As obsessions go, organizing is far from being the worst thing on the list. Being in a tidy house can be very satisfying, and clutter feels distracting to many people. I know that I focus much better on my work when my desk is clear. And a thoroughly planned out work week is reassuring to me.
Although, like most things, there is always the potential to go too far. Being obsessively organized can be an outlet for stress or neuroses, or can even cause more stress. If you find yourself pained by housemates moving your belongings, or leaving a few of their things in the ‘wrong place,’ then you might need to reassess your approach.
No one can really live in a show home environment. It ends up leading to more stress and ending with arguments. And nobody can exist without life throwing a few curve balls at their calendar. Sometimes you just have to be flexible. Here are eight of the worst organizing junkie habits to nip in the bud before they go too far.
Do you remember the first annual diary you ever got? I remember mine. It was a Christmas gift from my Aunt, and I couldn’t wait to fill each day with tasks. And just like that, an obsessive organizer was born.
I am still keen on planning my time like this today. Between my Google Calendar App and my daily to-do list, I run a tight ship. But the reason it does not drive me mad these days is because I have finally learned to let things go.
I rewrite my to-do list and push tasks back on an almost daily basis. But I do not beat myself up about it. I prioritize what absolutely must be done that day, and the rest is flexible. Because life happens, and that is okay.
Do you find that you can’t sit still and enjoy your downtime? Do you get up and tidy things when you are supposed to be chilling? For your own sake, learn to leave that used coffee cup where it is for a little while. Build up your tolerance slowly. You are a human not a jack in the box. I have learned to let this stuff go, and you can too.
3. Living in the future
Constant planning ahead in great detail is effectively living in the future. It is not uncommon for people who are unhappy in the present to do this. Unfortunately, it tends to create a lot of anxiety. Try to make peace with the here and now and enjoy the present moment a little more. The future will happen, whether you plan every detail of it or not.
4. Micro management
Trying to control people never really works out. If you must organize yourself strictly, that is one thing. But trying to organize others too much can really damage relationships. Instead of feeling stressed by other people being less organized than you, try getting curious. If they are less organized but seem happy, maybe they know something you don’t?
5. Lists upon lists
When you write lists about lists you are actually spending a lot of time planning. Perhaps all this planning leaves less time for the ‘doing.’ So what is this list writing really about? Are you anxious? Could you actually be procrastinating? Do the tasks on your list overwhelm you? Try speaking with a life coach to get to the bottom or your over-organizing.
6. Expecting others to keep the same rules
One of the toughest things about this kind of behavior is that it can often leave you feeling lonely. Although there are plenty of us organizing junkies, we do not all hang out together at Starbucks.
Oddly, we tend to be spread out, or at least we feel that way. I think the trouble is that we want others to be as organized as we are. But we can’t force it on others, although on a bad day we may try to…
7. And when that fails, passive aggression
When our partners and friends refuse to be sucked into our organizing, we can feel resentful. Please do not fall into the habit of huffing, eye rolling or giving the sideways glances. This is one of the worst habits. We have to live and let live.
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8. Using it as a crutch
Organizing every little thing in your world can become a crutch; a long lasting habit that supports another weakness. Just like any other bad habit, it can be masking a deep unhappiness.
Does keeping yourself busy with list making, tidying or planning take your mind off another persistent problem? Does moving constantly keep you safe from a sinking feeling that creeps in when you sit still? If so, then it might be time to talk to a life coach or a counselor.
Being organized has a great many benefits. But overdo it, and things start to slide downhill. Remember to keep a healthy balance in your life, and try to live in the present moment a little more.