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Disorganized? It'll Cost You

Disorganized? It'll Cost You

Photo courtesy of evelynishere, Creative Commons

Laura Leist | Divine Caroline

What does disorganization cost you and/or your company? The Wall Street Journal published a study indicating that the average employee wastes nearly six weeks a year looking for information and things in their office. Multiply six weeks by the salary and then the number of employees and that is a lot of money!

The cost of being disorganized is not only monetary. Other costs that are compromised include your stress level, peace of mind and feeling overwhelmed. A few weeks ago, Eliminate Chaos was featured on Evening Magazine for our kitchen and office organizing makeovers. The response we received to the office segment was truly amazing. So many people could relate to what they saw. Some even were inspired and took action.

Can you relate to any of the following organizing misconceptions? If you can, you’re not alone.

If I file it, I’ll never find it again. The key to a great filing system is the ability to “retrieve” the information when you need it. The act of “filing” the paper away is simple–the critical step lies in how you categorize it so that you and others can access it.

If I hire an Office Manager/Office Assistant–they’ll get me organized.
Many managers and business owners I’ve worked with in the past, contact me after they’ve hired an Office Manager or Office Assistant because they are frustrated that this individual has done very little to help them get organized. In order for this individual to be successful, there must be systems and processes that they can follow on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Typically, this person is not the individual that will “create” the systems or processes but rather “maintain” them. In many cases, the individual hired to work in this role may not have the background to develop those processes or systems for you–yet they are excellent at using the systems. It is critical that the Manager or Business Owner play a key role in the development of these systems because most likely they will be the ones using them long after the individual hired to help them has moved on.

Being organized stifles creativity.
We’ve all heard of “right brained” vs. “left brained” individuals. Those that are “right brained” tend to be more creative and thus disorganized. The fact of the matter is that those that are “right brained” tend to be more “visual” and therefore they like to see what they are working on–and thus much of what they work on is out in the open. There is no right or wrong way to be organized–it’s really about creating systems and processes that the individual can maintain to be efficient and productive. The work can be out in the open, as long as it is done so in an organized fashion so that when the information is needed–it can be retrieved.

Organization is not in your genes.
This just might be the biggest excuse I hear! I am here to testify that it does not need to be in your genes–after all, I was adopted and I can guarantee you that many of the organization skills I learned at a young age, I learned from both of my parents. Instead of playing the blame game, be proactive and seek help.


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