Clutter costs you. Disorganization takes a hefty toll. Look around you. Are you in a place that feels serene and calm? Is the room relatively clean and tidy? How organized are you? Are things set up efficiently? Can you find things easily when you need them? Does your creativity flow easily, unencumbered by piles of laundry and scraps of other projects? If so, please move along, there’s nothing to see here. (And we welcome you to submit blog posts about what keeps you organized). Or perhaps, like many multi-talented people, you are surrounded by piles of things ‘to do’ and have no idea how to organize them all…or you find yourself putting off projects because getting set up to do them is such a pain….or you experience stress and waste time whenever you try to find something. If any of this rings true, you may be sabotaging your own efforts. You may think that your current state of disarray is a badge of creativity (“But I’m an artist! I can’t possibly keep things tidy!”) or a source of inspiration (“All these things lying around give me ideas!”) but truthfully a chaotic space is costing you dearly. What are the costs of clutter and disorganization?

1. Wasted time and energy.

If your space isn’t organized, you’re losing time and energy unnecessarily. Ever had trouble locating an important piece of paper or a needed tool or your keys among the clutter? If you can’t find what you need when you need it, you're squandering time and energy looking for it. Your disorganization is hurting you. Get organized to find time and to get energized.

2. Increased distractions.

It’s hard to write that Broadway musical if your workspace is surrounded by ‘to do' piles or random bits of flotsam. They will tempt you to leave the task at hand just because they are there, in front of you. “Oh, this will only take a minute,” you may rationalize. “I’ll just make this quick phone call and then that’ll be done and I won’t have to think about it.” Odds are, however, that your phone call will take more than a minute…and will trigger ideas of other ‘quick things’ that require attention…all at the expense of the time and energy you could be devoting to your opus. Disorganization breeds distractions.

3. Built-in procrastination.

By definition, it is harder to get going on something in a disorganized space. Rather than just sitting down and designing your new fashion line, you first have to locate your desk, clear your desk of the clutter, find your sketchbook, gather your pencils, locate your notes or clippings or whatever else you need. By the time you’re ready to actually create, it’s time for lunch. “Okay, no problem,” you think. “I’ll just have a quick bite and then I’ll be raring to go.” But you know as well as I do that lunch time will lead into laundry time will lead into “Oh I really should walk the dog before I get started” or “I better surf the ‘net for a bit to make sure I haven’t missed any late breaking fashion news – it might affect my design” and poof! It’s dinner time and you’re thinking you might as well wait until tomorrow when you can make a fresh start first thing in the morning. Whereas, if your space was organized in the first place, you’d have completed a whole day of designing already. Disorganization breeds procrastination.

4. Reduced productivity.

This is implicit in points 1 to 3: If you’re wasting time, you’re not getting done what you wanted to get done. Ditto if you’re being distracted by whatever’s in front of you. If you haven’t set things up so that what’s needed is easily at hand when you need it, your disorganization is making things more difficult for yourself then they need to be. You need to get organized to get more done.

5. Reduced creativity.

Some people resist order because they fear, erroneously, that organization will stifle their creativity. The opposite is true: if you organize and contain the chaos and clutter, you’ll be creating a clear and open space within which you will be much more creative. It’s the difference between having a clean, fresh sketchbook to use…or one that’s already half-filled with shopping lists and recipes and newspaper articles and phone numbers and computer passwords. Sure, there might be some sources of inspiration in there, but wouldn’t you rather dip into the creative well in your head? Get organized and create more.

6. Unnecessary stress.

It’s frustrating to spend twenty minutes looking for your notebook. It’s nerve-wracking to be surrounded by piles of things ‘to do’. Disorganization can overshadow and undermine any accomplishments you’re making. It can be demoralizing and demotivating. It can foster feelings of guilt and hopelessness. “What’s the point of doing X? There’s still Y, Z and the rest of the alphabet piled here in my office!” Get organized to reduce stress and increased your motivation. You'll feel so much better. You're feel relief.

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You are a multi-talented person. You have many ideas and projects on the go. Do yourself a favor and get organized. You’ll get more done and you’ll be more creative – while avoiding distractions, procrastination and stress.

For concrete ideas on HOW to declutter and organize your space, please see my article on that topic.

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(c) Liisa Kyle, Ph.D.

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Are you struggling with too many talents, skills, ideas? You may have The Da Vinci Dilemma™! Find tools, fun quizzes, coaching, inspiration and solutions for multi-talented people at http://www.davincidilemma.com/.

Author's Bio: 

Liisa Kyle, Ph.D. is the go-to coach for smart, creative people who want to overcome challenges, get organized, get things done and get more out of life (www.CoachingForCreativePeople.com).

Liisa Kyle is also an internationally published writer/editor/photographer as well as author of books including "YOU CAN GET IT DONE: Choose What to Do, Plan, Start, Stay on Track, Overcome Obstacles, and Finish" (http://bit.ly/YouCanGetItDone). If you are a creative person with too many ideas and too much to do, check out her other helpful articles here: www.DavinciDilemma.com