When you hear the word organization, what comes to your mind?
The words "rigid", "boring", "type-A", "perfection", "time-consuming", "difficult" might have popped up. If one of these words came up, it might be because you have some misconceptions about what organization and being organized mean.
So today, let's debunk some of the myths that might be keeping you from getting more organized — and collaterally, living a much better life!
"Some people are born organized (and I'm not one of them)."
Some people have more propensity to being organized, but organization is a skill. And just like any other skill, it can be learned and mastered!
I'm not saying it'll be easy and that you won't have to make some changes, but anyone can become organized.
The question is: are you ready to make your life easier, become more efficient and productive, lose less time, energy and even money?
If the answer is "yes," then you'll get there!
Becoming organized and staying organized is mostly a question of building a system that works for you and integrating habits and routines that will help make organization a part of your life.
"Organizing is time-consuming."
I think there's no better quote than this quote by Benjamin Franklin to demonstrate that organization really is a time-saver:
For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.
Organizing your time and tasks helps you save time and energy for so many reasons:
You don't lose time wondering what you should do because you've thought about it beforehand.
You do things in a thoughtful manner and order because you've had time to plan them calmly.
You don't forget to do some tasks.
You don't have to lose time and energy correcting the mistakes you've made because of the lack of planning and organization.
You reduce your mental load by writing down everything you have to do, delegating some tasks or even deciding to delete some.
You diminish decision fatigue by batching most of your decisions (ex. by taking 15 minutes to organize your week on Sunday and then take 5-10 minutes every day to plan the next day).
You decrease your stress levels because things get done in a timely manner.
Organization seems like it takes more time because you set some time in your day to do it.
Disorganization, on the contrary, is pervasive. You don't notice how much time it eats away because it makes you lose a little bit of time throughout the day. But these minutes here and there accumulate and add up to way more than what you'd spend if you took a few minutes to plan and organize your day!
"Being organized stifles my creativity."
For many people, organization rhymes with rigidity and boredom.
I believe that organization, on the contrary, allows for more flexibility and creativity than disorganization.
First of all, being organized allows you to save more time on dull and non-creative tasks, so you can have more free time to nourish your creativity.
Second, disorganization — whether physical or mental — can hinder your creativity because there are already too many stimuli in your mind or physical environment.
Finally, who said your planning and organization have to be set in stone? Here's some newsflash: even the most curated plan will probably suffer some changes, and that's perfectly normal.
You plan and organize to have a general idea of what you have to do and when you should/have to do it. But things happen, and plans change. Your planning and organization must be flexible. Otherwise, they're useless.
So, for example, if your business has social media accounts and you're hesitating to create a content calendar because you think it'll stifle your creativity, think again. Your content calendar is there to help you plan your posts and have an idea of what to post at all times. But it can change! Mine changes all the time! However, if one day I run out of ideas, I at least have the ones I had initially planned.
Remember, to be creative you need both organization and creativity, discipline and playfulness, or responsibility and irresponsibility (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996)!
"I need to find the "perfect" organization system."
First of all, there is no perfect organization system because perfection doesn't exist. So if this belief is preventing you from getting organized (or doing anything, for that matter), let it go!
Moreover, even if there were such a thing as perfection, I don't think there would be a perfect organization system.
First, because there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to organization. We are all different, with different needs, personalities, ways of thinking, lifestyles, etc. You have to find what works for YOU. So don't get discouraged if the latest trendy organization system doesn't work for you as it is. Tweak it and adapt it to your needs. Make it yours and see how it goes.
Second, our lives are always changing. You might be able to find an organization system that fits your needs almost perfectly for a while. But then, something in your life will change, and your system won't work as well anymore.
It's totally normal! Don't get discouraged and adapt your system to your new needs. Organization systems are not meant to be set in stone. They're meant to be flexible and adaptable.
Third, because your organization system will keep evolving, you won't be "perfectly" organized right from the start. Becoming organized takes a little bit of time, so don't get discouraged. Start small and stay consistent!
"It's hard to become (and stay) organized."
I'm not going to lie: depending on how disorganized you are, it might take some time to become organized. But I guarantee it still will be more beneficial than staying disorganized.
The hardest part is to create a system. Once this is in place, staying organized only requires you to incorporate your new organizational habits into your routine.
What's a system, might you ask? For me, a system is a set of tools, processes, strategies, and even people that work together to achieve a goal or end result. You probably already have some kind of system in place, but it might not be the best system (yet).
To make it easy to stay organized in the long run, your system has to be personalized, simple, efficient, and effective.
To build an efficient organization system, you need to:
1. Identify your needs
What do I need to organize?
What are some restrictions I have?
What are my goals?
2. List the activities/areas you want to organize
Examples of professional activities: administrative tasks, marketing and sales
Examples of personal activities: preparing meals, cleaning the house
3. Analyze your current system for these activities:
What processes do you use?
What tools do you use?
What strategies, tips, techniques do you use?
Who is in charge of them?
4. Improve your systems
For each activity and each aspect of your system (processes, tools, strategies, people), evaluate whether you can:
Delegate or postpone it
Combine it with other tasks (aka batch similar tasks together)
5. Experiment and measure the impacts of the changes
Keep track of the measures linked to your goal (time gained, expenses, revenues, etc.).
List any problems, frictions, glitches, frustrations you encounter.
6. Assess and rectify
Do these changes correspond to your needs?
Did you reach your goals (set in 1)?
Did you make progress on the measures you chose in 5 (time gained, expenses, revenues, etc.)?
Make the necessary improvements (redo the steps in 4)
It might seem very complicated, but it's a process you probably already do quite naturally and spontaneously! 😉
Plus, you'll rapidly see what works and doesn't and how you can adjust it. You won't have to do this very often (although I suggest reviewing your system, especially your business organization system, once a year).
But I guarantee it'll make a huge and positive impact on your life and business!
Do you have any of these beliefs? Do you still think you can't be an organized person or that becoming organized isn't worth it? Let me know in the comments, or drop me a DM on Instagram so we can discuss it!
And if you need help to build a personalized organization system that corresponds to your needs, my coaching program Naturally Productive might be for you! You can book a free discovery call so we can see whether it's a good fit or not!
I wish you a zenly organized week,
Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, published by HarperCollins, 1996. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/199607/the-creative-personality