I like organization. My closet is color-coded, my underwear is sorted and folded, and my socks are paired and put into a sock drawer. I use folders in Outlook, have a pen caddy, and clean my desk at night.
I wouldn’t describe myself as obsessive about it, and I’m far from perfect. My desk is not always a vision of beauty. But I do invest time into keeping it organized and easy to find what I’m looking for.
I know that when I’m not organized, it increases my stress. I know it impacts my productivity when I can’t find things.
I also know that not everyone agrees with me (especially about my folders in Outlook). Yes, the search button works well to find things, but the time it takes to search isn’t worth the investment to me.
When you unload the dishwasher, do you sort the cutlery? Do the forks and knives have their compartment in a drawer? Or do you dump them all in a jumble and sort through it each time when looking for a specific utensil?
I know that if I take just a minute to sort the forks, knives, and spoons, I will save five-ten seconds each time I go into the drawer to get one. That one minute isn’t much compared to all the times I go into the drawer.
If I need to find things in my desk, closet, or computer, doesn’t the same logic apply?
There are so many benefits to being organized that far outweigh the time it takes to organize.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”Np566″ via=”yes” ]The benefits to being organized far outweigh the time it takes to organize.[/ctt]
- Stress reduction. Clutter is clutter, occupying space in our brains to make sense of it.
My grandkids were here last weekend, and kids naturally come with clutter. Toys on the floor, diaper bags nearby, and shoes were disorganized in the foyer. Every time I walked into the hall; I was frustrated with the piles of unorganized shoes. It bothered me that no one else noticed it. I organized them each time, pairing them and moving them away from the middle of the room. Seeing them discarded so carelessly caused me stress.
- I am more productive when I’m organized. Each time I move to “search mode,” it breaks my concentration, flow, and rhythm. I don’t want to disrupt my rhythm, and I want to stay focused on what I am doing by having whatever it is I need at my fingertips.
When I’m in the middle of responding to an email, I will be far more productive going to a folder to find what I need instead of performing a search, trying to figure out what email is the one I want, and not being distracted by all the matches that appear on my screen. Often all the emails that appear cause me to “Squirrel!” in my thinking or actions.
Have you ever performed a search and got something completely wrong for what you were looking for, but it confused or distracted you enough to open the file to see why it came up on a search? Sometimes the simple act of opening up a bad search result will cost me more time than I care to admit.
- Relationships can be impacted. As you can tell from my opening line (and previous blog posts), I’m a bit of a laundry nut. I have ways that I fold things and put them away (thank you, Marie Kondo) that I find highly efficient.
(Watch out, Warren, here comes the bus!). My husband doesn’t have the same need for organization that I do. Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t a slob and does have organized tendencies; but he doesn’t see the need to organize his closet, desk, or shoes quite the same way I do.
He is, however, a smart man because he knows that I like it done; therefore, he generally keeps things organized enough it doesn’t cause an issue for me.
Can you imagine if he insisted that organization wasn’t reasonable? Can you imagine if he took the style of dumping all the cutlery in the drawer with everything he did? You can bet that would cause relationship stress too.
We know the people at the office who are careless about cleaning up their coffee cups in the breakroom cause relationship stress. Now that people are moving to hoteling or hot-desking, lack of organization in shared spaces will most certainly cause relationship stress.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”b04dp” via=”yes” ]Each of us can learn organizational skills that reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve relationships.[/ctt]
Each of us can learn organizational skills that reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve relationships. Have a look around and ask yourself where you will start first!