:

    I feel so in tune with this message today. I moved into a new house almost a year ago, and I still have two very large cardboard boxes full of disorganized paperwork/documents hanging out in my guest room closet. I’ve been putting off filing them because there hasn’t been a pressing need, but it’s always in the back of my mind. Although it would only take a few hours to conquer this task, every time I put it off it produces a little more anxiety, and a little more dread in my head. It’s taking up too much mental energy–I’m committing to conquering those boxes this week! Thanks, Kate!

    • Kate Northrup says:

      Yeah Brooke! Rock those boxes! I find a great podcast or book on tape really helps me do this kind of task.

  • Kara says:

    I love this. I used to work for executives and loved to nerd out on task lists. In my own life, I often prioritize creative pursuits over long-term tasks and my personal life (and finances) show it. When I take care of big girl items like getting the right insurance, paying bills on time, and knocking out those home-owning chores that are painful but literally save the roof over my head, I feel more competent, more confident, and frankly like a badass. It feels good to feel (and act) like a grown up. Thanks for this reminder, Kate!

    P.S. Congrats on your little person growing inside! I’m selfishly very excited there will be another shiny dimpled person in the world now, celebrating your laughter and sparkle with you. I’m very happy for you and Mike.

    • Kate Northrup says:

      Kara – and haven’t you noticed that when you feel more competent and like a badass, you create more opportunities and prosperity? I certainly have. And thank you for your kind words about the baby!

  • RAED says:

    Filling out disability tax forms for my dc instead of avoiding quantifying, and therefore having to face, the challenges in her life.

  • Ana says:

    Hey Kate, Yet another incredibly timely writing. This week I had decided to get our financials, including all paperwork, in order for our household. Also need to formalize our estate plan and in lieu of this vein of thought decided I may as well review the entire corporate structure of my business and put adequate protocols in place.

    Even though I love envisioning, and do it well in my work, the particular framework of how money flows into our life and how it flows toward what we value is crucial to our peace of mind, knowing it’s handled properly. Running the numbers and creating from where you are right now, is my best advice for entrepreneurs and as truth has it the walk I am taking personally.

    As Nike says it best ‘Just Do It’ thanks Kate you have fueled my inspiration.

    • Kate Northrup says:

      Amazing Ana! May you have a blessed time with your logistics and numbers – there’s tremendous power there!

  • What a great post Kate ! This completely slipped my mind and I now see where I am stuck in “busyness”. Funny enough too, my new program is called Get Your Shit Together but its based on self care. You are awesome! Thank you !!

  • Diane Taylor says:

    Kate – I am consulting with a company right now that is in this exact space. I am taking your words to their off site to draw awareness and help them shift. Your timing is divine!

    Thank you! Thank you!

  • Barbara says:

    meeting with a financial advisor!

  • Lori says:

    Perfect timing once again Kate! On the spiritual agenda next week: hire someone to make a will for my husband and I, life insurance, oh and get our stereo repaired or get Sonos. The soundtrack of our lives has been missing for months!
    Thx for the inspiration.
    xoxo

  • Gabby says:

    This is SPOT on!! I cannot focus when I have chaos some where else in my life that is looming like Gollum, just waiting to attack. Even if my morning routine is thrown completely off….if everything else is clean and organized I can still get out the door on time. I am very much a person that believes “Everything has a place.” and I say put it there! I think I drive my daughter crazy every time she can’t find her shoes….”Where do they belong?” hehe

  • Helina says:

    Yes! I have been on travel for two months after graduating from grad school, and now I am just getting back to Boston so I can pack my stuff and relocate to San Francisco for an art fellowship. I still feel in vacation mode after celebrating the end of a very busy thesis year, but now I realize I need to get on top of moving logistics (and self-care logistics after putting on some pounds while on travel) so I can have a smooth transition and make time for my art again– the thing I look forward to most. I love your book and posts and this came right on time. Thanks for the inspiration to get it done and make room for what I love!!!

  • Genevieve Walden says:

    Dear Kate,

    I love your blog posts, and this message comes at perfect and divine timing for me.

    The logistics I commit to completing by July 31st are:

    1.Completing all elements of a travel insurance claim (I fell of my mountain-bike on June 15th while on a three month sabbatical in Whistler, B.C, Canada, and lost my short-term and long-term memory for 24 hours. It has been a transformative experience for me, including forgetting absolutely everything that I was ever fearful about for the four days following, and seeing my life for the first time again when I started to remember it)

    2. Having a Money Love meeting weekly with my partner, where we work out where our money has been spent while on our three month sabbatical, and allocating it for the final months

    3. Transferring my superannuation to a different investment account

    4. Planning out the next year ahead in detail (to July 31st 2016), in terms of recording and releasing my own musical CD album and going on tour at festivals in Australia and overseas

    5. Checking my bank account every day, and tracking my money

    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and wisdom Kate! They’ve been life-changing for me. Much love to you on your journey. xoxox

  • Marie says:

    This is so timely! I am in the process of FINALLY embracing “getting my shit together!” I definitely can agree that without having my logistics in order, I won’t and don’t have a peace of mind. My goal this summer is to get my tax mess in order so I can start towards my first home.

  • Denese says:

    i’ve been married since March and am just now going through the process of changing my name. i think it really hurt my husband’s feelings that i hadn’t been more on top of this. getting it done feels good. also working through re-vising my web site, re-launching my weekly newsletter and an ecourse i’ve had in piles of papers forever. having these on my mind for months has really weighed me down. i cleared my calendar through august to hone in on these and get. them. done. motivation is the lightness i’m going to feel when they are rolling…. thank you, Kate. and congrats on your pregnancy. can’t wait to hear all about motherhood from your perspective.

  • Genevieve Walden says:

    As a follow up to my previous comment, I just finished step one (competing my travel insurance claim). Thanks for the actionable insight Kate! LOVE the idea of taking care of logistics also being taking care of ourselves.

  • Shelley says:

    Thank you for the gentle reminder to “take care of business”. I have been trying complete several financial tasks – rolling over a 401K to IRA, also meeting with a financial advisor. This will free me up to work on my new career. I realize that I am intimidated by dealing with money and I let that derail me from my goals. I am so grateful to you and your readers for your advice and comments.

  • kirsty says:

    Kate,
    forms, forms, forms, ughhhhhh I have been putting off applying for my Australian Citizenship but I am going to lovingly get started and set a date to complete – end of July. I also need a visa for a Hawaii visit in September so viewing all this paperwork as ‘spiritual’ to be present on my holiday with family is perfect, thank you!
    I divorced a few years ago and it took me about 3 years to change all of my names and accounts back to my maiden name. Each time I did it I considered it lovingly as psychically (?) ‘un-tieing’ myself from my ex and being independent. It really helped.
    thanks for a great article and a great reminder.

  • Suzy says:

    Yesterday afternoon I hired a book keeper after spending an afternoon practically tearing my hair out trying to get my head around my finances, it felt amazing. I then posted in one of my groups it was going to be my mission to love my taxes by next year and up she popped saying why wait until next year?! The thought of knowing exactly how much I am spending and earning every month is so soothing for my soul.☺️

  • Annie says:

    thank you Kate, I so needed this, I have a few final pieces to do on things like renewing life insurance, replacing my paper driving licence that is literally falling apart, and getting things all ready for my tax return. Its silly as I know I will feel so much better when I get them done so have blocked out some time next week to get them all finished – roll on a worry free August!!

  • This weekend I’m committing to shredding unnecessary 2014 docs and updating 2015 filing so that I can locate the critically needed form that I put “somewhere safe” in February but can no longer find. Additionally, I’m going to organize photos by year (2008-2015) so that when I have a chunk of time for scrapbooking, I can pick up a handful and GO! without wasting time trying to figure out where I left off and what comes next.

  • Sarah says:

    Too funny! Was FINALLY getting to my list of logistics which includes clearing out my emails and lo and behold here is your blog – PURE GOLD! It reminded me that we can choose to make anything we do spiritual and sacred – and logistics are a form of direct self-care. Your words reminded me how much energy we can spend in ways that do not actually serve us when we are unable to do whatever is right in front of us to do. Thanks, as always! You rock!

    Sarah

  • Shawn says:

    This is SOOO true! Over the past six months, I have been really working on my logistics (I was also one who just couldn’t seem to get all of the name changes made). I still have a few things on the logistics list but it is amazing how freeing it has been o get the list to a more manageable length. And, I know once the last few items on that list, i.e., estate planning, are done, it will leave so much more room for growth! Thank you for the reminder. :)

  • Georgina says:

    Hi, I´m mexican, italian and USA citizen I´m an entrepeneur at Mexico making natural sauces with out coloant or consevatives stuuf, italian I just want you to know that thanks to you my life & my business have a great meannin. Some day I want to go to a seminario of yours i the USA as soon as posible. I´m 56 years old, divorced a suuuer healthy woman, & I´m going to be super succesfull !!!!

    grazie mille !!!

    Georgina

  • […] really enjoyed this recent article by Kate Northrum, Learning to Love Logistics and the Freedom of Getting Your Shit Together. Read the comments from her audience as well, what a relief to know that we are not alone in our […]

  • Very helpful and Great information,
    we appreciate advise especially coming from a professional.
    Thanks again and keep up the great work!

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