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The Costs and Causes of Clutter: What is your clutter costing you?
 

The Costs and Causes of Clutter: What is your clutter costing you?

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Ever wondered what effect a cluttered work environment has on you? Take a look at some stats which reveal the true impact. If you recognize that clutter might be affecting you, take some steps to ...

Ever wondered what effect a cluttered work environment has on you? Take a look at some stats which reveal the true impact. If you recognize that clutter might be affecting you, take some steps to restore order. If it's not improving, enlist the help of supportive organized friends, or consider hiring the help of Professional Organizer or Productivity Consultant.

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  • Hello, and thank you for inviting me to be part of your Clutter Busting day. I’ve taken a tour of some areas of this building so have some idea of the challenges you’re facing. It is my hope that this presentation will inspire you to make the most of this day for any investment you can make into making a more orderly work environment will pay off in personal and professional productivity. So here’s what we’re going to cover….
  • Listen to how deeply clutter can affect people. 90% of Canadians admit to negative effects such as stress and frustration. No surprise there, but how about a sense of “failure”. That’s worrysome. Of those that are disorganized, 70% say their workplace is disorganized. That’s a lot of people struggling unnecessarily every day. So what happens when we’re stressed and under pressure? Our relationships suffer. We’re not so happy with ourselves. Our own mental health is affected.
  • Get this. Almost 1/3 of employees’ time is spent looking for lost documents. Show of hands, anyone relate to that? Another study adds up lost time to over a week a year. This is affecting our productivity. Of all those lost paper documents 15% are never found. Okay, so what does it mean – 50% of people in one study stayed late 2-3 times per week. This affects personal time – perhaps your commitment to friends and family. And 1 in 5 missed crucial deadlines. In a tough economy where jobs are to be treasured, you don’t want to be one of the 20% missing deadlines because you’re not organized. It is fixable. We’ll get to that.
  • Okay, so how did we get to this state of clutter? Lots of reasons. The first, and most obvious. Who thinks there is simply too much “incoming”? Look at what we are bombarded with daily. Each one of these can cause an interruption in our workflow, and take away our focus from tasks at hand. The net lack of time is actually affecting our ability to complete work efficiently. Some of the items can actually lead to clutter themselves.
  • Add to the volumes we have to deal with the fact that many of us were never taught organizing skills. This graphic shows a mind map about time management. Who here is familiar with a mind map? It’s a creative tool that allows a non-linear development and documentation of related thoughts. Great for brainstorming ideas. This one is all about time management. Time management has an effect on our spaces. Probably too small to see, but de-clutter is actually one of the line items here under the category “Choices”. The image is meant to convey how complex effective time and space management can be. Mastering prioritization and goal setting are critical to making sure we’re not always putting out fires, and therefore have time to restore order.
  • A critical challenge is the lack of functional storage space. You may simply have no space to store things. I was once hired at a major telecom company. The morning I showed up, the HR director’s face turned white. She simply forgot I was coming. Needless to say I was missing storage space and then some! You may have storage space that is blocked or jammed with too many things thereby rendering it inaccessible. Or, storage space may be there, but if there is no owner, it is quite possible that chaos will ensue. Especially with multiple users. Anyone wanting to read about an example of this can read my recent blog post all about the inside of my fridge! Can you think of examples here of storage spaces which could be used more effectively?
  • An inability to make decisions can sabotage productivity and thereby attract clutter. Deferral of decisions might mean collecting more and more information before moving forward. Not knowing where something ought to be stored is a clear example. This happens at work and home. Every time something new is brought into a work or home environment, it is worth examining everything associated with it. Example – a pet. Space and time are both affected. Stress actually limits our ability to make decisions. Procrastination is a tough one. Very common, it is the deferral of an activity in favour of something more gratifying in the present moment, even if one knows better! Perfectionism is another reason clutter can build. Thinking you have to have things just right can mean progress halts. When progress stops, clutter can build.
  • In closing, I want to leave you with a few thoughts on organizing. There is no one way to do things. It is an investment of time, thought and energy. It is a foundation for personal and professional success It can often be neglected in life’s busy-ness You can learn to be organized. You can spend time to make time. Thanks for having me. I’d like to open it up to questions now.

The Costs and Causes of Clutter: What is your clutter costing you? The Costs and Causes of Clutter: What is your clutter costing you? Presentation Transcript

  • THE COSTS AND CAUSES OF CLUTTER How is clutter costing you?
  • The impact of clutter
    • 90% of disorganized Canadians report negative effects from clutter 1
    • 70% of disorganized Canadians who work say their workplace is disorganized 1
    STRESS FRUSTRATION FAILURE Disorder sabotages mental health and damages relationships 1 Professional Organizers in Canada, 2009
  • The impact of clutter
    • 30% of all employees’ time is spent trying to find lost documents 1
    • 15% of all paper handled in business is lost 1
    • Nearly half say disorganization causes them to work late 2-3 times/week 2
    • 21% miss crucial deadlines because of disorder 2
    • Sources
    • 1 Delphi Consulting, Boston consultancy, 2006
    • 2 Esselte Ltd. Office supply company
    WORKING LATE MISSING DEADLINES POOR PERFORMANCE Productivity suffers. Work is less gratifying.
  • Causes of clutter SNAIL MAIL TEXT MESSAGES EMAIL INSTANT MESSAGES CELL PHONE VOICE MAIL PAPER INBOX OFFICE PHONE VOICE MAIL FAXES PEOPLE Too much incoming!
  • Causes of clutter Lack of organizing skills. TIME MANAGEMENT PLANNING AND GOAL SETTING PRIORITIZATION SPACE MANAGEMENT
  • Causes of clutter Lack of functional storage space NO ALLOCATED STORAGE SPACE HARD TO ACCESS STORAGE SPACE NO OWNERSHIP OF STORAGE SPACE
  • Causes of clutter LACK OF KNOWLEDGE STRESS PROCRASTINATION PERFECTIONISM Indecision and difficulty editing.
  • Get organized. Cut the cost of clutter! Life is complex. With increasing time pressure organizing is often neglected. Rest assured, you can learn to be better organized. People have different ways of thinking about organizing. There is no one way. Just as you spend money to make money, you can spend time to make time. It is a foundation for greater personal and business success. Being organized requires an investment of time, thought & energy.