Most people from what I’ve seen (and lets go with seeing is believing here) are just organized enough. Enough to what? To get by. Should they get more organized? Maybe so but just maybe. It is only worth getting more organized if it results in an overall net gain. Simply put less stress same output.
Placing throw pillows in a Feng Shui manner on your bed, folding your towels in hotel like squares, and aligning your silverware in Aristocratic style are all organizational habits that might make your life shorter (and feel longer). If you don’t know where to put your chilled salad fork in a place setting… you might want to keep it that way. In fact, you might just figure out that a regular fork is under appreciated and can handle the additional responsibilities of tackling salad.
But one addition to your organization can make a difference… a big difference. Carry a small piece of paper with a pen everywhere you go. On one side of the paper keep a list of things that you need to do (made in the morning). On the flip side write down ideas, names, or whatever else is on your mind through the day. One side will help you stay on task the other will keep mental clarity and help you focus. You also won’t forget things that where important enough to preoccupy you from your tasks in the first place.
This system is simple and simple is beautiful. I have tried PDAs and smart phones as well as flipped through some organizational self help books and these options are sure to add complexity to your life. The PDA/Smart phone option is nice for scheduling (managing outlook) but adding stuff on the go can be agonizing. Regardless if your phone is a of the touch screen variety or features a queer, little keyboard or even if it swings both ways, it is hard to keep a to do list and a thought slate that can be quickly altered on the go (even in hospitals, airplanes, and other phone hating locations). And while following a self help organizational book can make you a organizational guru, much like the chilled salad fork it is overkill for just about everyone.