As a Certified Professional Organizer® and productivity consultant, clutter is the most common reason people first contact me. Physical organization is the first step in the Peak Productivity Pyramid™ System, a productivity approach that I developed based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
The Peak Productivity Pyramid defines the motivational relationship among five areas of productivity, as illustrated below.
I have learned that no matter what else is keeping people from reaching their goals and being effective and productive, without first clearing the physical disorganization, every other step in the Peak Productivity Pyramid System falls by the wayside. As Maslow would attest, it is hard to think about love when you’re starving and cold.
People who have an office that is cluttered are more likely to feel stressed each time they walk into their office. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), the average American spends one year of his or her life looking for lost or misplaced items.
In addition to increasing our efficiency, there are other reasons why achieving physical organization is important. According to a 2011 study by CareerBuilder, 28 percent of employers say they are less likely to promote someone who has a disorganized desk. Nearly two in five employers say that a cluttered desk negatively impacts their perception of that person.
Presenting an organized workspace has a positive effect not only on your ability to get things done more efficiently, but also on how people judge your performance. When it comes to what they wear to work, to an interview, to a meeting, most people “get it.” They will dress for success, wearing what’s appropriate for the occasion, knowing the importance of first impressions. Dressing your office to create a positive impression has the same positive effect, and a messy office will make a poor impression.
Ready to tackle you piles but not sure where to start? Here is a great article on the simple way to tackle paper clutter.