You may know where your planner personality falls on the organizational scale, but what do you do about it?
We like to connect organization to planners and neat storage systems and the concept of everything being spic and span and in its place. But, while those things can reflect organization, they are not the definition of organization. Instead, organization is a state of health. It is an attitude of being ahead of the curve rather than constantly in a state of urgency. As such, it’s important to note that organization will look very different for each person.
In fact, every personality probably needs to make some tweaks in their organizational structure! For instance, a Type-A individual might need to learn to adopt a more relaxed system of organization that includes spontaneity and rest while the go-with-the-flow free spirit will need to learn some structure. But, there are some starting points that work for every personality type.
Whether you need to back off from being a perfectionist or need to find a way to introduce a little more structure into your life, here are some ways to find a healthy organizational balance.
A Chore System
Being healthy in organization does not mean you will have a spotless home. (In fact, I would argue that a spotless home might indicate a lack of health in relational and mental areas of life.) Instead, it means that you have a system for controlling your chaos. If the bathroom isn’t clean on Friday, it’s because you know that it’s regularly cleaned on Tuesdays. So, it’s okay today because you’re going to get there. The simple act of having a system in place and keeping to it as regularly as possible can go a long way toward creating a peaceful, healthy home.
Not everyone loves planning. And that’s okay. But, no family should be without a calendar of some sort. Even if you think you can hold it all in your head or that you prefer to be spontaneous, it’s important to remember that you’re not the only person in the family. That’s not an accusation of self-centeredness but a reminder that everything runs more smoothly when the whole family is on board. By having a calendar visible for the whole family to see and contribute to, you’re not responsible to keep it all in your head. Nor do conflicts arise because you aren’t aware of something that’s stuck in another family member’s head.
Request for Help
It can be so difficult for those with an organized planner personality to understand how the rest of the family doesn’t see the chaos! It feels like they’re just being lazy. But, in truth, someone who is not inclined toward organization views the world very differently. They prioritize differently. And they don’t really understand the source of your frustration. Before your frustration boils over into anger, ask for help. A quick request of, “Hey, can everyone help me spend 15 minutes tidying the living room/dining room/kitchen area this afternoon?” goes a long way toward helping your less organized family members tangibly see how they can help you—without it ever turning into a fight!
It’s easy to think that rest is something you do when everything else gets done. Guess what? Everything else will never be done. You will never “deserve” rest. Rest is, instead, a choice to take care of yourself and your family physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And yes, it’s an important part of organization. If you’re naturally highly organized, rest times remind you to stop, play, and prioritize relationships. If organization is not naturally important to you, established rest times help provide the motivation you and your family need to go ahead and get done the things that need to get done so you can play and rest together.
What are your organizational preferences? How does that fit with the rest of your planner personality? Take our Planner Personality Quiz to find out!