When to Organize to 100%

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.

Remove The Friction

Life is full of stumbling blocks you have no control of.  You can best equip yourself to take on these challenges by making every step of your most regular and predictable processes as easy as possible.  This requires looking at the points in the process that cause friction and removing it.  This applies to every process, but I am going …

Sewing The Seeds Of Progress

Picture this.  It’s a beautiful spring day and you’re meeting a couple of friends at Starbucks for breakfast.  Afterwards, as you walk out, you spot an open house and the three of you decide to check it out.  It’s the house of your dreams and you decide then and there you want to buy it.  Money is no object for …


Circulation Prevents Accumulation

  This is the big one.  This is the trunk of the tree from which all my other organizing philosophies branch out.  But what exactly do I mean by circulation? A truly effective organizing system must circulate freely, just as your body’s blood supply must circulate freely.   In both cases, when there’s a blockage there’s a problem.  It’s also important …

Drops in a Bucket

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, September 2008


Getting the most out of your time requires many of the same principles as getting the most out of your space, including benefiting from a series of small gains rather than expecting one big one.