I can t get organized

5 reasons you’re so disorganized (and how to fix it!)

I remember a time in my life when I was so overwhelmed by my schedule, I didn’t know how to break free. 

I was so hellbent on controlling everything and everyone in my life that I struggled to delegate tasks.  

I felt busy all the time yet I didn’t seem to be getting any further ahead. I thought MY way was the ONLY way (of course!).

As a result, my relationships with my husband and children suffered. And so did my health. 

I was mentally and emotionally exhausted from trying to keep the schedules of three other people, as well as my own to-do lists, events, goals and priorities straight in my head.  Eventually, I realised I was becoming a disorganized person.

I had read every life-changing book and tried every productivity and organisation app on the market. I’d even attempted to stick post-it notes around my house. That’s when I realized that trying to find a work life balance is BS because it doesn’t exist. We have ONE life to live – not one life with a work compartment and a life compartment! 

I realized quickly that I needed a central place where I could dump my work, business and family commitments in one happy place.

I needed to declutter my brain so I could feel organized, prioritize what was most important to me and reclaim a sense of calm that I didn’t even realize I was missing. 

I actually couldn’t find that happy place… so I created it. And in 2015,  the Life Sorted app was born.  

There could be many reasons you’re so disorganized

There are many reasons for disorganization including perfectionism, lack of skills, our beliefs and indecision, as well as mental health and brain-related conditions. When we understand the reason, it can help increase our ability to become more organized (and stay that way!).  

Signs of a disorganized person

Okay, you may or may not have sweaty palms as you read this list and realize that some (or all!) of these apply to you!

But the good news is, I’m also giving you an action step you can take to try to fix it!

  • You’re often late for appointments.
  • You can’t find anything (I see you – reprinting things you’ve already printed, buying another stapler because your other one went walking!)
  • You always seem to be hit with surprise deadlines (What do you mean it’s her birthday… again?!)
  • You’re making the moolah but you never seem to have enough money.
  • You run out of household supplies when you need them (repeat after me… tissues are NOT the same as toilet paper)
  • Communication in your life is causing havoc, your phone storage is always full, your computer files are everywhere (and nowhere!), and you’re often misunderstood. 

And this one may come as a surprize…

  • You’re NOT willing to take a risk. When all of your ducks are not in a row to begin with, it can be challenging to add any more uncertainty or spontaneity into your life.

Sound familiar? Let’s look at why it’s so important to find a way to become more organized.

Why is organization important?

When we are organized and our home and brain is free from clutter, we feel more calm and are able to focus and be more productive. We are also able to connect to those around us and be more spontaneous and fun without feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed.

If we feel good, this has a positive impact on other people in our lives. So, are you ready to crack the code about why you’re so disorganized? I’ll also give you some practical tips to help you fix it!

Here are 5 reasons you’re so disorganized (and how you can fix it!)

// 1. Your beliefs

Your beliefs about material objects in your life make it difficult and seemingly impossible for you to let go of things, people, ideas and emotions from the past. Having a cluttered home (or brain!) makes it difficult for you to feel organized and impedes your ability to focus and be productive. According to NBC News, evidence suggests that when multiple visual stimuli are competing for your attention, you have a harder time focusing. 

THE FIX: Mari Kondo-ing your life. If you’ve not heard of Mari Kondo before, you really need to check out this article that teaches you how I KonMari my brain before doing anything else. And if you’re looking for a quick fix – check out the easy way to declutter your home (and your life!).

// 2. Procrastination

You delay starting or completing tasks. There are so many causes of procrastination, including fear of the unknown, you believe you’ll do it later, indecision, working on small tasks or the wrong tasks because they’re easier, a lack of motivation, you don’t know how to begin, you know the task will require effort and hard work, or you get distracted. A big cause of procrastination is perfectionism.

THE FIX: Write a list of the things you need to do. Use Eisenhower’s urgent/important principle to prioritize what needs to be actioned first and to help you manage your time effectively. Even if you feel ‘too busy’ try adding some exercise into your day. You’ll be surprized by the mindset benefits of exercise. After you complete a task, why not reward yourself with a little ‘me time’. Who says rewards as incentives don’t work for adults!?

// 3. Perfectionism

You have an unrealistic expectation that everything will be perfect all of the time (and you most probably don’t think that this is an unrealistic expectation!). Many factors – including fear of disapproval from others or feelings of insecurity and inadequacy – can contribute to developing perfectionism. While I consider myself to be a Recovering Perfectionist, perfectionism still rears its ugly head from time to time, causing anxiety and inaction.

THE FIX: While there is no quick fix, reminding yourself to ‘be present where you are with the people you’re with’ or ‘done is better than perfect’ may be helpful. Reduce perfectionist tendencies by learning how to minimize brain clutter. Check out my secret weapon to combat brain-clutter here. You can also dive into The Gifts Of Imperfectionism by Brene Brown, where she shares how you can overcome paralyzing fear and self-consciousness and strengthen your connection to the world.

// 4. Lack of focus 

One of the reasons your so disorganized is an inability to focus. When we’re distracted, don’t have clear priorities and don’t have a way to control our brain clutter, it is difficult to be focused and organized. My friends and family often ask me how I manage to focus on my goals and always seem to get everything done. The truth is, I help myself focus by doing three simple things – streamlining, systemising and automating. Check out how you can you use this simple three step process to help you focus and get sh*t done in your life too!

THE FIX: To increase your productivity while working, try brain dumping your to-do list before you start. You can add your to-do list for the day into the list section of an app like Life Sorted.  During work time you can use the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique helps you manage your time and improve your focus and productivity by breaking it into 25 minute intervals with designated short or long break between each period. You can easily add the Marinara: Pomodoro Assistant aka a tomato timer as a Chrome extension. For a bit of fun, visit Coffitivity, which gives you atmosphere noises of being in a coffee shop to improve your focus as you work.  

// 5. Indecision 

One of the biggest causes of disorganization is indecisiveness. Getting organized requires taking action and action requires decision-making. Disorganization can often be the result of delayed decision-making. But how do you work out what your priorities should be and what tasks you should action first? It’s important to remind yourself that not everything is important and it can’t all be important at once. You’re only human after all!  

THE FIX: Change your mindset around the word ‘priority’. The word ‘priority’ means ‘one thing’. We made up the word priorities and overcomplicated things for ourselves. The reality is that you can’t have a lot of priorities because that’s not the meaning of the word. Using a simple framework, such as the 4-D Framework to combat brain clutter will help you decide if you should DO, DELEGATE, DEFER or DITCH the task. This will help you understand and prioritize what is urgent vs what is important so you can be more decisive and take action faster.


A disorganized mind can be paralyzing. When we know why we are disorganized, it becomes so much easier to fix it. Life is short –  it’s so important that we are living our best life that is as streamlined and as stress-free as possible. We can do this by working on improving some of our habits that keep us disorganized and stuck so that we can spend more time doing the things we are passionate about with the people that we love. What are your favourite hacks for getting (and staying!) organized?  

Drop your ideas in the comments below. We’d love to hear!

Jo xo


Why You Can't Get Organized

The CAN'T or WON'T Problem:

Is it "can’t" or "won’t" when it comes to summarizing the reasons people fail to organize their stuff? Which applies to you?

  • "Can’t" implies inability.
  • "Won’t" is the lack of initiative.

The five main reasons fall into BOTH camps: Can’t AND Won’t.

CAN'T—Don’t know how:

Mindy (fictitious name) tells me "I just don’t have the gene to organize." Could it be genetics that stops Mindy from organizing her important household stuff? Could it be a neurological issue? Mindy is a very creative individual.

For decades Mindy has read books in many failed attempts to follow guidance on organizing papers and assorted stuff. Does it sound familiar? She feels like a failure because she can’t maintain a system of organization. Plus, she rarely remembers where she puts her stuff.

Yes, many disorganized people complain about their memory. While cognitive decline is a real thing, finding yourself overwhelmed can affect thinking, especially, in my experience, with creative people. Reader, you may be chuckling as you recognize this in yourself, but you know it’s not funny. It can be painful. People spend hours each year searching for important information that they put "in a good place. " They spend more money than necessary to replace items that they put away but can’t locate.

Organizing overwhelms, and many smart people truly believe they’re hopeless. They develop bad habits, leaving things around their home and office because they think that the stuff will be visible to find at a later date. The lucky ones find help, or find a partner to assist. Some, however, don’t let others in and end up unhappy.

CAN’T—Can’t get started/Can’t manage interruptions/Can't stay focused:

Starting a new project can be daunting.

Distraction can be a disorder, and a house filled with stuff, with dozens of unfinished projects, may point in that direction. If you think you are overwhelmed because of Attention Deficit Disorder, get an evaluation. The right treatment can make the job of organization a thousand times easier.

With or without ADD, many people don’t know how to begin to sort through all their stuff. When sorting through the past, the trips down memory lane can divert you off on tangents. It is a normal hazard when going through old things. It's not hard to reminisce the day away.

Robert (fictitious name) wanted to transition his business. He had an office filled with papers: client material, marketing material, and personal papers. He also had a habit of making multiple copies of each paper to be sure he always had a copy. This compensatory mechanism made his office look like a sea of random papers and files.

The task of "organizing" the papers of the old business was impossible. He lacked the motivation to get started because he didn’t know how. And, so the business transition could not begin. The old business made Robert unhappier each day, and he was stuck. Each folder he touched stirred up old (good and bad) memories. He couldn’t get out of his own way to organize. Empowering himself to learn how to get started, and stay focused, helped change his life. Also, learning how to conquer his personal challenge of starting new things gave him a new confidence.

WON’T—Don’t feel like it:

Yes, our feelings get in the way—with relationships and our relationship to stuff. Rhonda (fictitious name) refused to keep a calendar/date book because she wanted her life to be flexible. Often, any plans made in advance were forgotten unless a good friend called her to remind her. Now, that’s a good friend, but then again, maybe that friend actually enabled her.

More often, her plans were cancelled at the last minute because something better to do came along. Bills went unpaid. Piles of mail, and assorted papers and household items, collected on tables, under tables, and inside cabinets. Rhonda did as she pleased, until her husband wanted to refinance the house. Their credit rating was so low because of so many unpaid or late paid bills, their refinancing was rejected. Rhonda only wanted to do things that were fun. She constantly compared her life to others. She festered over the thought that someone else’s life could be better than hers.

CAN’T—Have to clear up first:

We think too much. Some think they have to clear the decks before they can plan or organize. They have so much stuff in the way, and they think they have to clear away the stuff before organizing. It’s kind of like needing to lose weight before you step foot in a gym. It’s counterproductive, but human.

Angela (fictitious name) had boxes and files full of personal memories and professional accomplishments, all mixed together. She wanted to embark on a new job search, and needed to put together a resume. Angela wanted to use some examples of the materials located in these files as resume points. She was frozen. Angela felt that she had to go through everything before she could even start organizing her resume. She needed guidance, and fortunately found that guidance so that she could begin her journey to find her dream job. Clearing and organizing go hand in hand. As you start to clear, you get a clearer idea of what is left to organize. Then, the organizing process will flow easier as you’re gradually familiar with your "stuff."

CAN’T—Need the right "tools":

Every craftsman knows that "Good tools aren’t cheap; Cheap tools aren’t any good." There are so many good organizing "tools" at varying price points. Have you been to The Container Store, Bed Bath and Beyond or Home Goods lately? You’ll find a dizzying array of organizing "tools" in those and other stores, as well as online sources.

Those who can’t organize because they need to find the "right" tools first are landlocked in their stuff. Others may purchase a wide variety of inappropriate tools, adding to the accumulation of clutter.

Organize Each Day:

Organizing is an ongoing activity. Oh, did you think that once you’re organized, you’re organized? The organizing process evolves just like we do. Our needs change, as do our systems. There’s never a right time to organize. We make the time.

If you learn to organize each day, just a little, a great deal can happen. Start with your bed, and move on to your work or your house. Tackle a little at a time, and learn not to be afraid of clearing, organizing and discarding. Soon, it will become natural.

Finally, whether you CAN’T or WON’T organize your stuff, enlisting help will empower you to accomplish what seems like a Herculean task. Yet, once things begin to clear out, you’ll begin to feel freer, only to have the energy to do more.

It’s just stuff. I know it’s overwhelming. But, you can do it.


This piece is by a guest blogger, Marcia Sloman, who is a professional organizer in Westchester County, New York.

I can’t organize myself in any way

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How to organize yourself? Habits that will help you use time efficiently - Evgeny Turov on vc.


So many tasks, but there is always not enough time. Want to be productive at work, but don't have enough time to get things done on your to-do list? It seems that there is chaos, chaos or too many plans around and you don’t know where to find so much energy and strength. Are you familiar with all this? nine0003


One must understand that time is not an enemy, but a friend. So much can be done if you have goals. The main thing is to properly organize yourself and time. This applies not only to work, but also to other aspects of your life. Self-discipline is the key to success. A person who is not in control of his life and is not disciplined will not achieve the desired success. If you don't achieve anything, it will lead to stress, decreased productivity, and disorganization. It turns out a vicious circle! nine0003

What is self-organization?

The number of synonyms for this word: discipline, self-development, self-control, motivation, etc. When there is motivation, it becomes easier to organize yourself. For example: a worker has many tasks and he will complete them sooner or later, because the boss pays him a salary. If you go to work by 9 o'clock, then you will complete the tasks that are in front of you. But what if you are the boss? Businessmen and entrepreneurs simply have to be organized. Being organized will help you succeed in your business, get twice as many tasks done, save time and money. nine0003

Why is it so difficult to organize yourself? What mistakes are you making?

Reasons: there is no clear plan for the day, success is achieved even without planning, there are no time limits, no priorities, a lot of work and little time.

Recommendations: it is important to know what to do and why, and then success will accompany you; planning faster helps to achieve the goal; you need an understanding of how much time it will take to complete a particular task and plan your time; do less but better; focus on one task at a time. nine0003

As already noted, self-organization is important. Some people organize their time quickly and easily, while others find it difficult to control their lives. Therefore, you can learn how to use it effectively. Time management will help with this, but it is important to understand that this is a big science. There are different methods and techniques that should be applied regularly.

10 habits that will help you organize yourself and your life.

1. Plan your day well in advance. nine0276

Starting a new day is easier when you have a plan. You know what tasks you have, and immediately begin to perform them one by one, without wasting time remembering what important things are waiting for you today.

2. Define your goals.

This is one of the basic things in planning. The goal is to understand what a person wants to achieve in life. You must consciously set goals yourself, not other people. A person realizes himself personally interested in achieving his goals. nine0003

3. Top priorities.

You want to do everything, but you just don't have enough time for all the meetings, projects, etc. Sort the tasks by priority. Otherwise, you will constantly feel stressed, irritable and your productivity will decrease. That is why it is so important to prioritize correctly.

4. Delegate.

Delegation is one of the most important principles of productivity at work. Don't try to do everything alone and let others do some of the work. nine0003

5. Write down the things you have to do.

You can use a notepad, calendar, or other scheduling tools. This will help you stick to your plan and reach your goal faster.

6. Less distractions!

There are many "sinkers" of our time: social networks, television, messages, empty talk, etc. Many people, when they wake up, immediately check their mail, read the news on the social network Facebook. All this takes away your precious minutes and even hours.

Learn more