I recently read a book called Organizing for Your Brain Type: Finding Your Own Solution to Managing Time, Paper, and Stuff by Lanna Nakone, M.A.
The book changed my life.
Okay, so maybe the results weren’t quite that dramatic, but the information in the book completely changed my way of thinking about organization!
If you’re like me, you spend more time coming up with an organizational system than you do implementing it. Then, after a week or so, everything goes back to the same (or worse) as before.
Nakone shares some intriguing statistics:
- The average office employee spends up to 1.5 hours a day looking for things (that’s six weeks a year!).
- Most pieces of paper are moved nine times before acted upon.
- The average 3-bedroom home has 350,000 things in it.
- And my favorite…80% of things filed are never looked at again.
What I love most about Nakone’s approach to organizing is that she acknowledges that all brains do not operate in the same way! (Which is obvious to anyone who has ever had interaction with another human being at some point in their life.)
When you understand which of the four “thinking styles” your brain uses, it’s easier to learn how to organize in a way that suits you and your life. The results? Less time is wasted trying to come up with a new system every time you’ve had it with your clutter!
Based on the “Benziger Thinking Style Assessment,” you can discover which of the four basic organizing styles will work best for you….from Nakone’s Web site:
Maintaining Style – This style reflects a pragmatic, perhaps traditional approach. “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
Harmonizing Style – An interest in people, past experiences and possessions is what embodies this method. “I appreciate my memorabilia and enjoy having my stuff near by.”
Innovating Style – One who is visual as well as creative is innovative: “I prefer to see everything in front of me and know where everything is. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.”
Prioritizing Style – Objective and analytical is one who prioritizes: “I prefer to delegate and not maintain various organizing tasks.”
Have you been struggling to organize because you’ve been trying to conform to a style not natural to you?
I was. I discovered I’m a member of the “Innovating Style” club. I think big and love to start exciting new projects. It’s not long, though, before I’m bored with the details. It’s the planning and envisioning that excites me, not the doing….
That explains my habit of starting things and not finishing them. I spend more time creating lists than checking things off of them. Just ask my husband.
Nakone suggests that those of us who fall into this category of thinking organize things loosely, not with specific, detailed labels and filing systems.
What a relief! My “bills paid” file doesn’t have to be organized by bill type. A general ”bills paid” file works just as well! When applied across all areas of my life, the time (not to mention stress and negative self talk) I’ve saved has been tremendous!
Discover your style then come let me know what it is! Feeling really inspired? Check out Organizing for Your Brain Type from your local library!