So many people seem unhappy in their professional lives. Very few connect that dissatisfaction to being disorganized, which can make a good job seem unbearable. The good news is that it’s easy to correct!
Some of my clients are effective decision-makers on a higher level, but they have difficulty managing the hundreds of micro-decisions they must make daily, often in the form of paper — memos and letters to read, phone messages to return, mail to sort, reports and proposals to review, and to-do lists a mile long.
It’s not the tigers that eat us alive…it’s the gnats!
Do you put “getting organized” on the back burner because of more pressing things which need your attention? Until you consistently pay attention to non-urgent but important tasks — tasks such as getting organized, weekly planning, self-care, and other preventive kinds of activities — the urgent tasks will continue to multiply, often to a critical state.
Answer these questions to find out if you need to schedule some time to get organized:
- Can you consistently find what you need within a few seconds?
- If you work with others, can they quickly find what they need in your office when you’re not around?
- Is your “IN” box constantly overflowing?
- Does your current system keep you focused on what’s most important and remind you of important follow-up?
- Overall, does your current system work, and do you like it?
If you answered NO to any of the above, there are some very real professional and personal costs to continuing “business as usual.”
You may put off getting organized because you don’t have the time. Or perhaps you’d like to hire a professional organizer, but you don’t want to part with the money. Unfortunately, you may already be spending that money now in less tangible ways.
TANGIBLE COSTS OF DISORGANIZATION:
- Late payment fees because you didn’t make payments by the due date
- Overtime pay for support staff staying late to do a “rush” job you delegated last-minute
- Cost of replacing and retraining burned out employees who quit
- Cost to reproduce or repurchase something that you already have but cannot find
- Fees to overnight express something that could have been sent regular mail
- Forgetting to invoice a client and not getting paid for the work
- Interest on uncollected fees due to invoices not being mailed out in a timely manner
- Interest not accrued on cash and checks that sit around for a long time before being deposited
- Other: ________________
HARDER-TO-MEASURE COSTS OF DISORGANIZATION
- Inability to expand your business or workload – you can barely handle what you already have!
- Missed opportunities, lack of competitive edge, losing customers to competitors who are more organized
- Stress and burnout that lead to illness, missed work and reduced productivity
- Other: ________________