The Cost of Disorganization

by Jhoanna O. Gan-So for Manila Bulletin & HR Club Philippines

 

The difference between an efficient employee versus a delinquent one most often lies in the person's ability to organize his work life.

An organized person is able to manage his work and life better compared to a disorganized one.  He makes better use of his time and avoids unnecessary stress.  He continuously seeks to put order in chaos as much as he can.  He knows the importance of being organized and invests his time and effort in it.

A disorganized person, on the other hand, does not put too much value or effort in getting organized.  There are several possible reasons for this.  Some disorganized people fear that getting organized will cramp their style or kill their creativity; some do not know how or where to get started, while others are just too busy, disinterested or do not fully understand the repercussions of being disorganized.

Let me share with you some of the costs of being disorganized.  All of which provides you a good reason why you should seek to be more organized in your work life.

Financial Costs

Misplaced bills, forgotten deadlines, non-filing of important forms will cause you to pay more penalties for delays.  Credit Card companies charge Php500 or 3-6% of previously billed amount, whichever is higher, for late payments.  Utility companies will disconnect your service after 2-3 months of delayed payment and they usually charge reconnection fees.  The BIR likewise charges penalties and interests on late filing of forms.  These are just some of the avoidable expenses that most disorganize people incur becomes they are not up-to-date.

Wasted Time

Things tend to pile up when you do not regularly sort and purge.  Trying to find things when you are in a hurry will cause you to waste your time.  Waiting until the last minute to pay or submit documents will also cause you to spend time lining up as queues tend to get very long when the date is close to a deadline.   Being disorganized will cause you to waste your time.  

Mental Clutter

When you do not have a clear grasp of where you put things or when your bills are due, the worrying will clutter your mind.  With all the many other things you need to do at work and at home, the added stress will slow down your thinking process because your brain also needs to sort out things and organize the information that flows through it.  So organize your life so that your mind can function optimally.

Demoralized Spirit

Clutter, unpaid bills and extra financial burdens can add stress to any person.  A disorganized life often puts you down emotionally.  It creates irritation and disharmony among co-workers in the workplace.  It simply makes people feel bad often without realizing it.

 

Bad Impressions

Being disorganized will also give other people---employers, suppliers or business partners a negative impression of you.  It will show that you are not on top of things and will chip away at your credibility.  People generally want to work with reliable and credible people.  Organized people tend to be viewed as such.

Physical Damage

When you allow clutter to stay long in your home or work area, it can attract pesky pests that can damage your things.  When you delay repairs and maintenance of your car, home appliances or equipment, the problems will get worse as more damage or wear and tear will happen.  This will lead you to spend more time, money and effort to fix the problem that wouldn't have been so hard and expensive to fix in the first place.

Accidents

Clutter and damages to property almost always leads to accidents.  If you have kids at home, the danger of them getting into accidents because of clutter increases.  Not only will accidents impair your loved ones, it will cause you more expenses paying for their medical treatment.  You will spend more time taking care of your injured loved ones and feel the additional stress of it.  So prevent accidents by getting more organized.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Organizing is a life-long affair

Interestingly, no matter how organized you are as a person, you will continuously face challenges in keeping things in order as life throws you a curveball or when life gets in the way.  For instance, things can get chaotic when you move to a different city, when a family members gets ill, or when you start having kids.  Certain changes in one's life can naturally make a person a bit disorganized for a while but we can all bounce back.  All we have to do is take the time and effort to get organized again to avoid the costs of disorganization.