The short answer is, YES. But, like all things in this fast-paced world, short answers don’t really cut it, do they? There’s no single answer to the question of whether or not you’re being too organized, but allow me to give you a real world example, that also happens to be a personal experience.
I was discussing an email one of our clients had sent us with our CEO, Yaniv. We sat at my computer, and as usual, the conversation took a detour. (I think it had something to do with iPads or something to that effect.) Once we got back on track, he took one look at the way I had my email folders organized.
He was not thrilled.
The worst part is, it wasn’t what you might expect. It wasn’t that my folders were unorganized, unruly, or sloppily set up; he felt that my folders were too organized. I had a parent folder for each one of our clients, with sub-folders for completed projects, unfinished projects, and organized those by other categories. It was the most organized mess, and I was completely blind to it.
Thankfully, Yaniv explained that he used to do the same thing, but found it to be too cumbersome to maintain. He also noted that, while it saved some time, in the end it probably took more to actually organize it that way than it would to have done nothing. Afterward, I had to spend time just to disorganize and reorganize the folders into a much simpler system.
Where to draw the line
What it boils down to is, if you’re spending time to organize something, you need to make sure that you’re not actually being counterproductive. How do you do that? Ask yourself one question: “How much time will this save me?” If the answer is anything less than the time it would take to organize it, don’t bother. The point of organizing is to save time, and know where to find something, so if you’re giving up one for the other, you’re only hurting yourself.
If you’re trying to schedule your time, don’t waste it all in the process. Sometimes things don’t need to be beautiful to be functional. As an artist and designer, that’s something that I honestly still have a hard time with. But any time I start designing rather than organizing, I catch myself. Another thing to keep an eye on is how permanent something is. If something’s only going to be used for a month or two, you probably shouldn’t bother with a huge organization structure. If it’s an everlasting project, however, maybe do it.
Last, but possibly most important, is for those projects that are everlasting. If you have something that needs to be filled out often, like a time table for your social media, you should create a standardized form or sheet for you to fill out each time, rather than start from scratch. THAT will almost guarantee time saved. And you can – if you’re so inclined to – make it look pretty. ;}
Do you have any organization tips? If so, share them in the comments!