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Compliments of MTSU Photographic Services

Aslett (2005) sums up many individuals’ approach to office organization: he argues that we don’t make time to prioritize upfront, but we don’t subsequently mind being delayed by our own messes at a later time. If you’re constantly worrying about where something is or how to find it (or even if you have it in the first place), how much added stress is that causing you? If you are working toward rank or tenure, or find yourself in an “up or out” system, attaining maximum productivity is not only essential to your professional reputation, but it could very well make the difference between whether you are allowed to stay at your institution or whether you’re sent packing. Once you conquer your workspace, you can then conquer the essential elements of your job. The added benefit of having fewer things is having less to worry about, and fewer obstacles to accomplishing your tasks. Moreover, when you do your “second round” of sifting, it’s from a place of being more manageable. Turn the page…

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Compliments of Tomas Carillo via Flickr

“Think first about what you want and where you’re going.” [Don Aslett].

Organization reduces stress because it enhances your reputation (Hayes, 1993). Moreover, McCormack (1985) argued that your boss is judging you on three criteria: (1) commitment; (2) attention to detail; and (3) immediate follow-up. Inadequacy with regard to organization makes the fulfillment of any of these three items difficult. McCormack further explains: “I believe the way an office looks – how neat and clean it is, how streamlined it is set up – can have a profound effect on how quickly things get done…; When you walk into an office that looks disorganized, you start to feel disorganized” (1985, pp. 239-240). Feeling overwhelmed can easily set in once clutter, or “life plaque” (Blanke, 2010) has begun to accumulate. The elimination of stuff brings clarity into a space in which chaos has been eliminated.

Turn the page…

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