Stumbling Blocks to Getting Organized

Are you in chaos trying to get organized? Did you know that 80 percent of people consider themselves organized, yet 83 percent put getting more organized among their goals. So why is it that we are always trying to get organized, yet we never feel that we really get there? Here are a few common stumbling blocks to that peaceful feeling of having everything in it's place.

Never getting to it all. Do you set out on a mission to organize your whole office just to end up out of time after you've only straightened a single desk drawer? Don't get lost in the details. Managing time wisely when you organize is a key element in reaching your goals. Determining where to file each and every piece of paper is daunting, but if you want to avoid sifting through that stack of papers on your desk every time you're looking for something important, it must get done. The average American wastes 6 weeks per year looking for misplaced documents. Having a good, efficient filing system will ultimately save time.

Other Priorities. There are always other fires to put out and getting organized seems to fall to the bottom of the priority list -- until you can't find those important papers you need! Carve out time to focus on setting systems up to help keep you organized. Having systems in place will actually save you from the panic of frantically looking for things when you're in a hurry.

Distractions. They're going to happen, so plan on them. Don't over-book every moment of every day. Allow extra time for the inevitable; it will keep you from the constant disappointment that other things got in the way.

Being Overwhelmed. Disorganization can get to the point where you're so overwhelmed by it you feel paralyzed and can't do anything. Any organizing project is dealt with in basically the same way: one item at a time. Don't look at the big picture, instead focus on one thing at a time and trudge through it.

Vague goals. You will never reach a vague goal. What does it mean to get organized? Be specific and set attainable, concrete goals that are realistic.

Remember, organization is not a destination, it's a process, and a constant process at that. So start living organized now. What does that mean? It means that by living organized, you create habits of putting away as you go, weeding out as you do things and generally helping yourself stay organized while you are in the process of doing life. Organization is not something you only do on a weekend when you're buried under a pile, the task of getting organized is far less daunting when you make it a routine part of your life.

Monica Friel is president and founder of Chaos To Order - the Chicago area's premiere organizing company since 1990. Friel manages and trains a staff of professional organizers who specialize in everything from household clutter to corporate chaos.

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