Do you wonder why everyone else seems to be able to get it together, but you’re still stuck in the same old rut in your life?
You see people “hit the big time” online in their personal business.
But no matter how many hours you work, you’re still broke and exhausted.
Just like last year. And the year before.
And you wonder if it’s ever going to change.
If it does, I have a guess you’re also chronically disorganized.
Sure, you can get things tidy if someone comes to visit, but nothing actually stays that way for long.
And somewhere you have planner after planner, app after app, because you’re sure you’ll find “The One” that will finally make the difference.
But here’s the thing…
…your disorganization just might be the number one thing holding you back from the success you dream of.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s a list of 17 ways you’re sabotaging yourself if you’re chronically disorganized.
1. When you’re disorganized, you’re always multitasking. And it doesn’t work.
You probably think you’re the exception to the rule – of course you can multitask. And not only can you multitask, but you think you must multitask.
There’s just one problem with that.
You’re human. And you can’t.
Science has told us a lot about the human brain lately. And when it comes to multitasking, it’s really clear. When you think you’re multitasking, you’re really just moving back and forth between tasks. Sometimes you do so quickly.
But there’s a cost. It always takes longer to get refocused on what you’re doing every time you shift back and forth. If you’d just stick with one thing at a time, you’d finish things faster and be surprisingly more focused along the way.
2. When you’re disorganized, you’re always “too busy” with precious little to show for it.
You know what I mean? It seems like we think it’s a matter of pride to be so busy we practically have to schedule our own bathroom breaks. (And more on that in a little bit.)But people who are chronically disorganized, either when it comes to “time” or “stuff” are always just so busy doing this, that, or the other (usually related to their disorganized things or the fact that they never know what to do first).
Sadly, it seems like they have precious little to show for it in terms of more organized stuff or a better grip on their priorities.
3. When you’re disorganized, you throw days away – literally – every year of your life.
Let’s say you have to look for your car keys every time you leave the house.
If you go out at least once every day, let’s assume you spend 5 minutes each day looking for your keys. Just to keep it simple, we’ll assume you only leave the house once per day and that you only have to look for your keys 5 days a week.
And we won’t even get into looking for your purse, your cell phone, charger, or anything else.
By the time a year has passed…
…you’ve spent 21 hours looking for the dang keys.
Technically it’s less than a day, but it’s about 2 days’ worth of your productive work time.
2 days – just looking for your keys. (And if you’re disorganized, I have a feeling that’s not the only thing you look for regularly.)
And you wonder why you feel like you never have enough time!
Let’s face it – how often do you run late? Do you know how many people are so turned off by that they decide they don’t want to work with you? Or they don’t want to spend time with you because they know they’ll have to wait for you Every. Single. Time?
Or maybe you start saying no to things because you realize you’re too busy. This can be good…but…
…if you haven’t taken the time to organize your life according to your priorities, chances are pretty good you don’t have a clue what to say yes to and what to say no to. And opportunities for growth are passing you by.
5. When your environment is chaotic, you’re not focused.
We’ve already talked about how you can’t think about more than one thing at a time. But when your physical environment is disorganized, your brain tries to do this every time you notice something and your brain registers what it is and what its importance is.
6. When you pay to replace items, you’re throwing money away.
How many times do you go out and replace something small that you’ve misplaced. You think that it’s only a dollar or two, so it’s no big deal, right?
But those dollars really do add up, not to mention the expense of time and money that it takes to go out and buy the thing you can’t find. And now that you have 2 of them, the reality is that 1 of them has just become clutter!
7. When you’re disorganized, you’re always putting out fires.
The most successful people are proactive. They know what they want to accomplish, and they’ve broken it down into the baby steps it takes daily, weekly, and monthly to get where they want to be each year.
But when you’re disorganized, whether with stuff or with time, chances are pretty good your schedule controls you. You’re always reacting to your day rather than proactively getting done what you want.
I know – if you’re a mom of small children, you might be thinking that it’s just a dream to be able to be proactive. As a mom of 2 boys with a baby on the way, I totally get that temptation to believe you can’t be organized.
But as a mom who’s been a 6-figure earner while being a single parent – that can either be your excuse why everything stays the same or your motivation to implement the organization you need to achieve the life of your dreams!
8. When you’re disorganized, you don’t take time to recharge.
Do you believe that taking time to rest and refresh is only for the lucky few?
If that’s the case, chances are pretty good you’ll never achieve that kind of luck yourself.
Just like your car doesn’t keep going unless you refuel and maintain it, you won’t either.
Whether it’s making sure you go to bed at a certain time or taking at least one entire day off each week, you need time to recharge yourself. In fact – you’ll hit a point at which you’ll be less effective unless you do!
9. When you’re disorganized, you probably don’t invest in your personal growth.
Do you believe that you can’t afford to spend money or time on coaching?
It’s pretty common for people who aren’t organized with their time or money to think that it’s not something they can afford to do.
But once again – it’s one of those things that if you don’t do it, you’ll never actually achieve the success you fantasize about. In fact, without investing in your personal growth, success will remain just that – a fantasy.
10. When you’re disorganized, you don’t carve out empty space in your schedule to sit and think.
If you’re not living by a routine or schedule, chances are good you think that just sitting and thinking is time you can’t afford to spend.
But I think it’s pretty interesting that some of the most successful and wealthiest people throughout history have considered that kind of time a priority!
Maybe you don’t have much free time, I get it. Maybe for now it’s just turning off the radio as you go to work or deciding not to watch your favorite show a couple of times a week. Maybe it’s being intentional about whatever goes through your mind in the shower. (Isn’t it weird how that’s such a great time to think?)
I have a feeling that if you wanted, you have more time you could use for thinking than you think!
11. When you’re disorganized, you don’t invest in the relationships that matter.
If you’re chronically disorganized, I have a feeling there’s an emotion you feel a lot.
Yep. When you’re always searching for things or trying to organize clutter, you often use that busyness as a reason you can’t stop and spend time with someone. Or you’re so embarrassed that you don’t invite people over.
Your disorganization is robbing you of moments with the people who matter most to you. And these moments can never be regained.
Sure – you might be able to have “other” moments with them.
But the freedom of being able to invite someone in or go visit a loved one who needs you on the spur of the moment without having to look for your keys, purse, or wonder what else you’re overlooking is priceless.
12. When you’re disorganized, you don’t unplug.
There’s something funny about disorganization – it goes hand in hand with the inability to set boundaries for yourself.
Don’t believe me?
When’s the last time you spent more than an hour away from your cell phone?
You think you need to be connected, that something horrible will happen and people won’t be able to tell you.
But the greatest leaders and those who have achieved great things in business, spiritual, and personal pursuits all have one thing in common.
They set boundaries.
This means that they’re not available to every person every minute of every day.
Sure, some people will see it as being mean.
But they don’t let the opinions of others sway them when they know this is a habit of the truly disciplined and successful.
Whether you’re unplugging distractions like your cell phone and Facebook in order to have a burst of productivity or you’re shutting off distractions in order to be fully present with your family, carving out time where you’re not a slave to our modern day means of communication is vital to your productivity and your mental health – not to mention your ability to organize your time and stuff.
I dare you to try it.
13. When you’re disorganized, you don’t take care of yourself and your health.
When’s the last time you went to your doctor for routine health care? Do you know where your personal medical records are?
Do you have symptoms that have troubled you for a while but you keep putting off getting them checked out because you “don’t have time?”
Are you suffering from low energy all the time? Do you eat regularly, and is it quality, real food instead of over processed crap? Do you treat your exercise time as an inviolable appointment with yourself?
When you’re disorganized there’s a real cost to your health – is it one you’re willing to keep paying?
14. When you’re disorganized, you’re not building routines and habits.
I get that when you’re a mom of babies, building a schedule can be hard. I mean, I know your baby is smart, but I have a feeling she just doesn’t “get” clock time yet. So getting things done on a set schedule can be rough, especially if you don’t have an extra pair of hands to help.
But what you can do is this – instead of just doing things in any old way, build routines. Step A leads to step B leads to step C. And you can have an ideal time to start your routine each day, but don’t sweat it too much if something happens and step B lasts waaaaay longer than you expect. Just know that when things calm down, step C is where you pick up and start again.
It takes time for everybody to learn new routines and habits. But if you cling to being disorganized as “just the way you are,” you’re robbing yourself of the ability to learn the skills you need to be wildly successful.
15. When you’re disorganized, you never feel you’ve “done enough.”
Does your life feel like a game of “whack a mole” that just never ends?
When you aren’t organized with your time, you’re not living according to your priorities. As a result, you’ll never have a clear sense of what you should really be doing. So you’ll keep adding items to a never ending to-do list…and maybe you’ll check them off from time to time.
But you’ll be busy – instead of productive.
And since you won’t see results, you think you need to somehow “just try harder.”
Unfortunately – without knowing and living intentionally into your priorities, you’ll never feel like you’ve tried hard enough – and you’ll still feel like a failure.
16. When you’re disorganized, you’ll achieve the greatness you were meant to.
It all comes down to this, doesn’t it?
You know you’re meant for something more.
If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this, right?
When you’re living a life where you’re always late, always looking for something, always spending money to replace the things you can’t find, never taking time to recharge and to invest in yourself, you’ll never achieve the greatness you were meant to!
And while you might think it just means that you’ll have to make do with a little less money, that’s not the worst part of it.
It means that the people whose lives you’re meant to touch won’t be touched. You won’t inspire them to pursue their own greatness.
And the world will be lacking what you and they were meant to give.
Because it never really is all about us, is it?
It’s about you – and the people you encourage, the people they touch, and on and on.
So what will it be?
Are you willing to let your disorganization keep sucking your life away?
Or is it time to develop the habits it takes to step into the greatness you were always meant to achieve?
Let me know if this rings a bell for you – leave a comment below.