I remember being in high school chemistry (apologies if you didn’t take high school chemistry, I promise I’m not going to get very technical here) and learning about the concept of entropy. I was fascinated by it.
For those of you didn’t take high school chemistry, or if high school chemistry was MANY years ago (20+ years ago anyone?), entropy is the level of chaos or disorder in a system. The tendency is for all systems to move toward more disorder, or become more chaotic. So even a system with a ton of order and structure will eventually become more chaotic and messy.
Let me give you a more realistic description of entropy – a clean house. When was the last time you cleaned your house and it stayed perfectly clean? Never!
When I clean my house sometimes I think “why bother, because entropy”? A clean house never stays clean. Unless you’re actively cleaning it all the time, it will eventually move into a more disordered state.
Everyone has different comfort levels with chaos and chaos comes in different ways.
Sometimes it’s the physical mess around us.
Sometimes it’s our relationships.
Sometimes it’s the people we attract into our world.
Sometimes it’s our jobs.
And sometimes it’s our sleep or health. But this is where you might want to draw a line in the chaos.
How Do You Fix The Chaos?
The short answer is that we’ll never get rid of entropy entirely. Because, science. It will always be there. There will always be things in your world looking to get to chaos in the quickest way possible.
So, in some respects, we need to tolerate a little bit of chaos. We need to tolerate a bit of the unknown and change in plans and a messy house and unwashed dishes and an exercise routine that comes and goes.
But here are a few tips to keep the entropy (or the chaos) at bay:
Routine – setting up a routine around the areas of your life that feel like they tend more to chaos is a great way to get ahead of things. If you routinely feel like your life is chaos when you go to bed, that might mean setting up a sleep routine. If you feel like your mornings are out of control, that might mean setting up a morning routine.
Habits – if something is a habit (and by that I mean you’re doing something without thinking about it), those are less likely to be affected by chaos. When life turns chaotic (your kids are home sick, your job throws you a last minute deadline, your car breaks down, etc.), strong habits are more likely to continue because you don’t need to think about them. So if there is a particular area in your life that feels extra chaotic, take a step back for a bit to see what small habit you might be able to incorporate in that area and then work on that.
Your circle – we tend to live (eat like, move like, act like) the people around us. If the people in your life are unusually chaotic, you don’t have to cut them out of your life, but maybe try to surround yourself with people who might feel a little bit less chaotic. And what that means is entirely individual; maybe they’re more organized or they have more structure in their day, or they do project management at work in a different way. It’s entirely up to you. But there’s lots of science to support the fact that we adopt the behaviours of those around us.
Lower your expectations – this is a hard one, especially for people who have high expectations. But it’s great life practice. If your expecting everything around you to be in order all the time, well that’s not really realistic. But if you learn that it’s OK to live with a bit of mess, or it’s OK to not wear socks that match or wherever you feel you have the space to let go a little bit, practicing this can be very therapeutic and can lighten your load significantly.
Declutter – this speaks to physical chaos more so, but the fewer things you have, the less like they are to feel like chaos around you. Do a big decluttering of your drawer, your room, your house, whatever level you feel is the most useful. Have a yard sale, donate things, toss stuff out. Decluttering can not only make our physical space less chaotic, having fewer things around us makes our mental space less chaotic as well.
If you feel like your sleep or your energy are in a state of chaos, and you can’t get a handle of them, that is definitely something I can help with. These should NOT be areas of chaos for you, so let’s work to get them under control.
Book a sleep assessment call here. This is a free 45 minute call to dive into your sleep, learn what the biggest hurdles are for you, and get you on a path to better sleep, better energy, and less chaos!