One of the best ways to create an effective organizing system is to know who you are. If you don’t know your strengths and weaknesses, you can’t build a system that reflects your abilities.
Someone who is easily distracted shouldn’t have an intricate paper filing system based on numbers and codes. Someone who takes his shoes off at the front door shouldn’t have a shoe organizing system in his bedroom. The more a system reflects how you live and your preferences, the more likely it is to work for you.
- Are you a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic processor? Find out in “Understanding how you process information to help you get organized” and then learn how to take action on those strengths.
- What time of day can you focus at your best and when are you easily distracted? Keep a log and then “Plan and execute a productive work schedule” that best reflects your energy waves throughout the day.
- How long can you effectively focus on something? Scientists have concluded that 40 minutes is the average time span for most people. Check out the Science Daily article “Are you really paying attention” to learn more.
- What do you really like? I don’t mean what are you supposed to like, but what do you sincerely enjoy? Is there a way to integrate these passions into your organizing systems? If you love watching television, can you find a way to watch television and straighten up the house during commercials? If you love birds, can you use bird labels on files in your filing cabinet so that doing filing is more joyful for you?
- What do you despise? If you can’t stand putting away laundry, can you swap the chore with someone in your house and take over a chore she can’t stand but that doesn’t bother you? Can you hire someone to take over this organizing task for you?
- Do you know why you want to be organized?
There are hundreds of questions you can ask yourself to learn about who you are and what are your preferences. Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can build an organizing system that will be easy for you to maintain and help keep your life less chaotic.