Monday, July 1, 2013

Neatnik or Organized Chaotic?

You've heard of personalities like sanguine, melancholy, and phlegmatic. You're about to enter the world of organization styles.

When I'm working on multiple projects, my desk becomes a nightmare. Unfortunately, that's become the norm around here. It's not that I don't try to organize. I make files, lists, lists for my lists, lots of piles, and I even have one of those multi-pocket plastic bins on the wall.

Of course, I must have those articles handy. Oh, and don't forget the CD player and a stack of CD's. Mail that needs attention sits in another pile. Items I need for a meeting or interview are listed separately from my daily to-do list and my things-I-must-do-but-not-today list. Yeah, you get the picture.

When I analyzed the problem, I discovered something. While my desk isn't visually pleasing, it functions. Deadlines are met, tasks get done, and I know where everything is located. So, why am I aiming for a magazine-like setting? All I'm doing is adding unnecessary stress to my life.

Writers:  Do you function better if you're a neatnik or an organized chaotic? Why?

Readers: Do you have stacks of books on your nightstand or are they catalogued and shelved in perfect order? Descriptions would be most enjoyed by all. :)

Photo Credit:  giselaroyo


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. I do not like chaos - don't mind lots going on .. but like to know where everything is .. I'm still in the throes of tidying up things and organising my blogging life - let alone anything else .. still I'm on the way ..

Good luck with your projects .. sounds like you're doing ok ...

Cheers Hilary

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

I don't like chaos either, but ORGANIZED chaos is different. It sounds like an oxymoron, but it's not. My desk is messy, but I know where everything is.

Susan :)

Edie Melson said...

Susan, I'm definitely an organized chaotic. My husband teases me that I don't have a filing system—I have a PILING system. But just like you, everything gets done. Beyond that, I have no trouble laying my hands on what I need. Thanks for sharing!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Hey, girlfriend, we must be twins separated at birth! This is exactly how I operated--organized chaos. Every now and then I get disgusted and tidy up, but when I'm rushed, it gets discombobulated again. I think you and I and tons of others have proven that we can get projects done without the magazine-perfect desks you mentioned. Have you ever seen a photo of Einstein's desk? My. Oh. My.

quietspirit said...

I have tried to break myself from being an organized chaotic, honest I have. But I always fall back into the rut of piling things on my desk.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Edie - I'm SO glad I'm not the only one!

Hi Jen - You, me, and Edie - triplets! I'm the same way. Every now and then, I'll go on a rampage and clean my desk. Of course, then I can't find anything.

Hi Cecelia - Oh goody, maybe we can start a club!

Susan :)

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Hi Susan, love this post, I can picture your desk :)
I am pretty organized, I simply cannot work with a cluttered desk, because it clutters my brain.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja -

LOL! You notice I didn't take a picture of the mess?

I'm just the opposite. A neat desk = a blank screen.

Susan :)

JD said...

Let's see, as I type this, I have on my desk: my (paper) calendar, a can of seltzer water, a pen, a book on Catholicism, and a telltale wrapper from the Snickers bar I inhaled a moment ago, all fit around the computer monitor and mouse. I make it work despite the organized chaos. As long as it makes sense to me and everything I "need" is within my grasp, it works for me. :-D

Whatever works, right? Be well, my friend!

Unknown said...

Love your posts! I'm bipolar ... a neatnik at work but not so much at home. At work, I'm currently working on 5 different projects (I'm a software engineer). My desk is spotless, everything is in its respective folder in my credenza. Even the notes tacked on my wall are all evenly spaced and aligned. At home, though, I admit to having a couple of piles and a single file on my hard drive for all my writing stuff. I'm wrapping up the publication of my first novel, working on the sequel. I belong to one critique group and run another, so there's always stuff waiting for critique! :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Mark -

Welcome! I'm glad you're enjoying the posts.

I wish I had only a couple of piles. With my new work schedule, it's even more of a challenge.

Susan :)