Today’s blog post is more about psychology than it is about practical organizing tips. I would love to have feedback on this article. Please email me at .
Have a wonderful 4th of July and a relaxing summer.
A Trait that Distinguishes Organized People
from Disorganized Ones
Some of you may know that I have a degree in psychology. I have always been fascinated with how people think, feel and behave and more importantly what motivates them. Over the years, I have observed a trait difference in disorganized and highly organized people. I would like to discuss them with you, not to find fault with disorganized individuals or overly praise organized ones, but to understand about the difference between the two groups and perhaps learn something about our selves in the process. (BTW, I am not a trained psychologist and I am merely making observations and suggesting a perspective.)
The significant trait difference:
Yes, mindfulness has gotten a lot of attention and press lately. And there is good reason. In this hectic, information-overload time, organized people take a moment—even a few seconds—to be cognizant of their thinking and actions.
For instance, when going about their daily tasks, organized people have a tendency to stop for a moment (sometimes only seconds) to be mindful of what they are doing and thinking about their decision-making.
Examples of their thought processes throughout the day:
“Do I really need this?” “Could this wait?”
“Do I have the resources for this?”
“Did I put it back in its rightful place?”
“Did I write it down or make a note of it electronically?”
“Did I finish this?”
“Am I paying attention to this person?”
“Am I paying attention to what I’m doing?”
I recently pointed out to a youngish nurse who was about to give me my allergy shots that I was impressed that she spoke out loud exactly what she was doing, whom she was giving the shot to and the exact dosage. She was unaware of her “mindful” monologue. I was impressed. Please note that talking out loud to oneself to keep on track as you go about your busy is a clever technique and not an indication of going a little nutty.
And then sadly, I have observed some disorganized people move like a whirling dervish—but not in a good way—dropping things on the floor, leaving cupboards opened, clicking quickly and mistakenly on links online, using the wrong credit card for distinct purchases, not paying attention to directions, not noting the contact info, etc., etc.
But there is hope because the good news is that mindfulness can be learned.
Try this exercise as well: really listen and speak very little and look into the eyes of the next person that you will talk to. Being fully present for others is a wonderful gift that you can give freely all day long.
Additionally there are apps (Calm for IOS) and various forms of meditation that can help with learning mindfulness and being fully present. These learned traits could help people be more connected with themselves and others and perhaps bring about a more organized way of life.