I may or may not have OCD but given that I work better with a system, I couldn’t care less (at least not so much. Hah!). There should be at least two groups of people – the ones who work better in clutter and those who seem to do well if everything is organized. I hereby declare that I am definitely, definitely a member of the latter. Throw me in a pit of mess and I’ll never get anything done even after seven days, six nights. When organized, however, I will complete the task.
I have always been one to have everything lined up. Back in the university days, I lose track of assignments if I don’t have them written on my self-produced worksheet. Some may see it as being too systematic, putting myself into a hassle of organizing when it’s not necessary. Well, it is for me. Even up to this very day, most of my… agendas… are organized. It’s like my brain goes into sleep mode whenever it detects clutter. So, how can I not be systematic or organized or “arranged”?
In my systematic world, here’s why I think being organized helps…
- It develops a sense of control
At the risk of sounding like a control freak, I keep myself organized because it helps me feel that I will have everything turn out just the way I want them to. I list out all my tasks, especially assignments, because I want them to be completed in advance, not in the final hour before submission. It makes me the pilot of my own flight. When you have a system, you will understand how things function and how you function around things. You’ll be able to identify the best method to help you with your tasks. For instance, you notice that you have a pattern of completing writing tasks first before moving on to practical work. Being organized keeps you within that pattern. All you need to do is refer to your system.
- It functions as a reminder
Having things written down or typed onto the computer gives you a “personal assistant”. You don’t have to stop in the middle of the day just to try and recall what’s your next errand. You simply need to check you organizer to see if you have outstanding tasks. Even if something slips your mind, chances are it’ll come back. Imagine enjoying a day on the couch, treating yourself to a movie marathon when you’re supposed to be out hunting for a wedding present. You go to the kitchen to grab a nice, cold drink. That’s when you notice something written on the reminder board. A closer look tells you that a brand new microwave should be in your hands right now. It should have been wrapped, looking all nice and pretty. You turn off the TV, get dressed and rush off to buy the overdue present.
(okay. Microwaves are expensive. I have no idea why that crossed my mind…or a wedding present for that matter.)
- It helps others trust you
You know why secretaries and personal assistants are reliable? Because they are organized. They come up with a system to support whoever it is they’re working for. In life, we are all inter-related. Tasks and jobs bring people together so I believe that to a certain degree, we need to be able to make others trust us. How could we possibly go that further mile if no one trust us enough to help us go that distance? (reminds me of that Hercules soundtrack). When you are organized, those around you will be more confident that you’ll get things done…and on time. They believe that your system keeps you on track. So, why not use your skills and abilities?
And here’s how I think you can be organized or keep yourself organized…
- Produce your own diary/journal/worksheet
This is stating the obvious, actually. It’s entirely up to you how you want to keep yourself organized. Use a diary, a notebook, a journal…or for want of a more high-tech approach, a tablet. Anything that fits your type.
- Think in categories
Being organized per se might not always be sufficient. I’d like to recommend thinking in subs. In your diary, break down into several categories. Examples… one for work, another for house chores and another for health/exercise. That indirectly summarizes your life into the major things that you need to focus on. Gradually, you’ll be able to connect the dots and walla! Your life is completely manageable. I know…too good to be true. But it works. At least you won’t fall completely down when crises come your way. Your system, and categories, will mitigate the problems.
Alert!! There are, however, one thing you need to be careful of…
Do not get carried away and change whoever you are into a control freak. No one, no one likes control freaks. Bravo if you have everything organized but what would happen when no one is even interested in that system of yours…just because you seem to want everything your way. No..no. That’s not how it works. The system is there to make your life easier. But be sure to adapt it to the situation. This is a learning process. So knock yourselves out. Discover new systems and have fun!