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12 Habits of Perfectly Organized People

12 Habits of Perfectly Organized People

It’s true what they say: clutter breeds clutter. There are so many of us who dream of running a less chaotic household or struggle to remember what our office desk looks like. We crave order, yet at the same time resist due to the negative connotations attached to being perfectly organized.

There are many who believe being perfectly organized is like believing in unicorns: it’s just not going to happen. There are also misconceptions that being “organized” means being a control freak or a neat freak. That if you prefer to organize the food in your fridge a specific way, you’re not being efficient, you’re being OCD. That you’re not truly enjoying your life because you’re focusing on mundane details you “shouldn’t” consider important.

I’m here to say that’s a huge pile of crap! As someone who’s gone from chaotic and spontaneous to organized and efficient, there are so many benefits to the latter this topic could be turned into a self-help book. The top three benefits of being perfectly organized are:

  • Not being in a permanent state of “catch-up” decreases your stress level by 10,000 percent and increases your self-esteem by the same amount.
  • You’re able to work less and accomplish more.
  • You always know where your keys are!

By being perfectly organized, you’re respecting your most valuable commodity: time. It helps you accomplish all you set out to, both professionally and personally. It gives you the freedom to be exactly who you are and live a life of minimal stress, not to mention how much more enjoyable the present moment becomes.

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If you’d like to feel this way too, here are 12 habits of perfectly organized people I’ve observed, read about, and am currently attempting to execute:

1. They know who they want to be.

Perfectly organized people have an exact definition of how they want their life to be – from how they want their home to look, to how they want to dress, to how they spend their time – which makes it a lot easier to set goals and feel a sense of accomplishment.

2. They know how to say, “No.”

Because they know exactly what they want, it’s easier for them to say, “No”: when they’re offered a work project or invited to a social gathering that doesn’t advance their lifestyle in some way, they’re able to decline with confidence and aren’t easily swayed by societal pressure.

3. They’re mindful shoppers.

Just because something’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Perfectly organized people always ask themselves, “Do I really need this?” before every purchase. Not only does this help keep your budget intact, it pushes you away from using instant gratification as a tool to cope with rough patches.

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4. They’ve let go of their perfectionism.

If you try to do everything perfectly, it goes without saying you’ll feel like a constant disappointment. Perfectly organized people channel their perfectionist tendencies into their most important tasks – work assignments, remodeling their home, exercising – and with tasks that aren’t a priority, they do what they have to do to get the job done.

5. They don’t believe in labeling anything “miscellaneous.”

Though they don’t have much to store due to their minimalist nature, when perfectly organized people do store items, they specifically label and index where everything can be found. Their bills are specifically filed, and their Christmas decorations are specifically cataloged.

6. They separate emotions from possessions.

They don’t attach sentimental value to everything they own. For example, I still have my three favorite stuffed animals from when I was a kid, but not my entire collection. (I’m a big kid now!)

7. What they don’t need, they don’t own.

They don’t buy anything until they know it’s something they’re going to use right away or in the near future. From personal experience, there’s no worse feeling than cleaning an item more than you enjoy it. Trust me, you won’t miss the dusting. At all.

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8. They clean as they go.

Instead of waiting for the dishes to pile or the recycling to take itself out, the perfectly organized carve out chunks of time to maintain their lifestyle. This might sound like a drag, but there’s no better feeling than having time off, and not having to spend it running errands or cleaning, since they’re already taken care of.

9. They understand the power of one.

One checking account. One savings account. One credit card. One email address. Perfectly organized people understand that consolidation and simplicity equals more freedom.

10. When it comes to planning, they’re all about the details.

Perfectly organized people don’t just plan in advance: they plan way in advance, and they plan in detail. Sure, their to-do lists look like scrolls, but it’s only because they’ve broken down each of their tasks into manageable mini-tasks. Not only does this make each goal less overwhelming, it also helps you foresee any potential conflicts that could get in the way of your end result. BAM!

11. They don’t procrastinate.

Because of how much respect they have for their time, perfectly organized people don’t procrastinate, and they have no reason to: because of their maintain-as-they-go, to-do-list-Zorroing way of life, there’s no need to.

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12. They believe in quality over quantity.

To perfectly organized people, quantity equals clutter. They’d rather be surrounded by a minimal amount of items, all of which they use, enjoy, and actually have time to take care of properly. Professionally, they’d rather streamline their focus into a specialty where they can thrive, instead of working in more than one area and completing mediocre work.

Do you strive to be perfectly organized? Why, or why not?

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Krissy Brady

A women's health & wellness writer with a short-term goal to leave women feeling a little more empowered and a little less verklempt.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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