If you’re in the midst of navigating the early days of your career or small business, organization can seem like all but an elusive dream. The more plates we have spinning, the further away it appears to be.
But organization is a worthy pursuit. It’s an element of life that requires a relatively small amount of forethought and planning but produces a serious amount of reward. In some cases, cultivating organization isn’t just a matter of life with less clutter and stress, it can actually be the difference between success and failure.
Whether you’re pursuing a career wherein organization is a priceless asset, or you’re attempting to keep track of the all the small details of your business, organization provides an element of control in settings where control is often in short supply. So, if you’re interested in taking some worthwhile steps towards utilizing organization as a means for success, read on.
Why You Should Care About Organization
If you’ve spent years successfully skating on a messy method, then organization will likely seem a little pointless. Why take the time to apply organization, if you’re able to succeed without?
This is the meat of the piece right here: you should care, because however successful you are without it, you’ll surely be more so with it. It’s not just a matter of always knowing where things are and maintaining a work space that fits with the professional image you’re attempting to cultivate; it’s also about giving yourself every possible advantage as you navigate the tricky waters of your professional life.
It Makes You Marketable
Elements such as unproductivity and stress cost employers billions each year. Employers are looking for individuals who can demonstrate that they are actively equipped to solve-problems and get work done on time. Those things are rarely consistently achieved by those who struggle with organization.
According to HR expert Dave Rietsema, hiring for positive, adaptable personalities instead of skills is a strategic move some companies make because skills can be cultivated, whereas an ability to evolve in a productive, organized manner is a difficult thing to create organically.
If you’re organized and you can prove it by showcasing past experience or accomplishments, you’ll be demonstrating — no matter the job — that at least in terms of how you structure your work life you’re a good fit.
It Provides a Foundation for Further Growth
The kinds of professionals who grow are the kinds of professionals who prioritize goals. The thing about goals, though, is that they never just happen. Instead, goals are a product of making plans and acting on those plans.
Maybe your goal is to increase sales where you work. Maybe your goal is to complete a certain level of education relating to your field. Whatever it is, taking actionable, effective steps will almost always be a product of organizing the steps of your plan alongside the goals they correlate to.
In their overview of how prepare yourself for management and leadership roles, Washington State University recommends adopting a long-term strategy over short-term goals. None of which will happen if you aren’t organized.
It Allows You to Maintain Work Life Balance
One of the primary challenges for professionals everywhere is that it’s difficult to keep work and every other part of life in distinct, healthy spheres. What often happens instead is that they begin to mesh together and influence one another. In some instances, it’s really unavoidable. In others though, it could be avoided with a measure of — you guessed it — organization.
Maintaining work life balance lines has far reaching implications for professionals, and its the result of careful organization and planning. Whether you’re crafting your schedule so that your work and your family have separate time, or you’re thinking through the boundaries between personal versus business social media accounts, organization will save your work life balance.
On the surface these things may all seem unconnected, and yet the truth is that they all work together to create the type of life, both personally and professionally, that you have.
How to Be More Organized
This is the part where all of the motivation, drive, and dreams come together into something that is actionable in your life. There are certainly different levels of organized, but even if you don’t find all of this applicable there are likely still some areas you can improve upon.
Making practical changes that impact your life for the better will bring long-term rewards your way. Maintaining a cleaner desk may end up meaning you have a desk someday in a corner office.
Organize Your Stuff
If you’re really unorganized — or even moderately unorganized — organizing your belongings may seem like a tall order. However, the key to not getting overwhelmed is to make each component reasonable. Set expectations you know you can meet.
- Utilizing a planner and/or calendar to visually map out your weeks
- Create running lists that support the completion of goals
- Prep what you can the night before
- Utilize command centers for items like your physical paperwork, your bags, your coats, your electronics, etc.
With both the things you own and the things you need to do, you should know where they go. In terms of the intangible like project work, your planner will be instrumental in ensuring you have the time you need in your schedule to do the work required. And lists? They’re the key to not forgetting what you need to remember.
Organize Your Communal Space
If you are making strides to become a more organized individual, but the space where you work with others is cluttered and dysfunctional, it’s going to be really difficult for you to reap the full rewards of an organized life.
Research shows that positive work environments bolster productivity, and the physical work environment plays a direct part in that dynamic.
It’s very likely that the people you work with want there to be order where there isn’t, and if its gone about in a productive, non-offensive manner you’ll all be able to enjoy it.
Office organization that benefits everyone should be a group effort.
To get the help of everyone in the space consider the following advice by marketer Erica Conley-Komoroske, “It won’t do to have only one cube or corner office squeaky clean while the rest of the place looks like a dump, right? So get everyone on board with your spring-cleaning initiative. You should formally declare a cleanup day (otherwise, no one will do it).”
If you foster an attitude that values a group commitment to a work space that is functional and helpful, instead of a productivity deterrent, it’s likely your peers will feel similarly. Additionally, exemplifying the kind of behavior that keeps your workspace neat will implicitly encourage others to do the same.
When we dilute being organized down to clearing clutter and dusting, we fail to recognize the significant impact it can have on our lives. Organization can change the trajectory of life. It can give you the productive, level-headed advantage needed to skyrocket your career.
So, if it’s where you want to be do yourself a favor and embrace the fact that you have the power to become more ordered in your life.