Disorganization can literally cost you money – but even worse it robs you of your most precious resource – time. The stress that disorganization can cause a person is enormous. Things are often not done on time, you are always late everywhere, and you probably never know where to start and aren’t even ready to start when it’s time to start.
All of this stress caused by disorganization can also affect your health. It’s just not good on any front to live in chronic disorganization aka chronic stress. If you consider yourself disorganized, here are seven reasons why.
1) You Don’t Have a System
Too many people feel that a system must be rigid, that is not true, systems can be flexible and can and should be tailored to your individual needs. But a lack of systems will keep you disorganized. If you’ve ever had a job that already had organization and systems in place, it is likely you managed to maintain that organization at least for that job. Everything had a place, and everything had a reason, and there was a set system to do what needed to be done. That’s what you have to set up for your business and your life if you want to be successful long term without stress.
2) You Don’t Have the Right Space
This can be a real and an imagined problem. If you, like me, also sell physical products on Amazon, it requires more space than – my this business site here. But trying to run a business without the space you need can make you feel even more disorganized. You may not need to have an entire office set up to be successful, but you want a space that allows you to accomplish your daily tasks. Some days for me that means lots of physical space, and other days it may mean very little physical space, but I need a quiet place. Think about what your ideal working conditions are and then make it happen.
3) You Lack Focus
If you don’t have something specific to focus on, you might find yourself doing a little of this, and a little of that, and never getting anything done. I found that before I had clearly defined my goals and created a plan to reach those goals, I often lacked focus when I was ‘working.’ If you feel like you are running in circles instead of accomplishing anything, you will be more likely to end up feeling worn out and still nothing is actually finished. Find a way to place your focus on each task until you have an end result. After all, that’s the part that matters most.
4) You Have Too Much on Your Plate
Many people get disorganized due to the simple fact that they have too much to do. There are only so many hours in the day. If you find that you’re in this predicament then you need to get help. Find tasks you dislike doing and outsource them to people who like doing them, can likely do them better, and for less than what it costs you to do them yourself. Remember that your time has a value. If you can spend time on tasks that make more money and that you like, you should.
5) You Tend to Procrastinate
Many people claim that they work best under pressure, I used to be one of them. In college, I decided to stay up all night studying for the final – instead of having studied all semester long – and I was so tired during that exam, that I could barely concentrate – that last minute pressure got me a C. You will never really know how well you could have done had you just given yourself time to do it right. If you tend to procrastinate you need to get to the bottom of why you’re putting things off to the last minute. Sometimes procrastination is a symptom of a whole other problem.
6) You Think Multitasking Is Good
When I worked in the medical field, multitasking was required, and it is still a habit I have not completely broken. The truth is multitasking is a myth – you can’t effectively focus on multiple tasks at the same time. Your quality of work will suffer, and you will feel burned out more quickly. Multitasking lets you think you are busy and getting things done, but it really is slowing you down and keeping you from focusing on what matters. Studies have proved many times over that multitasking doesn’t work.
7) You Are a Poor Decision Maker
Many people who are disorganized are also poor decision makers. They spend far too long making a decision, and often they wait so long that the decision is made for them. You don’t want to get caught in this trap, the truth is making a ‘bad’ decision and learning from it will take you much further in life and business than if you struggle to make decisions. Also, the decision to deal with that ‘later’ without an actual plan or date on your calendar is the same as not making a decision.
You can learn to be organized. If you haven’t tried before, pick one thing at a time to work on each month, make a plan for 30 days to follow, and then add to it the following month. A great book by Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, follows the author each month focusing on being happier, the first chapter (January) is about getting organized.
I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur. I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized. To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.