Order from Chaos
This past month has been a challenging one for me. I’ve found myself getting completely overwhelmed by a million little things demanding my attention, each of which seems to take way longer than it should.
An artist/jeweler I work with recently described a similar experience. “I go to grab a paintbrush and I see a phone message I never returned, then I reach for the phone and spot a piece of jewelry which reminds me that I need to send an e-mail and on my way to the computer, I remember…” Long story short – she never gets back to the paintbrush or the phone message or the e-mail and at the end of the day she’s been busy every minute but hasn’t accomplished much.
It wasn’t until she relayed her story that I realized the core of the problem I’ve been struggling with. I have been so busy for so long that my normal organizational tasks – filing papers, organizing e-mail, going through the piles on my desk and, Oh My Lord, throwing stuff away – have been put off for so long, I’m no longer able to function efficiently.
This past week, I back-burnered everything I possibly could and focused on getting my systems in order. What a difference! I am more energetic, I am more optimistic – it’s like every piece of clutter I clear lightens my mental load. Sure, I’m going to have to work like hell to catch up but at least when I do, I’ll know where to find everything I need and I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that it’ll take me less time and I’ll feel less frazzled.
From now on, I will do my damnedest to stop treating organizational tasks like the ugly step-children of my business. They are as vital to my company’s well-being as the money-making work and without them, the money-making work doesn’t get done as well, as fast or as profitably.