(Be sure to read The Benefits of Being Disorganized (Part I) http://blog.housefairy.org/did-you-know-you-are-blessed-to-be-disorganized . I wrote about the significance of time and motion studies for the disorganized. I think you’ll be surprised.)
So you've got multiple stacks of paper on your desk and slyly hidden piles under it, three extra kids you didn’t plan (disorganized women have more babies than organized ones do), and when you get the ironing board out the dog barks at it, BIG DEAL. In my humble, reformed slob opinion, I believe there is actually a price for attempting to be organized for the neat-police who can hold so much authority over our lives. And I think the costs outweigh the advantages.
I heard of one woman whose messy desk was more an annoyance than a hindrance. In her 360 degree review process, some of her co-workers and employees commented that her desk was a disaster and that she appeared disorganized. But, she was highly praised in these same reviews for her timeliness, leadership ability, communication skills, strategic thinking and ability to get things done. She received several promotions throughout her career and is now a vice president with her firm.
A Bradford, PA police chief who actually was fired for not having a neat desk said,
"Fortunately for the world, Albert Einstein did not work for... the city of Bradford.” By all personal and photographic accounts, Einstein's desk at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, was a disaster.
BOPs (Born Organized People) would like you to think that success is related to organization. We usually associate piles of paper and disorder with being ineffective and undisciplined. But, according to a study of the behavioral profiles of more than 240 presidents, CEOs and chief operating officers, by PsyMax Solutions, a human capital assessment firm, CEOs actually are more creative, but less organized.
"According to our findings, company heads are decidedly less organized than their subordinates," said Dr. Wayne Nemeroff, PsyMax Solutions CEO. This finding tickles me! In my four decades of helping disorganized women get organized just enough to please them; I assure them that according to studies, messiness tends to increase sharply with increased education, salary and experience.
I don’t think there has been any research to directly support the benefits of neatness. Instead, accounts touting the wonders of order usually are anecdotal (and delivered by professional organizers).
Attaining complete neatness and order is an illusion. Following rigid organizational systems and living life driven by a day planner probably means you're operating with blinders on. So many new discoveries, inventions and creative projects are the result of sheer happenstance or inadvertently veering off in an unexpected direction. I don’t have to tell you, if you don't inject a little disorder in your life you’ll miss out on the serendipity of an unplanned success.
I dedicated my book, The Joy of Being Disorganized, to all the fabulous, disorganized women of the world. The book doesn’t give license to not take care of responsibilities, but it encourages women to appreciate the fact that they are able to be in a mess. By celebrating their disorder, they are free to get organized just enough to please them.
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