Unorganized at Work? Check Out These 7 Hacks for the Organizing for the Unorganized Life

Perpetually Unorganized

Now, I’m sure the sight of either my work or home office, would be enough to make a clean freak cringe. It’s not that I dislike being organized, it’s just I LOATHE having to do it.

If you’re like me and you tend to shove everything in a drawer for later, it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful! (Despite what others may say!)

Here are some life-hacks for those of us, who’d rather save the cleaning for later!

The Unorganized Life

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are days where I wish I could keep my entire desk, notebooks, ideas, and about everything else perfectly organized. But that lasts for about a whole ten minutes… on a good day.

I’m not just a little unorganized – sometimes I’m completely disorganized

I probably have 5-10 different notebooks I use throughout the week. Although I may try to use them specifically for different business partners or projects, it never seems to work out that way. I always end reaching for one during a phone call or a last-minute meeting. Then my plan goes straight to hell.

Which wouldn’t be that bad, except for when I write my priorities down for the week in one. Then I forget which one it’s in. Which wouldn’t be so bad if I kept them all in the same place!

Oh, and don’t forget about hard copies of contracts, emails, and other general print-outs. Do I still have them somewhere? Yes! Do I know which drawer they are in? NO! Will it take me an hour to find them? Probably.

But at least my desk is clean. (Just please don’t open any drawers). I figure If I can’t find anything, no one else will either. The perfect solution for storing sensitive information, am I right?

So you see, I am okay that I will never be the Marie Kondo of desk drawers and business files. You will never find me meticulously creating folders with dates and labels on them. I’ve actually accepted those things are on low my priority list, right after I finish returning cold-calls from random suppliers.

Because despite all of this, I’m still able to be successful. So I’d like to share a few personal hacks, I’ve found useful to help me be organized, without actually having to be organized.

A study by the University of Minnesota suggests, that the messy desk of geniuses is actually linked to their intelligence. If you don’t spend much time cleaning and organizing everything around you, your mind is obviously occupied with more important stuff.

The study went on to show that a messy environment led to a more creative workflow. 


Organizing the Unorganized

I am by no means suggesting, to completely sit down for a day or two to organize. Although I have done this in the past, it again just doesn’t stick for me. It really isn’t my thing. But, because I end up going back to old habits, I have found some other ones that help reduce the chaos.

Hack #1 – When shoving paper in drawers, sort by priority.

If your desk has only 3 drawers, try and put the most important papers in the top drawer, and then descending importance.  This way when you go to clean, you know you can pretty much toss out the bottom drawer quickly, and you’ll just need to spend time on the top/middle drawer. It also is some type of order for when you are searching for lost paperwork!

Hack #2 – Don’t be a hoarder. Just purge on a regular basis.

First, I am not suggesting minimalism, but I’m also not suggesting keeping everything until the point you’re on a hoarder’s show. But, I have noticed there are a lot of times I put stuff in the bottom drawer, knowing I’ll eventually throw it out. So if you can, take a second look and throw it out when evaluating priority.

Hack #3 –  Don’t use bins – it only perpetuates the mess.

I will put stuff in piles so I can see them to eventually motivate me to clean them. When you put stuff in bins, it only perpetuates the problem. Especially when you can hide them away.

Hack #4 – Everything doesn’t need a specific home, just a general area

I would have a lot of people disagree, but that’s okay. It is true if you put your keys every day in their ‘home’, you’re less likely to forget where they are. That said, I go with the notion, as long as I always put them in my purse or kitchen I know where to look.  Or it at least limits the places you have to look when they go missing!

Hack #5 – Quit wasting time on organizational technology

You’re not going to be able to adopt project management tools, organizational apps, etc. and quit wasting your time trying. Be realistic – it probably won’t stick like everything else. But, if you use the super simple ones, you have more of a chance of it working. Like using tile to find your keys or setting up your email to pre-sort into folders.

Hack #6 – Don’t try to force yourself into a rigid routine or plan, just prioritize tasks

Just like any other type of organization a routine can work for a while until it ultimately gets trashed. I personally, like the freedom of taking the day as it comes. But writing out a quick list of having what you need to get done’s vs would be nice – helps to prioritize. Even dividing the day into three (get this done by the afternoon) can make a difference.

The Ultimate Hack – Just Accept the Mess to Reduce Stress!

In the end – don’t beat yourself up over the chaos, it’s not worth it. (They say it’s a sign of genius anyways!) If you can accept the fact you’ll never be organized your stress level will greatly decrease. You just may have an unhappy coworker or spouse who will have to do the same!

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