Everything has a place and every place has its thing.
We all have natural behaviors regarding the use of time and how we organize time and space. Sometimes our styles work well for us, but when we do not understand how to work with our natural styles, we can get in our own way and impede our best intentions. Understanding what can work for us and what does not impacts the overall quality of our life.
A pencil belongs in a pencil holder and paper in a neat stack. This person sees that every item has a correct home and it should be there if not in use. A Straightener™ Space Style Preference™ puts things away immediately whether or not she is the one who has taken the object out!
The world feels peaceful when the Straightener has tended to the overall look of the workspace. Tension dissipates and she feels in control when items are aligned. Straightening up provides satisfaction – a feeling that things are very organized. She is ready for anything! Her preoccupation with neatness could be the gateway to organization, but often, neatness takes priority over more practical storage and retrieval systems.
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Looks can be deceiving. While a messy workspace with no alignment or neat stacks can cause her stress, sometimes a deceptively neat workspace hides the fact that there is no real organizational system. When systems are missing, tools, supplies and items a ‘Straightener’ needs to work efficiently may often be difficult to find and time consuming to locate. In haste, a neat piles can be made in a jiffy, but may be full of unrelated items. And, although a neat space provides the illusion of control, when unrelated items are put together in a matched pile, it may actually be wildly out of control.
Straighteners encounter conflict when they need others to work in their space, especially when unrelated items have become neatly stacked. This causes frustration for others who cannot find materials they’ve put places, and also for family members who may resent their stuff being neatened. How many Straighteners have been stopped in midstride by a child or spouse shouting, “Hey, I’m still using that!” as they reached to put away items not currently in someone’s hand?
It’s important for Straighteners to begin to acknowledge the reality that ‘neat’ does not necessarily equal ‘organized’. Organized means knowing what you have, having what you need, and easily being able to retrieve it when you need it. If a Straightener’s neat environment cannot pass the ‘organized’ definition test, there’s certainly room for improvement.
What steps can a Straightener take to use her natural space style preference more effectively?
A disorganized straightener’s goals are to assess and readdress neat piles that have no organization or theme, stop neatening others stuff, reduce the quantity of their collections if they no longer serve them, and create a more enjoyable workflow?
Flow is defined as the “natural, effortless unfolding of life in a way that moves us toward wholeness and harmony” (from The Power of Flow, Belitz and Lundstrom). The gateway to flow begins with awareness, being present in the moment, and learning to manage your inner experience. Flow Steps™ offer simple choices to help resolve tension and restore freedom over time and space.
Here are some basic Flow Steps that can help a Straightener enhance workflow:
1. Ask yourself
- Do I know where things are and why I put them there?
- Is everything located in a suitable place?
- Can I find what I’m looking for in three minutes or less?
2. Find organizational products that make sense in your workspace and will facilitate neatness, enhance easy retrieval and organization.
3. Determine an organizational system that works and will stand the test of time for your style.
4. Give yourself time to get reorganized more effectively so you can retrieve what you have easily. Since organizing projects can take time, segment your reorganization project into segments or chunks that can be done over a period of time rather than all at once.
These are just a few ways to use your natural style to create a more pleasing workflow experience.
Once you identify your dominant preferences – are you an Everything Out™, Nothing Out™, Minimalist™, Saver™, Straightener™, or No Rules™? – you can begin to take steps to integrate more Flow Steps into your experience.
The Time & Space Style Inventory™ (TSSI™) evaluates your style preferences and how you arrange space, tolerate disorder, and assign value. By learning your preferences, you can make the most of your style to increase flow in your life with Flow Steps that will help you successfully manage your inner experience.
EMBRACE your natural style!
Make it work for you – take the Time & Space Style Inventory™ and identify your time and space styles and enjoy your life @ http://bit.ly/tssifree. Cena Block (sanespaces.com) specializes in helping moms design work on their own terms and build smart supportive systems that create time for living. A business coach and author, Cena has collaborated with professional organizer and author Sunny Schlenger (suncoach.com) to create the Time & Space Style Inventory™ – a tool that not only identifies natural behavioral styles but also enables you to use that information to create a personalized road map to manage your time and space. Find Sunny’s new book: Flow Formula: A Guidebook to Wholeness and Harmony on Amazon.com.
Image courtesy of tiramisustudio/FreeDigitalPhotos.net