The Curse of Being Organized

I love feeling on top of things, calm and prepared.  I love making people feel special by remembering their birthdays and anniversaries.  I love that my bills get paid on time and that I almost always know what’s for dinner. I love the lack of drama in my daily life.  In short, I love being organized.

But there is a downside to all my grown-up planning, analyzing, logic and rational thinking:

I miss out on a lot of cool stuff.

I often feel like other people are having more fun, and I’m not very open to spontaneous opportunities.  I rarely accept same-day social engagements, and yes, I totally tend to “sweat the small stuff”.

Paratrooper Owls, via Etsy

Paratrooper Owls, TrimGoTrix, Etsy

But more worrying for me is the impact on the bigger picture of my life.  I find it hard to follow my instincts, especially when intuition is fighting to be heard above the logical answer to something I’m pondering.  In making sure I am ready and on the right path for tomorrow, today’s roses sit by the wayside, un-sniffed.

If you usually label yourself ‘disorganized’, please take a moment to pat yourself on the back and appreciate the joy, the creativity, the spontaneity, and the chance happenings that you enjoy.  And if you’re more like me, why not take today to lighten up a little and see what serendipity comes your way?

If you would like friendly, confidential Professional Organizing help to turn chaos into calm, contact me to take the first step toward a sorted, stylish space.

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8 Responses to The Curse of Being Organized

  1. Jeri Dansky says:

    Another hard-won perspective: If I’m feeling “organized enough,” I also feel free to be spontaneous. I can have coffee with a friend, and let one hour become three (if I have no other appointments). I can follow an impulse, and not fret about it. I know things are basically under control.

    I also see this with traveling. I prepare like crazy – I know the key things I’d like to see, when they are open, how to get from Point A to Point B, etc. But then something comes along – like meeting folks in France who say “Come visit us at our home” – and I’ll toss my plans away, taking that wonderful opportunity. I know the trade-offs I’m making, and the change of plans is well worth it.

    I wasn’t always like this. I remember passing up one of my favorite fall activities as a child – an autumn trip to the cider mill – to get a school assignment done more perfectly than my teacher would ever have expected. Now, if I’m hesitating about something, I can remember that time and ask myself if I’m falling back into that trap.

    David Allen, of Getting Things Done fame, has his various lists of action items – and he writes that his system can let him know that nothing is critical, and he can spend time just doing something fun.

  2. I find, as I get older, that I’m still as organized as I was when I was younger, but I’m a lot less rigid than I used to be. The biggest pitfall of being organized that I experience is getting frustrated when I’m surrounded by people who are disorganized…or who won’t delegate to me and let me organize things. I don’t mind flying by the seat of my pants…as long as things get done in an efficient manner, but I find that is rarely the case. Just a little planning and list-making can save so much time in the long run.

  3. Popped over from the
    Delish Blog. I’m not nearly
    as organized as you are,
    but I’m not totally disorganized,
    either. I think it’s a fine line.
    I do think that good organization
    can decrease the stress levels
    of day to day living and I’m
    currently in a mode to make
    that happen! Looking forward
    to subscribing to your blog
    via e-mail. Happy Easter!
    Suzanne

  4. I love this post, and think I have much the same problem! I have to plan out when I am going to have fun much of the time. :-)

    This is a little random, but it reminds me so much of how people in yoga class always talk about how they wish they were more flexible physically and they envy the people who are. BUT, while flexibility may seem desirable, very flexible people are much more likely to have joint injuries and over time develop arthritis. So I always say something similar: “Inflexible people, give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re much more likely to have healthy knees and shoulders!”

  5. I can totally relate to this! It’s so hard for me to say yes to last-minute invitations and the like, because in my mind, my plans are already set, even if they’re not critical. Do you know your MBTI personality type? I’m an ISTJ.

    • Pauline says:

      Janet, you may be onto something with Myers-Briggs. I believe I’m ISFJ.
      In looking that up, I found the “J” description that we ‘like to have a planned and organized approach to life and want to have things settled’..
      In other words, not very spontaneous! :)

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