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Are You Organizing Your Life or is Your Life Organizing You? by Sanjay Patel

  • Posted by: Sanjay Patel
  • 18th Apr 2016

Organization can be a tricky thing. Most of us are striving to get organized in life, both at home and at work, but sometimes, life has a way of organizing us. This can be seen when we develop such rigid structures and schedules in life that we aren’t able to be flexible. When this happens, it can cause you to miss out on opportunities. I’m trying to get a better hold on organization in my own life, but I’m quickly finding out that it’s really a balancing act more than anything.

Why We’re Driven to be Organized

I believe that the majority of people are driven to be organized because, especially these days, life is just full of too much “stuff.” When this stuff piles up, it can be overwhelming and cause an overall collapse. For instance, failing to organize your email’s inbox can lead to serious problems when you let important emails go unanswered. By the time you get around to addressing these emails, the problem may have already gotten much larger than you can tackle. In addition, letting clothes pile up in the hamper means that you’re going to find yourself without a clean shirt the morning of a big meeting; that’s a problem!

Taking Organization Too Far

Of course, you can take organization too far as mentioned above. If you force yourself to stay organized in all that you do, you may spend more time organizing than you do enjoying life. The truth is that there will always be more organization that you can do and you can always find something that needs to be organized. This can develop into a problem because you end up constantly running back and forth between tasks trying to get them organized. Listen, you will never have enough time in your day to tackle everything, so cut yourself a little bit of slack.

What Works for Me

In my recent attempts to get better at keeping things organized, I’ve learned a few things. First, delegate tasks to others when you can. This takes a lot of the burden off of you personally. Second, answer emails when they arrive. This is not only an organizational thing, but it’s also professional and polite. Third, make a reasonable list of things to organize each day so that you aren’t caught trying to take on everything at once. Like I said, you can end up spending your entire day organizing instead of getting things done at work or enjoying time at home. Having a list that marks what to organize on which day of the week makes the process less overwhelming and helps me to avoid making mistakes.

Efficiency in Organizing

Finally, always be on the lookout for ways that you can be more efficient in your organizational skills. For example, when you organize files on your desk, you could create a separate folder for every single source of every single paper. This is going to be time consuming and you’re likely to spend more time looking through your files than necessary. Instead, create a file for each company from which the paper was sent and insert each paper in the order in which it was received. Now, when you know you need to look for something from XYZ Corporation, you won’t need to dig through endless folder. You’ll have the XYZ Corporation folder and everything is sorted by date. The same can be done even easier on a computer where you can sort files in a folder by date or file type to quickly find what you need instead of wading through endless folders.

Sanjay Patel