You may have heard the phrase that organizing is a process, not a task. What does that mean exactly? A process involves more than one step, for example doing the laundry. A process also involves three distinct phases, planning, doing, and follow-up. A task, on the other hand, is completed in one step, for example unloading the dish washer. It’s important to note the distinction, because tackling an organizing process as if it were a task, causes frustration, stress, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Devoting time to each of the three phases of the organizing process (planning, doing, and follow-up) will enable clarity, focus, and direction.
The planning phase of the organizing process is concerned with goals and objectives. What is your organizing goal? What do you want to accomplish? How much time is required? How much help and resources will you need? Is it worth calling in a professional?
The doing phase of the organizing process is the physical work needed to make the goals and objectives happen. It usually involves a process all it’s own, involving 3 (or more) steps:
assigning a home.
The follow-up phase of the organizing process is concerned with the upkeep and maintenance of the order once it’s established. This phase of the process is best accomplished by establishing personal guidelines, habits, and systems.
So, the next time you say to yourself, just get organized. Stop. Think. Devote some time to each of the three phases of the organizing process. It will provide clarity, focus, and direction.
© May 2014 Janine Cavanaugh, CPO® All rights reserved
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