The Most Exhausting Mistakes of Disorganized People

Disorganized People

Amy is many friends wrapped into one. She’s been the world’s best confidant, since the time we were girls. Loyal, trustworthy, and the keeper of my secrets. All of them. My gutsy and lovable friend can do no wrong. Except for one itty bitty flaw, that either sends me to my knees, belly laughing, or crying for mercy. Amy can be exhaustingly disorganized. Unlike healing, time hasn’t changed a thing.

She just doesn’t think organized thoughts. Amy’s been late for a surprise party and everything else. She can never find anything and everything is always out of place. Like the pearls her mother gave her that I happened to find when we were organizing her closet one day because they were put into a lunch bag for safekeeping. Imagine that?

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Disorganized People Think & Act Differently

Don’t get me wrong, I love Amy for all her wonderful qualities, despite disorganization. It’s just that she thinks and reacts differently when life is calling. She hasn’t adopted the habits that create order from chaos. It’s those smart habits that give you more control over your life and peace of mind; especially when you consider how good freedom from disorganization looks and feels.

Recommended Reading: How to Get Organized & Stay That Way

It’s easy to become mentally exhausted when you’re disorganized and overwhelmed. The reality is, you have deadlines, children to take care of, household responsibilities, and a long list of to-dos. Without the tools to work through it, the over activity from your brain causes stress and unrelenting exhaustion.


The Truth about Disorganization

Life isn’t perfect, things go wrong, we’re only human and we can make mistakes. It can happen to anyone and everyone. It only becomes an issue when those mistakes become chronically stressful habits. Habits can be entanglements that are really hard to climb out of and break away from.

If disorganization no longer works for you, and you’re willing, let’s turn it around. I’ll share some of the most common mistakes that cause you to be disorganized as well as solutions that will make a difference and curb your disorganization.

Here are some of the most common mistakes and the simplest solutions:

Mistake 1: You Don’t Prioritize

Your to-do list is longer than the novel you still haven’t gotten around to finishing yet. And, you add more to it about 10 times a day. The overwhelming number of commitments is starting to make you nervous. And, it feels as if your mind has to focus on a million different things at once. This is a classic example of someone who is unable to prioritize.

Solution: Focus on what’s Important

In order to be more organized, you need to have a clear understanding of what’s important to you. Those are your priorities. When you’re faced with too many things to do, ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing for me to do right now? What must get done and what can wait?” By asking yourself these two questions, your priorities will quickly come to mind.

Recommended Reading: The Amazing Power of the To-Do List

Mistake 2: You Procrastinate

When you put things off today, they may not get done tomorrow, either. The problem with procrastination is that you have other things to do which also get moved along. Procrastination is probably the worst kind of disorganization that affects everything in your life. This persistent problem is usually caused by uncertainty (you don’t know how to do it or how to get started), shifted priorities (you’d rather be doing something else), or fear (fear of not doing it right).

Solution: Consider This

Procrastination may not affect you today, but it will certainly have negative consequences for your future. So, use that as motivation to change. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, try to project your mind into the future, just for a moment. Consider how you will feel in the future if you do something now, compared to if you don’t do it. Once you understand it from this perspective, your present self may just want to help your future self, by not procrastinating. Then, take whatever it is you’re avoiding and break it down into small manageable parts. You can also work in short bursts of time, a gateway to getting it done.

Recommended Reading: Why is it So Hard to Get Organized?

Mistake 3: Your Environment is Full of Clutter

Clutter accumulates over time until it takes you, hostage. Is every surface in your house or office full of stuff? Are there piles stacked just about everywhere and they keep toppling over? When your environment is cluttered, there is less space in your mind and life for order.

Solution: Minimize

Organization becomes simpler when there is less to deal with. If something is not useful, functional, important, or sentimental, eliminate it. Make an effort to recycle, donate, or gift items that you no longer need (think about it, it’s not useful if you don’t use it). Not only will this make you feel good, but it will make your organizational tasks much more doable.

Recommended Reading: How to Quickly Clear That Clutter from Your Life

Mistake 4: You Play Catch Up

Do you find yourself constantly racing to catch up on everything in your life and more things just keep being heaped on to the mess? Disorganized people are constantly trying to catch up, which is a never-ending battle. When you play catch up, you spend all your time running around like an out-of-breath crazy person. The truth is, it’s extremely difficult to catch up; especially if you’ve also been procrastinating.

Solution: Keep Up

Getting and staying organized requires continuous upkeep. It needs to be maintained. It needs to be managed. Now, it doesn’t mean you need to spend all your time organizing. But it does mean taking the time to keep up with everything by maintaining it through the simple systems you have created. For example, put things back in the right place, archive an email to clear your inbox, or actually put the papers in that file.

Recommended Reading: 20 of the Best Inspiring Organization Quotes That You’ll Love

Find Calm in the Chaos

I know that being organized doesn’t come easily to many people. But these new habits will help you replace those that weren’t working. Freeing you from stress and an exhaustingly disorganized life. Doesn’t that sound better?

Which common mistake resonates most with you?



Comments 14

  1. I love all of your illustrations in this post, and also the recommended reading. Your phrase about how hard it is to “catch up” is right on. This is true in every realm, including getting out of date or entering a class mid-term. It IS HARD to catch up. It is worth the effort to do so, and then to keep from falling behind again if you can. Loved it all:)

    1. Thank you, Seana. I’ve always dreaded having to catch up. For instance returning from vacation with a stack of mail, email, to do’s. Sometimes, it even felt like the trip wasn’t worth it. Or if I was out for a few days from school, having to play catch-up was not fun.
      It’s definitely so much easier to keep up. That’s what I do because I don’t have time for extra work.

  2. Ronni, it is so true that the biggest misconception people have about being organized is that it’s a once and done event. Being organized takes a well-thought out maintenance routine and schedule. Disorganized people don’t recognize that creating good habits, following routines – in essence, changing what they do is a key component to getting and staying organized.

    1. Maintenance is really as important as getting started and the actual work. Without it, everything can return to the stage it was before and then the system runs off track.
      Getting organized is a process and it occurs in several phases. They all have to work in order for habits to change.

  3. I found that decluttering my home when the kids are away at college is so much easier. I do not have attachments to many things. But, memorabilia is my downfall. When the kids are not around, I can separate and decide if I want an item. When I clear out a room or a closet, I like to take pictures of the items that I may be a little undecided on if I should get rid of it. Taking a digital picture allows me to let go of the physical item and just keep its image.

    1. I also find that it’s easier to organize anything, including decluttering, when the family is not around. I can focus better. There are no interruptions and I can just keep going.
      I love the idea of taking a photo and keeping a digital reminder of an item you’re unsure of. It makes so much sense.
      ✅ Done!

  4. Great tips, Ronni! That first illustration of the momma with her hands full had me rolling on the floor laughing. Too accurate. Thanks for you wisdom and tough love.

  5. This is such a great post. I love how you’ve organized the information and provided solutions to common problems, as well as additional reading. Spot on!

    1. Thank you, Sheri. Whenever we make a point easy to understand, it becomes more doable. Adapting new habits is a process. It’s hard to do.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. The first step is getting started and then it’s knowing what to do. Small and manageable is the best way to go. Especially when changing old habits.

  6. Some people don’t have the ability to read a book and change. There is more to the chaos and clutter that is in the mind that needs to be identified, acknowledged and healed/fixed. If not, it goes on forever. I grew up with a mother like this and ended up married to someone like this. I wonder why I did that because it drives me crazy and now I’m stuck.

    1. Hi Kim,

      I too wonder why we sometimes do the things we do. We are either hardwired, there’s a trigger, or it’s learned behavior. I think the growth is in the redo. Recognizing the behavior and making a shift so it doesn’t happen again.

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