Organization – when it is useful and when it isn’t

Here are 3 things to know about organization.

First, the return-on-investment on organization is higher when the sheer volume of activity involved exceeds a certain threshold. Put differently, organization is useless as low volumes of activity. The relationship looks something like this.

 So, the busier/the more overwhelmed you feel, the more important it is that you spend time getting organized. This is counter intuitive when things are extremely busy. But, the extra time spent thinking about how to get work done (and perhaps ask for help) goes a long way.

Second, organization isn’t the same as prioritization. Organization helps ensure you are tackling things in the most efficient manner. Spending time becoming organized will not help ensure you’re spending time on the right things (focus). Organization, thus, is most helpful when it accompanies focus.

Finally, it is probably normal to require extra organization time every once a while. But, if you’re always feeling overwhelmed, it is a focus and “saying yes to too many things” problem rather than an organization problem. You’ll get more mileage working on the root cause.

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