I am someone that has always struggled to stay organized according to others. That said, I always seemed to find the things that I was looking for when I needed them, so who is the irresponsible one. The one that can’t find her keys in her purse? Huh, mom? Okay, this might not be the time for that, but we can talk about how organizational systems actually do make life much easier. When you write an essay in school, you are organizing your thoughts, usually in the hamburger style of essay writing where you have an intro, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. That is the tried and true method, but also shows a concrete strategy to organize your thoughts, which is why it is the foundation before you break out and do what you want. Organization can help you with your efficiency. Here are just a few ideas about how to better organize.
Folders, Folders, and More Folders
I am of the idea that you can never have enough folders. That is not the paper kind, but the computer kind. I do not do anything with my emails in my inbox other than to read them and move on. If I need something, I can search. That is all well and good, but my inbox is a mess and I can’t really see the emails at the beginning of time (or when I started the account). I saw someone else’s insanely meticulous email inbox with labels for everything and it was a godsend. Seeing only the things that are outstanding or important can help you focus on your priorities, while having the ability to go back when needed. It works the same with paper, but you need to combine with the next thing I will talk about, labels.
The thing about labeling is that you should try to be as descriptive as possible, but also want to keep things concise. You need to make sure that you are not just going to remember what that is in a week, but also in two years, so you do not have to go opening a bunch of files looking for the thing that you want. I am talking both physical and digital files. I have a habit of labeling things poorly because I do not care much about my future self. It is a really bad habit because I am always looking back at how much of a jerk I was. Turn that around and do something for yourself.
Do You, Bro
I think that one of the biggest mistakes in organization is letting someone dictate your organizational strategy. If you have a way of doing things that works, you should be allowed to do it as long as you are successful. Things get messy when you start trying to fit square pegs in round holes. That is where you try to force your style on someone, which will inevitably lead to holes. You can blame it on others as much as you want, but if you are not allowing people to organize themselves, you are not treating them with any respect.