“Bob” was a top dog in a very competitive industry and he was on the verge of a very big promotion. But his company was worried about the liability risk. His office was a black hole filled with piles on every surface that you would measure in feet. He reluctantly agreed to work with me on the advice of corporate officials, but given his successful career, he wasn’t happy about it in the beginning.
It’s hard to argue that the “Bob’s” of the world can’t be successful, because they are. But the toll can be enormous. Watch closely and you will see a constant rifling through paper, emails, and computer files. It is a process of memorization because forgetting something important could be disastrous. Completely relaxing is difficult if not impossible. This is a huge drain of a valuable resource, your brain power.
Peak performance requires well organized, no-brainer systems that you trust. If you are not organized, you simply are not as productive as you could be. When your mind is cluttered with unimportant details, you are not able to give all the focus and mental energy you could be spending on the truly important.
Where to begin?
Getting organized at work will merge into your home life and vice versa. By its very nature order fortunately breeds more order. Small investments of time have big pay-offs. Waiting for a big chunk of time to begin will probably never happen. But spending manageable chunks of time consistently is realistic.
Being organized is an ongoing process and it works in layers or levels. Think of it like moving into a new home. First you put the clothing in the bedroom and the dishes in the kitchen. Eventually you will be separating the knives from the forks, but you begin by getting them in the right room. Finding the level of organization that you desire may change as your systems improve over time.
The beginning of the year is a perfect time to focus on the most important basics of organization. Knowing you have a plan for the year is a simplistic and manageable way to overcome the debilitating feeling of being overwhelmed. Make January’s organizing theme: Health and Planning.
Next month we will move on to a different theme. Use this simplistic annual plan to truly get organized throughout the year. It really can be transformational.