Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Streamlined Chaos

This is a post I wrote for The 10thousandgirl Campaign. I hope you enjoy!

I have an admission to make…I am messy…

Not in the filthy ‘there might be mouse under there if I move it’ messy, more in the ‘most surfaces are covered with something’ messy.

My handwriting is messy. My hair is messy. My desk is a shambles. But I’m pretty sure I know where everything is. Sorta pretty sure.

Someone help the person who tries to tidy up my piles of stuff (however good intentioned it is visiting mother). Because I know that piece of paper I was looking for was in pile #3 on the left hand side of the table. Now you’ve stacked them all on top of each other and put them in the cupboard and I’m fuming because my filing system is now out of sync.

Now, I know the benefits of tidy minimalism – clarity, ability to focus, efficiency etc, but while I attempt to achieve this (see below) I somehow revert back to piles.

(this is the below) I have another admission…I am an organising fiend. I have beautiful stationary. I create folders with carefully labelled tabs. I read blogs and books about organising. I create my own systems and routines. I even created my own paper diary – designing and printing out the pages myself with well-thought out columns and collating them into a beautiful organiser.

Zoe Lamont, generous founder of 10thousandgirl, often lovingly teases me about this (well, I’m assuming it’s lovingly!).

I set up weekly routines and plan out my days and months in advance (see another post I wrote about this). I go through spurts of delicately crafting how my wardrobe is set up, rearranging a drawer and filing all the bits of paper on my table.

Do I always stick to it? Um, no… But it makes me feel good to know that I’ve organised and planned out the most important things. It makes me feel a little more together. A little more ready to tackle the myriad of projects, tasks and goals.

I am a juxtaposition of streamlined chaos. Am I satisfied with that? Sometimes…

Sometimes I think that having everything in its place would give me more focus and productivity; additional effectiveness and efficiency. Getting organised excites me and I have experienced first-hand the benefits. Organising your financial paperwork is particularly important so you don’t miss opportunities or deadlines (listen out for our podcast interview with Lissanne Oliver of coming out on 27th September).

Other times I feel I have much better things to do with my life than be perfectly organised. Like actually living life in all its messy, chaotic, fun and crazy glory!

Do you get organised and stay organised? What are the benefits? Can you relate to being in streamlined chaos? Do you embrace ‘messyness’? What are your tips on being organised? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Arienne Gorlach is 10thousandgirl’s content manager. She owns a few books on organising. They are not filed in alphabetical order. Neither of the desks in the photos are hers.

Photo Credit 1
Photo Credit 2

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