What Gets in the Way of Getting Organized?

by Barbara Boone on July 29, 2009 | Articles

Have you ever made a new year’s resolution to get organized? Have you ever felt that if you just got organized, your life would be better? Well, it would. So why do you procrastinate about something that will make your life easier, more productive, and less stressful?

People procrastinate for a variety of reasons. Julie Morgenstern, in her book Organizing From the Inside Out, says that there can be three categories for those reasons: technical errors, external realities, and psychological obstacles.

Technical errors refer to the organizing systems that you have already created that don’t work. An example would be items in your space that have no home. These errors can be easily fixed by assessing what needs to change in order for them to work more effectively.

External realities are things in your environment that put a limit on how organized you can be. An example of this would be someone who works from home and has small children in the house or works in a paper intensive business. These realities can be challenging and may need more work to overcome or at least come to a satisfactory level of acceptance. Often sharing the concern with another person will lead to a new solution.

Psychological obstacles often go undetected and may need the help of a professional to uncover. An example of this type of obstacle would be someone who has a need to be a perfectionist. They put off organizing until they can do it perfectly. Recognizing that this is a characteristic that stops you from getting organized can be the first step in creating a process that works.

If you procrastinate when it comes to getting organized or have lots of reasons not to start the process, first look at the benefits of being organized.

  1. Less stress
  2. More productivity
  3. More time to do the things you love
  4. More confidence and feeling of control
  5. Less money spent on duplicate items
  6. Time saved looking for things

If you want to achieve the above benefits, do the following.

  1. Assess why you are not getting organized.
  2. Break down the reasons into the three categories described above.
  3. Come up with a plan to overcome the reasons you have found to avoid getting organized.
  4. Seek professional help if you need to in order to assess the reasons or create a plan to get organized.

Whatever you decide to do to attack the problem of not getting organized, remember that in order to sustain any organizing system, obstacles must be handled. I recommend that you read Julie Morgenstern’s book mentioned above for greater knowledge on the reasons and suggestions that she gives. You can also hire a professional organizer to help you through the process.

Barbara Boone is the owner of Productivity Solutions which helps small businesses create and sustain a productive work environment by setting up systems for their workspace, work flow design, paper and digital information, and project management.

has 9 articles on MindPerk.

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