By Dirk Zeller

Your personal organization is one of the largest influences of your success and happiness in your life. Your personal organization skills and systems help you feel more fulfilled, productive, and achieve a mental state of wellbeing overall. There are three keys that you want to apply frequently to improve your personal organization.

Stepping back to evaluate

Evaluating your key work areas can reveal a lot about the person working there. By stepping back from your desk or work area, you can ask the questions, “What type of person works at this desk? Are they organized or unorganized? Does it appear they have an effective system in getting work done? What changes should they make in their organization? Would I trust this person with an important task based on this work environment? What are the reasons I would or wouldn’t?”

You need to have an honest evaluation with yourself, as if you hired a third party or neutral authority to review your work space. What do you see, and what would they see? Then repeat that process for your home office. Does it have the look from an outsider’s as a productive environment? What does your briefcase, computer files, car, purse, closet, house, yard, garage look like? Who is the person who would live this manner? Would you entrust this person with an important task to be completed?

Developing neatness habits

There is no question you can save time and increase productivity by organizing or even cleaning up your workspace. Everyone needs a sense of order and organization to feel calm, relaxed, and in control of their surroundings. Your actual work environment can create a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction or stress and frustration. By instituting order and neatness, you can increase your productivity.

When you create this ordered environment, your self‐esteem increases. You’re more self‐confident in a successful outcome. That self‐confidence emotion creates a willingness to be creative, innovate, try new things, and take risks. You feel more in control with more power.

All this neatness removes the roadblocks of frustration and generates more energy. The higher energy level taps into your resources and determination to accomplish the task at hand faster and more efficiently. Establishing neatness habits has far‐reaching benefits, reducing your time while increasing your wellbeing and the results you achieve.

Refuse to excuse

“Refuse to excuse” should be a life mantra and not applied only to time management. Too many people let themselves off the hook with excuses of why tasks and chores didn’t get done or why these folks didn’t accomplish their mission. People who are messy frequently make excuses to justify or cover up a mess. “That’s just the way I am,” or “I know where everything is,” or “I work better this way.”

When you review the time spent, messy people are deluding themselves into thinking they know where everything is located. Frequently a large part of their day is spent trying to find or remember where they put things, instead of being productive at the office or home.

Refuse to excuse a messy desk or work environment for this week. If you have to clear your desk to be able to start on a project, just do it. Take the one task or tool you need to work on, and clear the rest off your desk. If you have to put everything else in drawers, cabinets, closets, waste baskets, or even on the floor, do it. Test this on yourself. Unclutter your space. No excuses for a few days, and see how productive you become.