Do you ever feel like you can’t get anything done? Stuff keeps piling up and you never have time to enjoy life. You struggle to stay focused. You feel chained to your ever-growing to-do list. You’re not even sure how to organize your life. You feel frustrated, you wanna pull out your hair, you wanna scream!
Take a deep breath. Help is on the way. Let’s take a look at why you’re disorganized and work from there. You can only find a solution once you know the problem. Here are some possible reasons for your chronic disorganization:
1. You create master to-do lists
One list for everything is a big no-no, yet this is what some people tend to do. You can’t put tasks related to many different aspects of your life into one huge list and expect to get anything done. You don’t put everything into one drawer at home, do you; e.g. scissors, bananas, computer cables, cosmetics, navel fuzz, and baby products? Well, maybe some of you do? But you shouldn’t because it’s not very organized and if you did, you’d probably need a very big drawer. But you definitely shouldn’t do it with your to-do list! “There’s a place for everything and everything has a place,” someone once said. To be organized one should try to categorize and organize everything, that way we can unclutter our minds and start getting things done! Humans naturally categorize information in their minds, this might have something to do with the fact that we think contextually.
Thus, you should definitely categorize your to-dos into different labels. We naturally do this with grocery lists and many other tasks. And one great feature of TaskLabels is you can put tasks into multiple labels, which helps you organize your life more efficiently. For example, you can put “Buy roses” under the following labels: Today, To buy, and Spouse. That way you’ll really remember to buy those roses for your next anniversary!
2. You haven’t developed the necessary habits
It’s rare that people become disorganized all of the sudden. If you’re a disorganized person today then, more than likely, you have never successfully developed the necessary habits, such as:
- Creating specific daily routines that’ll keep you on task
- Following your to-do list
- Prioritizing tasks
- Planning ahead
- Overcoming your perfectionism to get things done even if they’re not 100%
- Reading and addressing emails on a daily basis
- Motivating yourself
- Eliminating time wasters such as too much TV
3. You keep putting things off
If you’re always thinking, “I’ll get all that stuff done once my day off comes around,” or “I’ll do it when I have more time”. Then more time comes along and you keep putting things off, since there’s always more time, right? You’re a major procrastinator! Say it! You know you are. You delay making decisions, things start to pile up quickly and that leads to…being majorly overwhelmed. It becomes harder and harder to start working on that piled up list of things and the vicious cycle continues.
4. You simply have too much clutter
Mental clutter, physical clutter, information clutter – you name it, you’ve got it! Start embracing minimalism and your clutter problems will start almost taking care of themselves. There’ll be simply less things to organize. You can do it in various different ways:
- Eliminate physical clutter – throw away stuff you don’t use, have yard sales
- Go on a low-information diet. Stop following the news that doesn’t improve your life (and only makes you anxious besides adding to your mental clutter)
- Clean up your computer and online accounts: Clean up your bookmarks, folders, and email inboxes.
5. You never take time to plan, organize and evaluate
You think you’re too busy handling your day-to-day chaos and all the urgent stuff in your life. You find yourself reacting more than planning. And when you do plan, you mistake the urgent with the important. Those two are very different.
The importance of planning how you spend your time cannot be emphasized enough. You want to be a strategist that consciously allocates the 2 main resources available to you at any moment: time and energy. Click here to learn how you can plan your next day at work by embracing the power of paper and a mobile app to plan your next day, whether at home or work.
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!” — Brian Tracy
6. You’re always catching up and never doing things in advance
If you’re not staying on top of things and always putting out little fires here and there, working on things that absolutely, positively have to be done, then it’s just a matter of time before a few deadlines accumulate to throw a monkey wrench into your life. Thus, you need to organize, prioritize, and become task focused to get things done. It’s really that simple. And always leave some buffer time for those unexpected things that inevitably popup.
7. You keep waiting for the perfect time
We all like to wait for the perfect time. It’s a great excuse to keep putting things off and not feeling bad about ourselves. But never having the perfect time to do something is also usually true. There’s always something else we can do instead of doing what needs to be done like mowing the lawn, writing that best seller, and mastering the art of cooking the perfect bowl of clam chowder.
The difference between disorganized and organized people is that the latter make time and take certain steps towards their goals and make changes in improve their lives.
Peter Procrastinator: “I can’t quit smoking now, it’s almost Christmas! I’ll wait till summer.”
Paula Perfect: “The perfect time for me to quit smoking is after I get married…or once I’m pregnant.”
Doug Doer: “You know what, I still have many packs of cigarettes laying around, but I’m quitting right now. There’s no time like the present!”
Who do you think will be more likely to quit smoking? Which mindset do you think wins more often in life, regardless of the goal in question? That of the person who keeps procrastinating or waiting for that perfect time or that of a person who simply chooses to act in the moment? Obviously the person who makes good decisions and acts on them has the winning formula.
8. You use loose paper or sticky notes to note down the things that you need to do
You use sticky notes and paper because that’s what you know and what’s been working for decades for many people. And besides, it’s really convenient to write things down on paper. But holding onto that information that’s been written down is where it gets tricky. It’s usually only a matter of days before that loose piece of paper or those sticky notes get lost somewhere or start forming a little pile along with some other papers laying around your desk.
That’s just one of the reasons we strongly advise against using sticky notes for your to-dos. See more reasons in our previous post –>
So how disorganized are you? Do any of our examples ring true with you? Do you wish you could be more productive? If so, download TaskLabels today and start getting things done!