UNIT TEN: AVOID THE CAUSES OF DISORGANISATION
Sometimes getting organised means more than just making sure that everything has a place or we check off our to-do list. Often becoming organised is mainly about avoiding the things that cause us to become disorganised, especially after we have already started the processes of changing our ways.
When we make ways to stay organised part of our natural habits, we won’t have a need to give in to disorganisation!
We are all guilty of trying to keep the thing that we don’t necessarily need. It is usually contributed to the thought of “well, I might need it one day”.
When we keep old or expired items or paperwork, we don’t realise that this can actually contribute to further disorganisation rather than helping us in the future.
Although we feel we have to keep everything, we can actually throw over half of our saved items and documents away without consequence.
Avoid building up the clutter, also known as hording by examining what you are trying to hold on to and pin point its purpose in your office area.
If it doesn’t serve an immediate purpose, throw it out!
HOW TO DETERMINE IF IT NEEDS TO BE KEPT
• When was the last time I used or needed this?
• What purpose does this serve me?
• If I get rid of this, what will happen?
• Will I need this in the near future?
• If I get rid of this, can I access this later somewhere else (online, office copy, etc.)
NOT BEING CONSISTENT
Repetition is the key to learning, and these repeated and consistent behaviours are the key to developing good habits. When in the process of getting organised, we set ourselves to-do lists and actions that we take to keep ourselves organised (such as sorting email right away and keeping office supplies close by).
When we become inconsistent, such as forgetting to turn off our cell phone before starting a project or just throwing our unopened mail on our desk one morning, we are leaving room to become unorganised again.
After one slip, it becomes easier to forget what we have learned and begin to fall into our normal pit of excuses or procrastination.
Once we have established good organisational habits, it is important to stick to them and be consistent in our actions.
NOT FOLLOWING A SCHEDULE
For many people, not sticking to some sort of routine and schedule can cause them to become disorganised and procrastinate. Ask yourself why you need to follow a schedule, and what is that schedule meant to help you accomplish?
A schedule can be more simple and flexible such as creating yourself a to-do list and sticking to it, or schedules can be more definite and set, such as outlining specific tasks or timelines. While schedules are not set in stone, they are supposed to provide a sense of structure when completing tasks, projects or activities.
If schedules are ignored or forgotten altogether, it can lead to wasted time management or prolonged duties.
Being organised is all about creating good habits that we can stick to in the long run. Unfortunately, we all have bad habits that can steer us away from getting on the right path. Habits such as leaving unused supplies on our desktop ‘for later’ or keeping every employer newsletter you receive ‘to go through’.
Sometimes we do not even recognise when we have developed a bad habit that is keeping us from becoming more organised.
Take a look at some of your everyday actions and determine if you have, or are developing a bad habit that keeps you disorganised at home or at work. Once we discover that we do have a problem, we can work to correct our habits and change them for the better.
By slowing down and making incremental changes, we begin to gain more confidence in ourselves and feel more empowered to kick bad habits once and for all!
CHARACTERISTICS OF A BAD HABIT
• Doesn’t offer an immediate benefit.
• Creates more work to do later.
• Doesn’t make us feel more confident.
• Contributes to procrastination or disorganisation.