Getting Organized: You Don’t Work in a Vacuum


Holly Uverity CPO®, Office Organizers

Often people say they’re comfortable with their clutter; they know where everything is and their lack of organization and time management skills don’t affect anyone else.  Those people are wrong.  No one may ever tell them but their poor planning absolutely impacts everyone they work with – or for.

If you are one of those people, your disorganization affects your co-workers if you:

Have a messy desk and/or have no filing system

If your desk is messy and/or you have no system for keeping track of your files, your co-workers will have to wait for information from you.  Making people wait while you look for something wastes their time and impacts their workday.

Don’t have a clear agenda when making a call

Making a rambling call or leaving a rambling message forces the recipient to listen to the message more than once, interrupt you to ask you to get to the point or bite his/her tongue and let you ramble – all the while being irritated.  None of these options are good.  Have an agenda for your call and be able to quickly and clearly articulate what you need and when.

Work reactively instead of proactively

People who work reactively have no priorities or plans for their days; they simply work on what’s bubbled up to the top.  If you are always working on what’s on fire now, you may often have to ask your co-workers to rearrange their schedules to accommodate what’s on your plate.  Not only are you interrupting what they’re working on, you’re also being rude.  Plan your work and you’ll get more cooperation, and gratitude, from your co-workers.

Don’t Delegate

Delegation is an underutilized organization tool.  When you don’t delegate, you can create a situation in which bottlenecks occur.  You never want forward movement on a project to stop because your team is waiting for you to do something that you could have easily delegated.  Delegating tasks can be very liberating and a very positive experience for both the delegator and the delegatee.  The delegator gets some breathing room and the delegatee gets to either learn a new task and/or be valued as an important member of the team.  When delegating, it’s important to remember to delegate the results and not the method.  Telling someone not only what they need to do but how they need to do it is not delegating, it’s instructing.


If you put off doing something because you either didn’t know how to do it or didn’t want to do it, you can be needlessly putting your team members behind.  If they need something from you and you’ve procrastinated, now you are affecting their schedules as well.  And depending on what you’re working on, you may also have put the entire project behind schedule.

While it’s true that your disorganized office is yours and you may know what is in each and every one of your stacks, it’s important to remember that you don’t work in a vacuum; it may be your office and your stacks but they affect everyone.


Office Organizers is The Entrepreneur’s Organizer.  Founded in 1993, they work with business people to create solutions to their organizational challenges.  Contact them at 281.655.5022, or


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