When and why does organization or productivity matter ? This won’t be the usual answer you’re reading everywhere in January.
I’d like you to consider that “organization” and “productivity” are purely tools, and not the end in and of themselves, as we are sometimes told they “should” be.
Being Organized or Productive “enough” for you, in your life, is something only you can define. A personal tolerance level for how messy, chaotic, organized or super organized you need your mind, your days, your work and your environment to be. As flexible or rigid or somewhere in between that works for you.
What works for you is unconditionally true and valid. [You might be surprised at how often I am asked my opinion on that.]
What’s also true is that no person is an island, so it is humanly, ethically and professionally important to consider your impact on others around you.
Why It Matters
I share this if you need to know you are not alone. I also share for people who make comments like this I read in an online, international publication: “Why can’t they just buckle down and do it? This is just laziness.” If there is someone who has said that to you, please consider sharing this article. Sometimes, it takes an outside observer for the truth to get through.
When people call to talk with me about whether we’d be a good fit, a question I always ask is one you can ask yourself right now.
“What made you think about this and make your call to me today, as opposed to, say a few months ago or a year ago?”
Remember as you read these comments that when people call, they will typically ask about “organizing life,” or “working more effectively. ” What they are often looking for is far deeper. Sometimes it’s known. Sometimes not.
Why It Matters: At Work
- I sit in our sales meetings and my mind goes blank. I know I’ve been working hard with prospects and clients, but when my manager asks me status details, I can’t remember them.
- I have piles, which used to remind me of things to do at work. Now I’m in a new role and my system doesn’t work anymore. I wanted exactly this job, and I’m worried I’m not going to make it.
- I’ve tried this before. The first time I went for my college/Master’s degree, I stopped halfway through. I couldn’t juggle everything, so I went to work instead. Now, years later, I really want to get this credential and know that I can handle the program, too. But what will be different?
- I know I can be a successful business owner and also a good spouse/family person. I know it in my heart and head but I can’t quite pull it together and actually do it.
- I’m overwhelmed at work. Emails flying at me I can barely catch. Difficulty remembering when to get back to a client or what I promised. My office is a tornado factory. I don’t know if there are skills or technology I could get better at.Or if it’s my mind that’s always thinking a zillion ideas at once. I need routines or systems, but I also don’t want to be handcuffed by them.
- I’m working out of the house for a large company. I manage the kids’ activities, our social life with friends, the household, the bills, the dog. I seem to be the only one in the household who runs around doing chores and noticing when the milk jug is empty! Why is it that? Is it me or them? It’s not how I imagined my life.
- I do pretty well with the day to day work, emails, meetings and all. What is SO difficult is getting to the bigger goals. I can hardly find time for them. I feel like I need a big chunk of time to spend and I never get it.
- I’m tired – and so is my manager and my family – of everyone else needing to follow up with ME. Two and three times, sometimes. I’m tired of feeling behind the eight ball and never quite caught up.
- I’ve just had a diagnosis of ADHD and I’m 48 years old ! How could I not have known this. And yet, it explains so much of my past. Where do I start to change or fix my work habits? To reorganize me?Or my days. I don’t know where to start.
- I have ADHD and my spouse does not/my supervisor doesn’t know. I don’t want it to be an excuse for anything, but she doesn’t understand at all what it’s like to be in my mind. How hard it is to get through a day or how much extra energy it takes. How to teach and mentor me at work in ways that work better than what we’ve tried so far. Maybe there’s a better way. I don’t know.
Why it Matters: At Home/In Life
- I have ADHD and I’m tired of myself. I’m tired of the fights with my spouse, forgetting things for my children, living chaotically. I don’t think it has to be this way.
- I can’t get our morning routine together so we are late, to work, to school, to appointments. I’m not feeling like I’m managing things well. It’s not supposed to be this hard.
- I have lyme disease. I used to be so on top of things. Now I have no idea what energy level I will have. So what’s the point of making a list? It seems endless when I do make one, since I don’t know what the day will bring.
- I was devastated when my spouse/parent died, so consumed with the grief and the arrangements.And on top of this, or maybe because of it, I saved everything and brought it into my own home. And now I am really wanting my own space back, which I guess is a good sign, that I’m ready to move on. But, where to start, not only to deal with the things, but also to get my life back together and move forwards.
- I lost my driver’s license. That was the last straw. This is not who I am, but our life is so chaotic that I shouldn’t be at all surprised. But I’m done with the chaos, both the stuff and the crazy busy schedules.
- I’m tired of the emergency, last minute food shopping trips. Of eating out and spending more money than we really need to, because we can’t ever seem to pull meals together. Laundry never folded. I have no time for my own business; it gets squeezed in amidst the chaos of our life. We are not saving like I thought we could, so I’m concerned about the future.
- My children are a mirror of my behaviors, and I am not a great role model right now. They don’t do things around the house because they see I’m not able to keep up, so why bother? They’re never on time because I never am. What kind of life skills am I teaching them? This does not feel right.
That’s what it sounds like. This is why it matters. It’s so much more than what’s on the surface, which is what we often read in articles because it is more concrete and easier for more people to relate to.
There are many reason it is not easy. Some of those are listed in this brief chart. [Especially, see the “Factors” sheet – all are free to download.]
Why does it matter to you, if it does?