The disorganization habit

Have you ever uttered these words?

  • I’m not messy – I’m creative
  • I’ve always been disorganized
  • Someone will remind me if I forget
  • I run late – people are used to it
  • Don’t mind the mess at my house – it’s my mess and I love it

Then you may be in the disorganization habit. And maybe it’s working for you. But if you’re reading this post, then maybe you’re looking for a change.

Getting organized will help you prioritize what you want to work on. It will help you make a plan. And it will help you monitor and track the things you want to make happen.

Let’s pull apart some of these disorganization habits.

“I’m not messy – I’m creative”
Maybe you love being creative, but you want to get more done – like finish a series of paintings. Or write a book. Or compose a symphony. You can be organized and still be creative. I love random sparks of creative energy – AND you want to finish the work you start.

Let’s think through how to get one project done.

  • Rough out a schedule. How much time each day can you dedicate to completing this work? When would you like to start? And how much time do you need to finish?
  • Sketch out the steps that have to happen between now and your final deadline, including any classes you need to take, research you need to do, or supplies you need to secure.
  • Decide what step you will take tomorrow to get started on this path.
  • Think about what your motivation is to finish. Picture what you’ll feel like when you finish. What is your reward?
  • Track your progress each day on a calendar or in a planner. Make sure your plan is made of baby steps so you see progress every day or at least every week.
  • If you’re motivated by working with others, find other artists you can compare notes and schedules with, take a class with a set schedule and deadline, or make a commitment to a friend that you are doing this work.
  • Still be open to random bursts of creativity – just work them into your plans and keep moving forward.

I’ve always been disorganized
No one is genetically organized or disorganized. It’s pretty much all habit. But if being messy is a big part of how you describe yourself, are you ready to be a different person? Can you shift this to a new version of you? “I’ve always been disorganized AND I’m going to get an incredible amount of work done now.”

Someone will remind me if I forget
Maybe they will, but what a chaotic way to live your life. And, it’s not anyone’s business to keep you organized – it’s your business. Write things down. Have a plan. And get your own work done.

“I run late – people are used to it”
When people have to pad the time they tell you to show up, that’s an energy drain on them. Then they never know if you are going to show up. And when you’re late, you’re wasting their time which isn’t fair. So stop. Be precious about how you spend your time. And don’t waste anyone else’s time either.

“Don’t mind the mess at my house – it’s my mess and I love it”
If you love a messy house and it’s not impinging on you or anyone else, then you’re right – it’s your mess and it’s nobody’s business. If, however, you waste time trying to find things. Or buy new things because you can’t find what you already own. Or you live with someone who is always picking up after you, then it’s time to declutter.

Studies have show that being around a lot of stuff makes it very hard to focus and can leave you feeling chaotic. Try clearing one area and spend time working on a creative project there. Does being in a clearer area feel more focused and more peaceful? Are you more productive working there? If you love the first space, clear out a second space. And then maybe a third.

A side benefit of decluttering is that you have to make a lot of decisions. Keep this? Pitch it? Donate it? When you do that item by item all through your house, you get very good at making decisions and that carries over into all aspects of your life.

Shifting from disorganizational habits to organizational habits takes focus and motivation. Why do you want to make a change? Find the joy and light in that.

Sending you peace and light from a chilly December day in Maine.



2 thoughts on “The disorganization habit

Please leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s