Staying Organized

messy-deskOrganization is sort of like New Year’s resolutions: everyone likes to do it at first but not many are good at follow through. It’s one thing to catch a wild hair all of a sudden and get organized right now; and it’s another thing to stay that way for any length of time.

It’s the natural way of things to deteriorate. No matter how spotlessly you clean, the dust and dirt will accumulate. Tall mountains slowly erode into the sea. Everything dies sooner or later.

Given this, it’s damn heroic for us to even attempt to stay organized, since the effort must be constant. Few of us have that kind of stamina. The enthusiasm of getting organized is quickly lost in the boredom of staying there.

But we yearn for organization, we crave and idealize it, for the most part. And in business, we know that disorganization is a killer. Tends to lose leads and upset customers.

If you’re an entrepreneur or professional who doesn’t count organization among your best talents, there comes a point when you have to create a solution to the problem, or risk business failure.

I see three ways we can address an undeniable need for better organization when it surfaces in our lives.

1.  Lower expectations. You don’t have to be OCD about it. Commit to organization around your work and your children, for instance, and put  housekeeping at the bottom of the list. Or keep your house neat but let your car fill up with junk. Don’t expect to make every last corner of your life perfectly organized; you’re only human.

2.  Become better organized by taking baby steps. Trying to become a Mr. Clean when at heart you are Oscar Madison is futile. Instead of swearing you’ll keep your desk tidy, vow to return pens to a jar after using them. Instead of declaring that you’ll post to three social media channels every day, start by dedicating to updates on one channel a day. When you tackle it slowly like this and begin to note progress, that’s the best motivation for expanding your efforts as time goes on.

3.  Hire a VA. This is the most time honored solution to the organization question. Partner with an assistant! Working together, you complement one another’s strengths. If organization is not your forté, your attempts at becoming organized are probably lengthy and frustrating experiences that rob you of energy and time. Life’s too short! By counting on your VA to keep things organized, you make much more psychic if not physical room for your core skills and talents.