“Our thoughts, rather than the events themselves create our moods.”
The Bully at Work

Organizing for Efficiency: Finding the Transformative Power of Decorum is an ad-free weekly blog designed to showcase research and insights in the areas of office organizing, electronic organizing tools, the nexus of personality and personal space, Web 2.0, travel, mind management, and relaxation. This blog is the culmination of my own personal “decluttering” journey, which began in the summer of 2008. After obtaining the rank of full professor I felt the need to purge my office of things past – of unnecessary papers, folders, books, computer files, and artifacts that I’d been collecting since the inception of doctoral school. The initial purge lasted about one month, taking three hours each day. When the job was complete what struck me was how much more I enjoyed being in my office. I knew instantly where I could locate my belongings because I was no longer bogged down by unnecessary items. The resulting emptiness spurred me to look for hidden treasures at home that I could use to decorate my newly simplified space, like keepsakes which were strewn in boxes and stuffed inside drawers. Each day at work I found something else that could be rearranged, cleaned, discarded, or donated to a worthy cause.

The way I attacked my job also underwent a dramatic change. Now I proceed in a more meticulous manner, strive to keep better records, and have over time eliminated everything in my workday that is distracting. The “purge and organize” mentality morphed into a lifestyle which has spilled over into how I maintain my home, possessions, and my personal life. Getting rid of everything unwanted has now become a daily task on my mental “to do” list. My wish in hindsight (with regard to organization) is to have started at the outset of my career with a more orderly and systematic way of tackling my work. Scheduled maintenance would have saved me time, grief, stress, and countless wasted hours spent either looking for something elusive, or recreating lost work. It’s my desire that some of what you read in this blog will prove useful in planning your projects, and in striving to provide order within your sphere of influence. My advice is to exercise diligence everyday in terms of streamlining your office space, and setting aside time for housecleaning chores. The subsequent clarity of “less is more” and “everything in its place” will infiltrate through your very thought process, inducing an emptying of those that do not serve your true purpose and a freedom to live in more peaceful, less obsessive circumstance.

Though initially written for an academic audience, many of the tools and suggestions in this blog are applicable to offices in general, and, to persons regardless of their work status.



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