Did you know women with shoe racks are 7 times more likely to be on time to work than women without them?
This may seem like a random—if interesting—fact, but it’s just one small example of a larger issue that is siphoning thousands of hours and billions of dollars from the working sector.
If you want to avoid losing time and money and ensure that you are successful, there’s just one skill you need.
Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many people struggle with, or even overlook entirely.
But if you maintain it, this skill can make all the difference.
Can you guess what the skill is?
Just like women with shoe racks are more likely to be on time to work, people in general are more likely to be on time to work if they do things like hang up their keys in the same place each day, organize their clothes before bed, and check the gas on their car in the evening when they get home from work.
All these simple tasks—organizing shoes, putting things where they belong, thinking ahead to the next day—can make the difference between success and failure in your life.
According to one survey, the average employee spends 1.5 hours a day looking for things at work. That’s 6 weeks out of the year!
If you think about all of that time spent not doing your work, it’s no wonder we don’t get more vacation time!
And as if that weren’t enough, when combined, Americans as a whole waste more than 9 million hours a day looking for lost things.
In one study of a company employing an average of 1,000 employees, an estimated $2.5 billion was lost each year on the inability to locate and retrieve information.
Along the same vein, another study reported that 80% of the modern American workforce faces daily roadblocks due to inefficiency related to system integration, redundancy, and general lack of operational performance.
In layman’s terms, this basically means that most Americans struggle to work efficiently in their jobs due to a lack of organization in the work place.
So how do we fix it and stop losing billions?
It’s a big ask, but it becomes easy if you break it down.
Studies say that people struggle to focus if their spaces are cluttered, so start at home.
An estimated 80% of the items filling our homes are just clutter. If your home feels messy, it’s because it’s time for some belated spring cleaning!
Sometimes it’s hard to get rid of things because of sentimental values, but it’s time for some tough love. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time to donate it or throw it away.
Once your personal space is organized, it’s time to organize your mind.
Start with the easy things—get a calendar and actually use it, prioritize what you have to do every day, and prepare for your day (make sure your gas tank is full, your keys are where they should be, and your clothes for the day are laid out) in advance.
At work, make a checklist of things you have to do each day, and organize them from most important to least important.
Studies show that people are most productive when they perform a maximum of 3 to 5 tasks a day, so try to cut down your list to the bare essentials.
It’s also been proven that people are more likely to jump from task to task when they haven’t created a clear plan for their days, and productivity decreases between 20% and 40% when multitasking.
By creating an ordered checklist for your day, you eliminate the chances of multitasking and floundering between tasks.
For those who manage offices or are interested in starting businesses, remember how important it is to have a strong foundation of organization for your office or business to excel.
Forethought is key in long-term organization. Does your system of filing make sense, or does it allow for the maintenance of outdated information that could be cleared out?
Do the computers have the ability to communicate easily with one another? Can they be updated? Are all of the programs used between employees and departments cohesive?
Is there a clear protocol for deadlines, meetings, and general office functioning?
If not, it’s time to make a change.
Organization is key to professional success and personal comfort.
Without organization, productivity decreases and studies show that it actually makes it harder for you to concentrate, even on things that you enjoy.
Time to clean up!