The Consequences of Being Disorganized (and How to Fix It)
Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel like your entire day is looking for things you've lost, tracking down paperwork, and being in a reactive frame of mind? You're not alone. A survey found that 54% of Americans are overwhelmed with clutter and don't know what to do with it. There are also scores of people struggling with work disorganization and plummeting productivity.
Unfortunately, the consequences of being disorganized can dramatically impact your life, and not for the better. Here are a few ways that being disorganized impairs your day today and how to fix it for good.
Stress and Depression
Being disorganized negatively impacts your mental health and can lead to feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed. Over time, the mental fatigue of dealing with the mess could lead to ongoing headaches and backaches. The intense discomfort ends up trickling down to sleep and your overall well-being.
Being disorganized is more than just a stressor; it also leads to a rise in cortisol's stress hormone. The hormone is responsible for weight gain and stubborn belly fat. As cortisol rises, so does the release of glucose into your bloodstream, which gives you a burst of energy. That may sound good in theory, but when the high wears off, your sugar spike drops, and cortisol rises again as your hunger kicks in.
Feeling unproductive is a natural consequence of being disorganized. Studies show that 75% of struggling small business owners think disorganization leads to productivity loss and impacts revenue. When you're disorganized, it isn't easy to even know if you're even being productive in the first place. You're never getting ahead of your week or gaining a clear understanding when you reach your goals. Instead, you're still drowning in paperwork and tasks that never seem to get resolved.
Stunts Professional Growth
Being disorganized is a surefire way to stunt your own professional growth. You're likely to mix updates, miss assignments, practice poor time management skills, and miss out on promotions. When you can't get a handle on your own work, you're unlikely to be seen as executive or management material that can handle moving pieces to a project.
Benefits of Being Organized
Getting organized can reverse all of the negative impacts of being disorganized, like weight gain and health. But you're also likely to save time and money by not looking for, and replacing, the things you're missing. You're also likely to feel more confident, efficient and have a greater sense of well-being.
How to Fix Being Disorganized
Knowing that you're disorganized and how it impairs your life is one thing, but figuring out how to fix it can take some time to master. A crucial part of being organized is writing everything down to manage your time. Once you can see how your day and week play out, you can identify time wasters and remove them from your schedule.
Start by grabbing a Daily Planner that charts out your time, activities, workouts, and even your meals. It may feel overwhelming to write out your tasks, but after a few days, you're likely to feel empowered and focused by having control over your time.
Spending 20-minutes a day tidying up and improving one stressor in your life, like your home office or laundry room, also dramatically impacts your ability to stay organized.
Be Patient with Yourself
Being disorganized is sometimes a side effect of feeling like your thoughts are chaotic. It can take time to reduce stress, gain focus, and create a lifestyle of organization. And just like getting fit or mastering a skill, being organized is an ongoing practice that evolves with time. Being organized is a journey, not a marathon that you have to drag yourself through to the finish line.