The ONE Organizational Tip That Could Change Your Life! 

If you’re like me, you have attended workshops on becoming organized overnight or read articles on how to “get organized in 60 seconds a day” or some such nonsense. Although those workshops and articles usually have some valuable tips smattered among the sometimes-unlikely suggestions, I rarely walk away with anything that makes a big difference. Instead, I have often walked away feeling a bit ashamed of myself for not being able to follow all those “practical” tips.

Maybe you know someone like a former co-worker of mine who kept his desk immaculately clean – morning, noon, and night. I tried. I really did. But when the phone starts ringing before you ever reach your desk and fires are flaming, sometimes there’s just no time to go rooting around in desk drawers to see what you want to work on today.

It took many years and many attempts at doing what the “organizational experts” said must be done to be organized, but I finally realized that much of my “organizing problem” is not actually a problem – it’s simply based on who I am and how I operate in the world.

You see, I’m a very visual person. See? I can’t even write without using visual words! If I’m working on 3 programs at one time and I put one away, alas, it will sneak up on me and cause untold stress because, since I couldn’t see it, I didn’t do it! “Out of sight, out of mind” ~ truer words have never been spoken when it comes to how I process my work. There are times, if you saw my desk, you might mumble something along the lines of, “And SHE conducts organizational workshops??” And my answer would be a resounding ~ and confident ~ “YES, I do!”

Here’s the deal...I’m not giving you permission to live and/or work in a pig sty. I am giving you permission to give some thought to how you work best. If you need to “see” what you are working on, keep it orderly by using visible files, baskets, etc. It doesn’t all have to be hidden somewhere for you to be organized. Then allow a small chunk of time periodically to get things put back where they need to be. If you prefer a totally uncluttered workspace (and oh, I do still like looking at that!), just make sure you keep a meticulous record of what needs to be done ~ and when ~ with all dates recorded in your calendar. It’s not very satisfying to look at a nice, clean desk only to remember that there is a file hiding inside that desk that was supposed to have been handled yesterday.

So...go easy on yourself ~ but not TOO easy. Just make sure you’re using organizational tips that make sense for YOU, not “the experts.” But that’s the key, isn’t it? You have to USE whatever tips work for you!