Today, you’re paying bills. Some bills arrive via email, some autopay, some snail-mail:
I guess I need to go through that stack of mail, I’m sure there’s bills in there. Shoot, what pile did I put the mail in? Ugh, there’s some here, some there, I’m sure there was more than this, where is it? What folder did I put that invoice in that Jane emailed over? Where is my login for this payment account? What’s this? Oh, I need to send this audit in & submit for that warranty. Wait, bills, I was looking for bills. Got it! Okay, checks written. Envelopes. Where did my envelopes go? I know I just pulled some out of the supply closet, where did I set them? *Sift through more stacks of paperwork* Oh no, this estimate was supposed to go out yesterday. Why aren’t my stamps in the drawer?
Before you know it, you’re 30 minutes into a 5-minute task due to distractions & lack of organization. Not to mention the constant mental stress associated with forgotten/buried tasks that you discover in the process.
Did you know research has proven that clutter often increases the stress hormone, cortisol, which is associated our fight or flight response? A quick google search will lead to article after article authored by medical professionals to everyday folks with firsthand experience.
In addition to increasing stress levels, working around a mess impacts your productivity more than you likely realize. If you spend 30 minutes a day sifting through piles of paperwork just to find documents or supplies, you’re wasting 130 hours per year. That’s 16.25 (8-hour) workdays.
The same applies for a construction worker looking for the right fasteners in a tool trailer in disarray. Or the mechanic looking for his 10mm socket that vanished again! Okay, maybe we’ll give the mechanic a break, we all know about the elusive 10mm socket gremlins!
No matter if you are white collar or blue collar or somewhere in between – we all need tools to effectively organize and execute our daily duties. In this Mess = Stress Series, I’ll be highlighting a handful of tools to help you get organized, reduce stress, and increase productivity. Stay tuned for Mess = Stress: Reset the Room!
While you’re waiting, check out these links to help motivate you to make small changes in your day-to-day life:
5 Surprising Benefits of Being Organized
Benefits of Keeping Organized at Work