Does organization equal productivity to you or do you feel that organization is just a negative word fraught with unpleasant, menial, and tedious tasks? Perhaps you’ve decided you just weren’t born with the ‘organizational gene’ and have entertained the thought of just giving up?
Let’s look at a common scenario: you walk past your work desk, you see a stack of mail in varying stages from read and unopened, new coupons for your favorite fast-food restaurant, and that unread New York Times Bestselling novel you hope to someday get around to reading. Meanwhile your elusive phone charger finally makes an appearance, woven chaotically through a mountainous pile of newspapers, credit card bills, and notebooks.
Does this sound familiar?
“Wait a minute, Cathy”, you might say, “Why does organization matter? After all, isn’t a disorganized desk in the eye of the beholder? Besides, what difference does it make if I know where everything is?”
Let’s look at some staggering statistics.
In a 2012 white paper, The Price of Disorganization in the Workplace, Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts draw attention to some alarming numbers. The paper cites a survey of 800 U.S. employees, conducted by P-Touch in 2010, on workplace disorganization, which found that “the annual cost of U.S. job-related inefficiency for full-time employees looking for misplaced items in the office tops $89 billion annually.” The paper also states that, when you combine searching for lost items with searching for lost files on the computer, the cost hits $177 billion annually and 87 percent of workers polled admitted that a cluttered workspace negatively affects their productivity!
Let’s face it, disorganization not only costs us time, it costs us money. And for any business, large or small, those costs will have a negative impact on your productivity AND your bottom line.
On the flip side, being organized eliminates the time suck that searching for lost items inevitably causes. And more time spent focusing on the right things means more profitability.
Still not convinced? Here are 7 reasons why organization boosts productivity.
- It saves you time. Without a doubt, time is our most precious resource. When you have your paperwork and documents properly organized in a defined location, you don’t have to wrack your brain trying to remember where that proposal was saved or where that post-it note with a prospective client’s information is hiding. When you have the proven systems in place, you simply go to that source and locate your information.
- You eliminate stress. Although we can’t eliminate all stress in our daily lives, organization in the daily execution of your business frees your mind to focus on projects and clients by removing the distractions of frantically searching for what you need to do the work they hired you to do. Having things organized and easy to find will ease your stress level and ensure you are operating at an optimal level of productivity.
- You become more creative. Teresa Amabile, Harvard Business school professor noted, “When you work under the gun, creativity is the first casualty.” In a disorganized environment, the stresses of lost or hard-to-find items short-circuits our creativity. Organization creates a state of calm that allows solutions to problems to surface and opens the channels of creativity.
- You can locate anything easily. Most organizational experts agree that having a “home” for all of the items you use most is one of the simplest yet most effective system for organization. Don’t you find it easier to locate your keys when you leave them in a specific place when you get home every day?
- You will meet your deadlines. Nothing will hurt your reputation more with your clients and prospective clients than missing a deadline. Missed deadlines demonstrate a lack of professionalism and yes, a lack of organization. Missed deadlines can also seriously hamper cash flow…the life-blood of your business.
- You will have less clutter. Hoarding mounds of paper, books, and other items, “just in case”, is a recipe for disaster. Streamline to just keeping (and organizing) the necessary and get rid of the rest. If you are attached to certain items and can’t bear the thought of parting ways, find another home for such items, away from your desk or workstation.
- You will make more money. Did this one get your attention? Of course it did! After all, you’re running your business to make money and time lost is money lost. Your goal should be to operate your business with the utmost efficiency. Anything that distances you from that goal requires immediate attention and action.
Exploring ways to improve your organizational systems is vital to not only your personal life, but the life of your business. And I have strategies, systems and processes that will help!
There is no “one size fits all” formula for organization. But, together, we can customize strategies that work best for you. Let me help you bring clarity, focus, and efficiency to your life’s work. Here’s a productivity assessment you can take to see where you stand. Or, you can Contact me today and we can discuss your specific challenges, as well as how I might be able to help!