Repeated behavior that leaves you feeling disorganized and overwhelmed can have a profound effect on your business and the way you feel.
People who are chronically disorganized feel more stress, says Joshua Zuchter, a business and life coach in Toronto. As a result, they are less productive at work.
Here are five bad habits of the chronically disorganized that you should avoid:
1. Leaving business unfinished
One of the worst habits that keep people disorganized is never properly completing tasks.
To correct this habit, Zuchter says, try focusing on one task at a time. Finish what you are doing before moving on to the next task.
2. Constantly checking emails
Reading emails all day can really hurt your productivity.
Checking your inbox frequently and responding to every message immediately, Zuchter says, is disruptive and distracting. This habit makes it difficult to stay focused on the task at hand.
Instead, he says, schedule two or three times during the day for responding to emails.
3. Failing to file documents
A disorganized paper or digital filing system can slow down your day.
Every filing system, whether on your computer, in a filing cabinet or in your desk, must be maintained, Zuchter says. As well, use a consistent organizational system for all locations so that you can locate a file easily no matter where it is stored.
4. Messy desk syndrome
Neglecting to put things away and leaving a mess of papers and other items on your desk every night is a bad habit that prevents you from becoming organized, Zuchter says. Arriving in the morning to a cluttered desk can make you feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Instead, Zuchter says, always return files or documents to their proper folders when you’ve finished with them. And tidy your desk before leaving for the day (it takes less time than you might think).
5. Falling back into old mistakes
To break old habits, you need to stick to a plan.
A common mistake of the chronically disorganized, says Zuchter, is creating a plan to get organized and letting it slide after just a few weeks.
Instead, he says, use checklists to help you stay on track. If you want help, talk to a professional organizer or business coach.