Are you one of those chronically disorganized people who is constantly playing catch-up? Apologizing for showing up late? Not able to find or remember important tasks or papers? Taking the expensive shortcut because you are so far behind that you’ve left yourself no other option?
If so, chances are it is costing you a lot more than you think. Never mind what it costs you in terms of your reputation (because even if they forgive you, they do judge you); your lack of organization costs you your hard-earned money in so many other ways.
Don’t think this applies to you? Take the test.
Have you recently…
- Paid late fees because you forgot to pay a bill on time?
- Repurchased something you already owned because you couldn’t find it?
- Opted for the expensive convenience because you ran out of time?
- Missed out on a work opportunity because of your personal habits?
- Used money to solve a problem that was caused by disorganization?
Every time you pick up take-away dinner as a quick-fix for your lack of meal planning, hand your child $10 because you ran out of time to make lunch, or pay late fees because your bill was in a jumble of random papers on the counter, you are paying what we fondly refer to in our family as “stupid tax”.
And here’s the thing about stupid tax: you don’t have to pay it if you are organized. Yes, even that speeding ticket you got while rushing to make it to your appointment on time counts as stupid tax because if you were organized, you would have left on time and even given yourself extra buffer in case of traffic.
Are you ready to learn how to avoid stupid tax and save money?
Get Control of Your Space – Take a good look at your space. If you can’t find things, it’s probably because you have too much stuff and not enough storage. Before going ballistic with boxes, start by doing a thorough purge so you can easily find things, and then implement a storage system that you can easily maintain.
Stop Trying to Keep It All in Your Head – Accept that your brain isn’t what it used to be (because you are managing a twice as many things on half the sleep). If it needs doing, write it down, add it to your calendar, put it in your purse or car, or do it NOW before you forget!
Be Realistic About Your Time – Challenge yourself to do less. That probably means you are going to have to say no to more things. No to volunteering for the charity fundraiser when you are overloaded with work, no to cleaning up after kids when they are perfectly capable, no to that ridiculous deadline imposed by a disorganized client. Just no.
Examine Your Daily Habits – Look at how your daily habits are contributing to the chaos. Are you constantly dumping paper on the front entry table, leaving it to be lost or forgotten? Designate a spot for important papers and get rid of the rest as soon as it touches your hands!
Pre-Plan Convenience – Stop thinking of the expensive bailout as an option. If you know you are going to be busy, prepare the things you know you won’t have time for in advance. Your freezer is your friend – use it to stock up on quick family dinners, easy school lunches and grab and go snacks (like these healthy bran mini muffins)!
Take Pride in Being Organized – Make it your personal mandate to have a reputation for being organized. If something isn’t working in your world, create a goofy little system for handling it, like a “To-do” box in the trunk of your car for those days when your errands take you to the mall.