It's not really about organizing

2023 office organization virtualofficeadvantage Jan 10, 2023

This is the time of the year where everyone (including me) is talking about organization. Everything from the junk drawer in your kitchen (we all have them) to the bedroom closet to the storage room are fair game. And we feel like we have to accomplish all of the organizing, sorting, and tidying right now. Not only should we able to accomplish it all right now, it needs to be social media perfect with everything labeled and nothing out of place.

Believe me, I love those images too. But it's not really about the act of organizing. Generally, we don't give much thought about the why we're organizing, only that it's time, or we should, or we need to. If you stop yourself before you get into cleaning, tidying, going through (insert your word of choice here) and ask yourself "Why am I doing this?" you might come with answers like "I can't take it anymore", "I feel out of control", "something has to change". Or you might come up with the answer "I don't know", "I always do at this time of year", or "I see everyone else doing it".

First let me say what every mom I know has said at some point in their adult life "If everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you jump too?". There needs to be a compelling WHY behind something that is going to expel the time and energy that you  need to organize and area, feel good about it, and maintain it. Without the WHY, then why bother?

Let's use our office/work space in this example. If you were to ask yourself why you should take the time and energy to organize your office/workspace, could you honestly and quickly answer? It's not about "being organized". Organizing is not a sexy word. It's work and you have to maintain whatever you put in place in order to stay organized.  With that in mind let me reframe something for you. 

Organizing is not about doing something or doing more. It's not about how things look (that's not the main objective anyway). Organizing is about productivity. It's about getting to a place where you're dong what's important and getting to choose what to do each day. It's a lot about mental and visual clutter.

Visual clutter, according to Psychology Today, causes stress in part because of its excessive visual stimuli. It also signals to our brains that our work is never done and creates guilt, anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Can you relate? I think we all can. Doing what matters (not doing more), knowing what's important (not hanging on to things that no longer serve us), increasing productivity (not losing time searching for items), and clearing mental and visual space is a really compelling WHY to organize your work space. The ultimate goal is to achieve a calmer, more focused, meaningful work day so that you can better blend personal, family and work time. 

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