The Cost of Disorganization

2010 is just getting started, and getting organized is on many resolution lists. Of course, this is a great goal (it is, after all, National Get Organized Month!). But beyond it just being timely, it’s helpful to really focus on the reasons why you want to get organized, as that can help keep you motivated throughout the organizing process.

One reason people want to get organized is to save time and money. But just how much of these essentials are you losing from your current level of disorganization?

Whether you consider yourself super disorganized or just a little, you may have a sinking feeling that your disorganization is taking a toll on you – a financial toll. And you’re probably right – after all, any time that you waste looking for things that are lost in your computer, on your desk, or in your space is time that you’re not spending being productive – or just on true downtime. Anything that you can do to make you more productive is going to save you time and potentially money.  Let’s look at a quick formula to see just how much disorganization is costing you:

Time it. First, think about how many hours a week you spend being disorganized. Maybe half an hour looking for papers; maybe a few hours trying to search through your phone records and notes. Really think about all the different ways that you lose your focus, your “flow,” and your productivity. Be honest with yourself – this number is only for you. On average, how many hours a week do you spend being disorganized?

Charge it. Then write down how much your hourly rate is. This could be how much you charge clients per hour, or it could be your salary divided by the amount of hours you work in a week. Then, multiply your hourly rate times the number of hours per week that you are spending being disorganized. The result? How much disorganization is costing you every single week.

Multiply it. If you want a really scary number, take your weekly cost of disorganization and multiply it times 50. That number will give you how much disorganization is costing you over an average working year.

What did you come up with? Even if it is relatively small, wouldn’t you rather be generating that income rather than losing it by being disorganized?

In upcoming editions of the newsletter, we’ll be exploring strategies to help you get organized to boost your productivity. By implementing some of the ideas, you’ll reduce the amount of time you spend being disorganized, and instead will find yourself more productive and efficient. It can be done – and 2010 is the year for you to do it!

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