The Cost of Disorganization to Your Productivity

Disorganization can affect many parts of your life. Being organized is key to good time management, an efficient workflow and a healthy state of mind. People who live an organized lifestyle are more likely to reach their goals faster. Let’s take a closer look at how disorganization affects your productivity.

Disorganization Affects Your State of Mind

Your physical environment can have an intense effect on your state of mind. If you’re surrounded by clutter, your mind will likely feel cluttered too1. Being disorganized can cause stress and increase anxieties about unfinished work tasks. Making an effort to re-organise your space can do wonders for your mental health. It will help you feel rejuvenated and calm, allowing you to focus solely on your job. You’ll feel less confused and flustered daily, which will have a positive impact on your productivity.

Disorganization is a Time Waster

Undoubtedly, being disorganized wastes a lot of time. People who are disorganized may spend minutes or even hours searching for things. The time you could spend getting work done becomes wasted on unnecessary matters. This can take a toll on your emotional and physical energy, and of course, also affects your daily productivity levels.2

Tips: How to Become More Organized

We know that disorganization takes a huge toll on your productivity. So what steps should you take to improve your organization?

Create a Designated Workspace

Do you work at home? Consider options for building extra space for work purposes. Working at home comes with many distractions, so it’s important to have your own private, designated area or at least a quiet space to work. There should be distinct boundaries between your personal space and your workspace.

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Decluttering is the next logical step in becoming organized. Remember, a cluttered workspace leads to a cluttered mind.

First, remove anything on your worktop that could be a distraction. Everything on your desk should be related to your work tasks at hand. If you have important documents lying around, put together an efficient filing system. Make use of color-co-ordinated folders and put them somewhere safe and secure. For any other items, make use of containers and desk drawers. At home, you should have quick access to the things you need daily so that you feel comfortable

Decluttering your digital space is another important step in the process. This doesn’t take much time and will make all the difference to your productivity. Make sure your computer desktop is clear of any junk. Everything should be organized into distinct digital folders.

Then, you can get on to re-organizing your emails. Many of us waste too much time sorting through our inbox. Unsubscribe from any marketing emails or newsletters that you never read or find important.

Make sure you’re using an online system that allows you to prioritize your emails. Systems such as Gmail feature an automatic sorting options that file your emails into one main ‘default’ folder that contains only personally-addressed emails, as well as additional folders for advertising, spam mail, and more.

Stay in Control of Your Tasks

Being organized means you have tidy surroundings, but it also means you stay in control of your daily tasks. One of the best ways to stay in control is to keep a to-do list. This will keep you in a clear state of mind each day and help you stay on top of things. Many mobile apps are made for this very purpose. Organization tools and apps can track your time, set reminders for tasks and more.

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As you can see, staying organized isn’t that difficult. All it takes is a few re-adjustments to the way you live your life. Without questions, making that extra effort will do wonders for your productivity.

Johanna Cider sees writing as her career, hobby, and passion – all rolled into one – and enjoys every minute of it! She’s based in New Zealand’s culinary capital, Wellington. Take a peek at her written work on Musings of Johanna.



1 “No Place Like Home: Home Tours Correlate with Daily Patterns of Mood and Cortisol,”

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, November 2009,

2 “The Dark Side of Home: Assessing Possession ‘clutter’ on Subjective Well-Being,”

Journal of Environmental Psychology, March 2016,’clutter’_on_subjective_well-being.