4 Reasons for Chronic Disorganization

While a disorganized desk has been linked to a genius mind, there is likely some order that may not be obvious to the outside observer.  In order to maintain order and make space for your mind to thrive, it is important to identify some factors that lead to disorganization.

  1. The cyclone effect- this occurs when we are running late for an event or appointment and drawers are pulled out, cabinets are opened, and bags are dumped out in order to locate an essential item such as a cell phone, keys, a wallet or a purse.  During these moments, nothing matters except finding the lost item and destruction is left in its wake.  Some of the consequences of the cyclone effect can be avoided by having designated spots or homes for frequently used items.  A hook by the front door for keys and a labeled bin for wallets or purses can save precious minutes and prevent stress.
  2. Valuing quality time more than tidiness- we all value quality time doing things we enjoy, spending time with people we love, or getting lost in creative thought.  Quality time is essential for well being, but can lead to neglecting tasks that are essential for maintaining order.  These tasks include washing dishes, doing laundry, or throwing out trash.   This does not become a problem until things become unbalanced and quality time is sacrificed.  Cycling through essential tasks can keep things running smoothly without being overly restrictive.  On a day of high energy and motivation, it may be possible to complete a full cycle in one day.  Other times, multiple days can go by when no tasks are completed.  As long as the cycle is loosely followed, order can be maintained so that quality time can be enjoyed.
  3. Multitasking- intelligent, creative minds often have diverse interests that are pursued simultaneously.  Thus, multiple papers, supplies, and tools are spread out and left out.  Putting things away is often avoided because a particular project is still in progress.  When things get mixed up, chaos erupts and creative flow is interrupted.  Creating stations or separate spaces for different interests can help prevent overlap.  Even a long table divided into areas can create the necessary separate work stations in order to prevent chaos from multitasking.
  4. Working to exhaustion-  when a creative, genius mind is in the zone of peak flow it is common to continue working or creating until exhaustion sets in.  Interrupting the state of creative flow is avoided at all costs because it it is so elusive and precious.  Thus, the creative mind often works until the only remaining energy is used to shuffle off to bed.  Of course, the result of working to exhaustion is leaving behind a disorganized messy workspace.  If a station or zone has been established for the present pursuit, then the supplies can be left out within the station without disrupting other areas.  If a separate space hasn’t been established or if the pursuit caused items to be spread about, a labeled canvas bag, a bin or a laundry basket can be used as a temporary home for the items.  Labeled zones and bins creat visual cues to return items to their homes.

The goal is not perfection, but rather maintaining a loose sense of order necessary to thrive.  Are you disorganized by nature? If yes, what daily habits contribute to your disorganization? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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~Strictly Unstructured

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