Being Organized is for the Birds

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

A crumpled piece of paper sits quietly on the floor, its jumbled words holding a message of deep significance, yet silenced by a single hasty act. My dastardly scheme is succeeding; as long as it can survive in its spot until 5 o’clock, the paper’s message will be forever destroyed at the hands of the night-time clean-up crew.

Who am I? I am disorganization, your single greatest enemy to profitability. It is my goal to keep your business down, your efforts up, and your profitability in complete disarray. I keep you from putting away your files, from cleaning up your workspace, and from systematizing your production. I work alongside my good friends distraction, hurried, and anxious. The longer you keep from paying attention to the growing pile of stuff sitting in front of you, the stronger I become, and the longer it will take to put me down.

I thrive in environments of low accountability, low visibility, and low commitment. And it doesn’t take much to get me started. All I need is for you to leave that one item un-dealt with, giving me just enough space to flex my muscles. Oh, and no one is immune. I can break into any safe or any system you put up to protect against me. Why? Because I already live inside you.

I have one weakness and one weakness only – constant vigilance. A plan that you are completely committed to that does not allow for one thing, item, or piece of information to be left out of place. You may think you are a “natural organizer” or admit to obsessive compulsive behavior – but both of those are fallacies – obsessive compulsivity may lead you to clean up a lot, but that has nothing to do with organization. Good organization is not needing to constantly clean up your desk, as it stays clean through continual acts of organization.

I’m not worried. Very rarely do I come across someone who has the will to defeat me, which is probably a good reason why many small businesses fail, they just don’t do what it takes to stay organized. And how can they? They are probably taking too long looking for stuff, too busy catching up on work they under quoted, or too frayed because they are trapped under a pile of junk.

You think you want to fly? I keep you from walking. Besides, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to fly anyway; leave that for the birds. They don’t have to be profitable.

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