Are you TOO organized? Avoid these 5 mistakes

As much as I crave order, there IS an overboard line you can cross. Here are 5 ways being “too organized” can work AGAINST you:

1.  Setting up TOO many categories: When setting up your filing system (in your file cabinet OR computer), the goal is to be able to:  FIND what you need QUICKLY …. AND put papers (or documents, etc) EASILY.

Many of us – with good intentions, of course – set up categories with SUB-categories with SUB-SUB-categories… you get the picture. By the time you’ve found what it was you were looking for, you forget why you needed it in the first place.

TIP:  Use stickies or pencil & paper to map out a smart filing system.  Think to yourself: What’s the 1st word that comes to mind when thinking of a file name / category? Once you have a plan that makes best sense, rearrange your stuff accordingly.

2.  KEEPING TOO MUCH: While we’re on the subject of “filing,” how much of what we have in our cabinets / boxes / computer do we actually NEED? A majority – probably never.

TIPS: Before you file, ask yourself: Do I really need to keep? Can I get this info somewhere else if needed? ALSO, purge your {computer AND paper} files – either as you are using that particular one OR block out at least once a year to weed out all the excess.

These labels might work fabulously well for some - but not us!

3.  GETTING OCD:  I can do this on occasion! For example, I thought it’d be super smart to label my boys’ coat hangers with days of week, specific activities, etc. Well finding the “right” coat hanger for the “right” day / time of day / activity quickly drove us all crazy.

TIP: Once you get the results your looking for, leave it alone. Don’t make it overly complicated. Basic sections in the closet for us work just fine.

4.  TACKLING TOO MUCH:  I used to think I can get this whole house / closet full of photos / (fill in your own blank) organized in a whole day. {Which may have been the case BEFORE kids.} I’m a hard worker and optimistic {two good things} but am working on the “let’s be realistic” part.

TIP: Don’t lose that “I can do it” spirit, but DO break bigger projects down into doable start & finish in 1 hr or 1 morning increments.

5.  CRAMMING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE into your day {which leads to week which leads to month….} This is one area of my life I’ve made big changes. While I still enjoy being productive, I no longer try to squeeze all I can into the day. As a time management coach, I’m become quite knowledgeable on how to work smarter, be more efficient but I also have become much more aware of WHY I’m doing what I’m doing.

TIP: Get in the habit of asking yourself: Okay, why am I doing all of this? Is this really the way I want my life to be? Because, as one of my favorite {Annie Dillard} quotes says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

Do YOU go into organizing overload at times? Tell me about it in comments below!

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