The Cost of Being Disorganised

The cost of being disorganised.
The cost of being disorganised.

We could give you a long list of reasons why you should get organised but for some, it would be too ‘pie-in-the-sky’ and intangible. So instead, we are going to let the money do the talking!

Being disorganised eats up time, which equals money. For example, if you waste precious time going through your work to get to your work, you can lose (conservatively) 30 minutes each day. If your annual salary is R300,000, the time wasted will cost your company about R18,980 in lost productivity (based on 365 days per year).

That translates into about R52 per 30-minute period.

Being disorganised can also undermine your company’s credibility. In business, first impressions are important. A work environment that is poorly organised and cluttered will project a negative image to your existing and potential customers. You could be losing business because you just can’t make that lasting impression.
Since we spend so much time padding our wallets, it’s probably best we ensure they don’t empty out faster than we can fill them. That means changing your habits in your work space and making a lasting change. Here’s your TO DO list:
  • Get a good desk; one that is right for your personal work habits, business activities and other daily needs. Do you need two work spaces for computer work and paperwork? Do you need a bookshelf attached to the desk?
  • Mange your time better. Be more realistic about how long something actually takes to do. Envision yourself completing a task from start to finish and what actions you must take. Until you get more accurate at estimating, add 25% to the time you think you’ll need to complete a certain task.
  • Throw away old papers. Many people accumulate paper clutter because they are worried they’ll need it but in reality, 80 percent of the paper you save ‘just in case’ is never needed again. Get a shredder to minimise paper waste.
  • Make faster decisions. Clutter happens when you put off making decisions. Try to get into the habit of quickly deciding whether you should keep paper, mail and other items.

Other simple tips for organising your work environment

  • Centralise your daily planning and have a master TO DO list for your day.
  • Pre-Sort your mail and paperwork into categories that make sense to you. The generic way to do this is to have spaces for ‘To-File’, ‘To-Read’, ‘To Contact’.
  • Organise your desktop and papers with containers and trays that are functional – and if you can, get things off your desk. Use the wall next to your desk.
  • Your filing must make sense to you but generally using lots of files takes up a lot of space so a drawer system is more space-efficient and manageable.
  • At the end of each project or event, organise paperwork and file or store it.
  • Straighten desk at the end of the day and especially at the end of the week so that you can start each morning with a clear desk.
It can be difficult to change habits and slip back into disorganised chaos in your work space, but if you consider that the average person can lose an hour each day through being disoragnised, your habit is costing you money.