Help — I’m So Disorganized!

How to Get Organized
Photo Credit: caughtinthe / iStockPhoto.com
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Get Organized With These Helpful Tips

By this point, you have heard your fair share of criticisms. The list of disapproving comments is long and sounds a bit like this:

  • You’re so messy.
  • How can you get anything done?
  • I can’t believe you are late again.
  • Can you find anything in here?
  • You need a system.
  • If you don’t get organized, bad things are going to happen.

Disorganization might make for a few funny jokes, but for you, disorganization is different. Instead of a laughing matter, your lack of organization is having major, negative ramifications in your life, like:

  • Decreasing relationships and increasing conflict in the relationships that continue.
  • Decreased performance at home and/or school with threats of being fired or failing classes.
  • Financial complications that come from being late with bills or overspending from a disorganized checkbook.
  • Health issues that come from lacking the organization to attend doctor’s appointments and take medications as prescribed.

If only you could advance your organization, life would improve. The harsh critiques would stop, as would the unwanted repercussions caused by your disorganization.

Even if this seems impossible, there is hope.

Find the Source to Find the Solution

By now, you have probably read books, blogs, and articles on the subject of organization. You have tried to implement their suggestions, but the limited results have left you searching for other answers.

These solutions didn’t work for you, but it wasn’t because they were bad solutions — it only means that those were not the answers to your problem. Disorganization can come from a multitude of sources, and if you treat the wrong source, you won’t make progress.

To find the root of your disorganization, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are people in my family disorganized?
  • Have I ever been organized?
  • When did my organization abilities change?
  • Are life events related to changes in my organization?
  • Is my disorganization constant or does it ebb and flow?

These questions are a fantastic way to start thinking about your level of disorganization.

Continue to dig deeper into possible causes and consequences of your lack of order. If you become stumped, employ the opinions of trusted people in your life.

Parents, teachers, bosses, siblings, and friends are going to have a unique perspective on your disorganization, and chances are great, they will be happy to share this information with you. Helping your organization will help improve their lives.

Possible Sources and Solutions

Lack of Interest

Let’s face it: some people just are not interested in being organized. In fact, they prefer their messy, disorderly life to those living a neat and tidy world. For these people, disorganization is not the problem — the problem is the pressure felt from others in their life.

If disorganization works for you, that’s great, but considerate people always do their best to sense the impact their behaviors have on others. Consider having a conversation with the people in your life about your organization and your views on the subject.

With clearly communicated information, they might gain a better understanding of your needs and wants. Keep in mind, though; disorganization carries some inherent risk of alienation just as it does for overly organized people.

Upbringing

Another group of the disorganized desperately want to change, but they can’t because they have no frame of reference for how organization is done.

Perhaps their family was filled with people who set an example of disorganization, which led to an absence of organized role models in their life. These people never choose disorganization; it was thrust upon them.

This group will have the unfortunate task of learning organization from the ground up. Information that others take for granted related to keeping their life orderly will be a foreign concept to this group.

These people will require the patience of others as well as from themselves. If you find yourself in this group, your organization goals should start being very small and easy to achieve.

Doing something like putting your toothbrush back in its holder may seem elementary to others, but to you, it can be a significant step towards your ultimate goal. Once you find success, build from it.

Situational Stress

Stress has far-reaching implications in the lives of so many. It can damage nearly every aspect of who you are and how you function.

Your ability to stay organized is not immune to the influence of stress. If your organization seems to come and go, stress could be the most likely source.

If stress is the source, stress reduction must be the solution. This situation exemplifies the importance of accurate source identification. If you only try to address the disorganization, your stress will grow, leading to further disorganization.

To make significant changes, you must target your stress directly. Identify where your stress originates and take steps to change the situation.

Try adding new stress-reducing coping skills into your repertoire like deep breathing, yoga, exercise, and other relaxing activities. As stress resolves, organization should return.

Mental Health Disorders

It turns out that disorganization may come from a disorder. Several mental health disorders are linked to poor organizational skills.

Depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and others can all trigger disorganization. In this case, disorganization will be a symptom of larger dysfunction.

Specialized mental health treatment will be the best treatment for these illnesses. Medication can help address the symptoms, but mental health therapy will be a good option to address directly the behavior patterns associated with disorganization.

Additionally, a therapist will help identify the cause and effect relationship between organization and your illness allowing you to change your expectations and lower your stress.

Disorganization is a problem that directly affects many people and indirectly affects even more. Rather than waste valuable resources on solutions that are not specific to the source of your issue, direct your limited energies towards identifying the true source.

From there, you can seek options that are tailored to you. With this plan, successful organization is at your fingertips.