Its Time to Get Organized

By Robin Reyes,2014-01-10 21:53
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Its Time to Get Organized

    Russell Conwell Center

     It’s Time to Get Organized!

Why is it important to be organized?

     1. It saves time.-You don’t waste time shuffling through


     2. You have more control of your time and space.

     3. You will less stress when you can locate things easily.

     4. Other reasons?

Getting organized is lifetime process for some people. Let’s make

    it a shorter one for you!

Did you know that your personality influences how you get

    organized? It’s true! Just as you choose your clothing, music, career, and friends, your personality “chooses” your organizational


If you have struggled with getting organized and staying organized,

    it could be because you were doing it in the wrong way. This

    workshop will help learn what your style is and how to take advantage of it.

The information from this workshop is taken from the book How

    to Get Organized in Spite of Yourself by Sunny Schlenger.

Schlenger has done a lot of research over the years about the

    connection between personality and organizational style.

Here is what Schlenger has observed:

Some people like to have everything put away neatly:

While others like to have everything where they can see it:

Still others like something in between, perhaps a neat pile of


All of these organizational methods are good; they just have to fit

    your personality!

If you try to get organized in a way that is contrary to your

    personality, you will have difficulty staying organized because it is

    unnatural to you! So, don’t feel bad if you have given up on being organized. This workshop will help you succeed!

Before we look at different organizational styles, answer the

    following questions (Adapted from How to Be Organized in Spite of Yourself)

    1. When I go through my “to do” pile, I:

    A. Lay everything out so I can see it.

    B. Sort and put everything away (or out of sight)

    C. Divide the pile into smaller sub-piles.

    2. When I have an important phone call to make or return I:

    A. Write a reminder and keep it plain sight at all times.

    B. Write a reminder in a notebook.

    C. Make sure the reminder (in whatever form) is neat and

    pleasantly viewable

    3. When I get catalogs or mailings I:

    A. Leave them out so I remember to look at them.

    B. Put them in a drawer or out of sight so I am not

    distracted by them.

    C. Put them on a shelf next to other catalogs or magazines

    of the same size or in the exact center of a space.

    4. When I get monthly bills I:

    A. Leave them in sight so I remember them.

    B. Put them in a drawer or file them away.

    C. Keep them in neat piles.

Hopefully you’ve noticed a distinct pattern in these questions. You

    are being asked if you keep everything out where you can see it,

    put it all away, keep things in piles, or randomly put things

    anywhere. Schlenger labels these organizational styles as:

Everything Out

Nothing Out

Right Angler

Based on the quiz above, which one do you think best describes


Take these quizzes to confirm your answer:

    Everything Out

Answer the following questions to see if this organizational style

    describes you, using the following response options:

Never= 0 points

    Occasionally= 1 point

    Frequently= 2 points

    1. Do you prefer having things out where you can see them?


    2. Do you write notes on any paper that catches your eye?


    3. Do you feel like it’s a waste of time to put things away if

    you’re going to use them again in the near future? _____

    4. Do you believe that out of sight is out of mind? _____

    5. Do you like to surround yourself with pictures, drawings,

    cartoons, etc.? _____

    6. When you do a project, do you spread everything you need

    out and leave it there until the project is finished?

    7. Do you forget about things you put away?

    8. Do you think piles are evidence that you are working hard?

    9. When filing papers away, do you worry that you’ll never see

    them again?

    10.Do you like things to stare you in the face as a reminder of

     what you need to do?

    Count your points!

    0-6: Not really “Everything Out”

    7-13: Strong “Everything Out” tendencies

    14-20: Full-fledged “Everything Out”

(Schlenger, 1999, p. 130)

    How do “Everything Out” people get organized?

    -Use bins or trays that are labeled, so any papers you accumulate can be sorted immediately. For example, you can have a bin or

    space on your desk labeled:

    “Homework Due Immediately”

    “Material to Study for Exams”

“Graded Assignments”

You can also color-code your papers and assignments according to

    importance, relevance, due dates, etc.

-Use bulletin boards/ message boards

     Schlenger (1999) suggests using one board for messages and

    reminders and a different board for pictures, drawings, or other

    artwork. Your messages and reminders will get lost if they are

    mixed with pictures and other artwork.

-Use clear containers. For example, you can use clear bags, clear

    notebook dividers, clear folders for storing supplies and papers.

    They are still organized, but you can still see them.

-Examine what is on top of your desk or workspace. Do you really

    need to have each item on your desk or workspace? Prioritize and re-examine your desk on a regular basis.

    Nothing Out

Answer the following questions to see if this organizational style

    describes you, using the following response options:

Never= 0 points

    Occasionally= 1 point

    Frequently= 2 points

    1. Do you hate to see clutter? _____

    2. Does having a clear desk/space make you feel like you have


    3. Do you equate a clear space with a clear mind?_____

4. Do you put everything away/out of sight before people come


    5. Do you prefer to have only what you need at that moment on

    your desk? ______

    6. Do you have containers and folders to keep things out of

    sight? ______

    7. Do you like writing things down in a notebook? ______

    8. Do you like to put things away after using them? ______

    9. Does putting things away make you feel like you’ve

    accomplished something? ______

    10.Do you hide things and then forget about them? ______

Count your points!

    0-6: Not really “Nothing Out” 7-13: Strong “Nothing Out” tendencies

    14-20: Full-fledged “Nothing Out”


How can “Nothing Outs” get organized?

Since this type of organizational style requires putting things out

    of sight, filing is an effective method of getting organized.

To accomplish this, any type of paper that you handle on a

    regular basis should have its own, accessible space.

For example, create a file or folder for each course that you are

    taking. Label each folder with the course name (or however you

    refer to that course) so that you can read it from the opposite

    side of the room. Example:


     These folders should all be kept in the same place, such as your

     book bag or desk drawer. This way, they are out of sight, but

     always know exactly where they are.

     When you are done using a particular folder, make you sure you

     PUT IT BACK where it belongs. Make an effort to make sure

     everything is back in your bag/drawer before you go to bed

     each night.

    Using a day planner or appointment book is also beneficial.

    This way, you can write everything down, but it is out of sight.

    Right Angler

Answer the following questions to see if this organizational style

    describes you, using the following response options:

Never= 0 points

    Occasionally= 1 point

    Frequently= 2 points

    1. Do you feel like you’re getting organized when you

    straighten up your space? ______

    2. Do you like neat piles? ______

    3. Would you rather straighten than clean? ______

    4. Does clutter not bother you as long as it is neat? _______

    5. Do you like arranging things in a certain way on shelves?


    6. When you feel stress, does it make you feel better to

    straighten something up? ______

    7. When you see an item that is out of place, do you feel the

    need to put it back? ______

    8. Does it annoy when pictures are crooked? ______

    9. Does having to change your systems/routines bother you?


     10. If something is very messy, do you have to avoid it until you

     can clean it up? ______

    Count your points!

    0-6: Not really “Nothing Out”

    7-13: Strong “Nothing Out” tendencies

    14-20: Full-fledged “Nothing Out”


    How do “Right Anglers” get organized?

-Arrange your papers and class materials in a way that makes you

    feel comfortable. Don’t worry if other people don’t understand

    your method.

-Make sure you can find any paper you need in 3 minutes or less.

    If you can’t do accomplish this, your system needs to change.

-Use storage containers that look neat and are also functional.

    Example: Use a 3 ring binder with tabs instead of a folder, so the

    papers look neat and are easy to find.

-Don’t try to get completely organized at one time. Divide the task

    into parts so that is easier to accomplish.


These are some of the most common organizational styles.

    Everyone is different and prefers different methods of organization.

    The most important thing is that you get organized.

When you are organized, you will feel better, and you will have

    more time for other things.

One more thing….

    Let’s review….

Name the 3 organizational styles that are mentioned in this





Which of these organizational styles best describes you?

What does your organizational style mean?

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