I have written a lot on the subject of perfectionism-as-a-barrier. People often confuse organizing with a quest to be perfect and that’s a mistake. Organizing is more about managing priorities effectively. That said, although we usually don’t have the time to be perfect, there are times when managing priorities benefits from pushing  things to 100%. Here are three examples.

Sort daily mail 100%

Successful paper management starts at the front gate, with the daily mail. If mail piles up, it is almost inevitable that all paper will pile up, so stop it before it even begins.  Don’t put the pressure on yourself to process all the mail, just do a basic sort and keep your work surfaces clear,100%. The next steps will be easier if you have done a one minute sort. Here’s how.

Clear desk 100% daily

As I have often stated, a clear work surface is nothing less than your number one organizing tool. Your number one organizing tool, therefore is worthy of your number one organizing effort. Nothing will make it easier to start your workday, than if you end your workday by clearing off your desk. Don’t start making exceptions. Create reliable storage options for everything and clear your desk to 100%.

Exit zones to 100%

If you are taking on the project of organizing your entire home, perhaps for a move, push your exit zones to 100%. As you sort and purge items in your home, those items are going to have to go somewhere, so start by clearing a space to establish exit zones. The garage usually makes the most sense for discards and donates. Perhaps there are items to move, but not to show (or stage). It usually makes sense to clear the attic 100% to store these items. Because there tends to be many people involved in this big project, you’ll want to avoid the confusion that comes from having these zones only partially designated. Accidents can be prevented, when you push for 100%

So whether it’s a daily practice like sorting the mail or a project like clearing a home, you can allow yourself some partial efforts, after you push for 100% in these key areas.

Do you have a an organizing practice or project where you find it easier when you push for 100%?