In last week’s post Are You Too Organized I discussed how sometimes we can create over complex systems or ways of doing things that actually cause us to steer clear from using them rather than encourage us to use them. I received several comments and e-mails about that article so I wanted to take that thought a little bit deeper.
Here’s something you don’t hear every day, did you know that perfectionism can actually lead to disorganization? Yes, it is commonly perceived that someone who is a perfectionist is meticulously organized, but many people don’t understand that what perfectionists want more than anything is for things to be “perfect”. If a perfectionist cannot create the “perfect” system for doing something in many cases they would rather not do it at all. This can lead to the exact opposite result of organization.
Let me give you an example. When I first start working with clients I asses their personality as it relates to organization. After seeing their space and interviewing them I am usually able to tell if they are a perfectionist. This person will often tell me that they really want to be organized but have tried and it just doesn’t work. Also at a quick glace there are usually piles and piles of paper or clothes or whatever the case may be. The perfectionist often self sabotages her or himself by coming up with multiple things that need to get done before he or she can actually do the simple task of filing a piece of paper or hanging up an article of clothing. If they can’t do those other things first, then things won’t be exactly perfect and therefore they just should not be done at all. Which makes perfect sense really, because who would want to do 11 things prior to doing a one minute task?
As mentioned in my Are You Too Organized article. The perfectionist needs to embrace simplicity. Part of staying organized has to do with how flexible you are. Your systems are going to have to change as your life changes and as your needs change. You cannot create a filing system when you are single and in your 20’s that will still be effective when you are in your 40’s married with two teenagers.
Embrace simplicity, flexibility, and the power of a deadline!
Copyright (C) 2010 Angela Ploetz, POSH Space www.theposhspace.com.