Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by grace


How would you like to divert all the energy you spend worrying or stressing into getting things done? If it were possible I think everyone would have figured it out by now. What do you think?

I have good news. The key to this amazing breakthrough is simple and I can tell you what it is in one word – Organization. Not sure you wanted to hear that? You are not alone. But there are some things most people don’t really know about organization.

First let me share this famous quote by Sir Winston Churchill:

“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning”.

What Churchill meant to say was “Organization is the key to our freedom from stressing”.

Simple VS Easy

Have you ever noticed that simple things are not necessarily easy? I assure you that “simple” and “easy” don’t mean the same thing. If you don’t believe me read on a bit more…

Has anyone suggested such simple advice as “be nice to your sister, brother, mother or whoever”? Just be nice to everyone and you will have a great day. “Being nice” is simple. Sometimes being nice is the hardest thing in the world. But it is “simple”.

Simplicity Is The Key

The same is true with Organization. It is a simple concept. In fact the very nature of “Organization” screams simplicity from its very core.

To Organize something, you simplify its parts or contents so as to make it easier to use, more accessible, more functional, easier to understand, or more efficient in its function.

To Organize anything you must simplify it in some way. Often in many ways.

Simplicity is the key to Organization.

Complexity and Bureaucracy

How many times have you attempted to bring organization to a situation only to find that you made it more complicated? Maybe you’ve never personally made that mistake. But I’ll bet you’ve seen situations where an organizational structure was implemented and suddenly things got more complicated for everyone involved.

That is not organization. It is bureaucracy. True Organization seeks to liberate. Bureaucracy seeks to enslave. If you create an organizational system and it requires as much or more input than the output it generates, or causes frustration greater than the stability it is supposed to bring, it is not organizational but bureaucratic in nature.

Real Organization

Real organization facilitates greater output than the input required to implement and maintain it. It saves time, money, energy, resources, and diminishes stress.

Be sure that whatever organizational strategy you implement requires less energy to maintain than previously and provides greater ease for those using it. If you fail to use this measure of success with the organizational system you implement, your system will be hated and very likely will be sabotaged by anyone using it – including you.

Symptoms of Failed Organization

You may recognize these common symptoms of failed organizational strategies:

  • Habitual Procrastination
  • Missed Deadlines
  • Lost items
  • Increased Overwhelm
  • Diminished Morale
  • Depression
  • Increased Stress
  • Laziness
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Unrelenting Crisis Management
  • Lack of Discretionary Time
  • Honestly I could make this list MUCH longer but I don’t want to rub your nose in it.

I’m sure you could add some of your own. In fact I invite you to do so just for the fun of it. Investigating what real organization is while contrasting it with failed organization strategies is a very useful and healthy exercise. It can also be fun if your objective is to simplify your life and implement genuine organization instead of one of these enslaving systems so frequently passed off as organization.

What Organization Really Is

Organization is what you implement in order to get more done with less effort and fewer obstacles to completion. The objective of any genuine Organizational strategy is to increase success through simplification.

Organization Or Bureaucracy (Janet’s Predicament)

Some years ago I advised a small business owner named Janet to hire a bookkeeper. Janet insisted that she could not afford one. I suggested that paying for this service on credit would be a worthy reason to increase her debt load because it would free her up to focus on getting more business for her company. Add to that the fact that a competent bookkeeper would cost her about half what she bills her time at and take only a couple hours a month doing it and it was a bargain regardless of how you looked at it.

But Janet instead continued to pour some 20 hours a month into her bookkeeping tasks thinking she was saving money. She was not good at bookkeeping and, despite all her efforts, never really knew what her financial position was in time to be proactive. Two years later and much deeper in debt due to having poor financial information she was desperate to resolve her issue. I almost had to twist her arm but finally convinced her to see a professional bookkeeper.

Investing In Organization

She did. But about two weeks later on a Saturday evening phone call I happened to ask what she was up to. She’d spent almost her entire Saturday making entries in her new accounting system. Aghast I asked her why? She said she needed to learn how it works. I told her she was crazy and reminded her that she did not need to know how to repair an automobile to get her car fixed, or understand the art of dry cleaning to get her clothes dry cleaned.

I admonished her for wasting a perfectly good Saturday doing work that could have been done in less than an hour by her bookkeeper and if necessary the bookkeeper would have explained the work she’d done for her in mere minutes.

I supplied her with a strategy for offloading every possible bit of work onto the bookkeeper and admonished her to stick to it. She did. Only two weeks later she was marveling at how all her paperwork from the previous year was done way before the tax deadline. She excitedly explained how quickly the bookkeeper got the entire previous year into the system and spit out these great little reports that prepared her completely for tax time. She was amazed at how easy the job was that would have taken her forever and been a huge source of stress. She marveled that the extent of her current organizational requirements amounted only to getting the necessary information to the bookkeeper. This takes her less than 30 minutes per week instead of 20 hours per month.

Changing The Way We Think About Organization

Organization requires that we think differently. In order to be truly organized we always need outside help. We never seem to see all of our own bureaucratic habits. Even though Janet is a very organized person she was blind to hers. She thought she had a duty to do all that nasty work that she despised doing – but nonetheless did. She thought it was irresponsible to offload it onto someone else. She had a number of limiting beliefs that kept her stressed and overloaded with paperwork she hated doing.

Sure, we look at her situation and it may even seem silly. But we all have similar situations where we fail to leverage the resources around us and are blind to it.

Organization is about challenging our beliefs OR better still getting the help of others to challenge them with simpler more effective ways of doing things.

How many stressful things are in your life that you think cannot be offloaded because you are certain it must be handled by you or it won’t be done right?

How many things in your life would be better handled by someone else? The common complaint is “I can’t afford to do that”. Really? How much do you spend trying to relieve the stress you build up in your life? How many bad habits do you have because of what stress does to you?

What You Can Do

You can get most of the stress out of your life through great organization. Organization requires both planning and strategy.  Are you good at planning and strategy? If not you can hire people who are.

That is what a Professional Organizer can do for you. He or she can work creative wonders to help you enjoy a simplified lifestyle and free up surprising amounts of time, energy, resources, and thereby improve the quality of your experience.

If you feel stuck, overwhelmed, stressed, and/or unmotivated and would like to escape the drudgery of it all – perhaps your next phone call should be to a Professional Organizer. They are your best resource when it comes to seeking liberty through organization.

Call me I’d love to hear from you. 1-86-ORGANIZE (1-866-742-6493).