3 min read

Getting Organized Is Not The Path To Achievement

Feb 14, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Today we’re sharing insight from guest blogger Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, CEO/Founder of WEthrive.live and host of The Badass Womens Council podcast. We hope you enjoy Rebecca’s wisdom and perspective.

Getting Organized - BlogMaybe you can relate: I spent years of my life longing to see my office, my email, my car, and my house all neatly organized into color-coordinated files. Surely this blissful state would give me peace of mind and finally allow me to reach my biggest life goals.

As it turns out, getting organized is not the path to achievement. In fact, it might be killing your ability to have real leadership impact. While some level of order is essential for success, your quest to reach a blissful state of organized living might actually be holding you back.

There is scientific reason for this, not just my experience and opinion. It’s called entropy: the second law of thermodynamics, which states that everything is in a state of breakdown. Entropy applies to your body, your car, your house, the laundry, your email, and the list goes on. Everything is breaking down around you.

“When I get caught up I will ____________.”? Fill in the blank with the most important thing you should be working on. Because of entropy, getting “caught up” is a scientific impossibility. Now, you’ve put your most important work at the mercy of an impossible task. You’re never really getting caught up!

Let go of that blissful lie that there will come a day when your inbox is empty, your laundry is caught up, there’s no repair needed to the house or car, and your calendar is booked appropriately with high-quality work. Waiting for all of this to be organized is more likely to be a form of procrastination than a pathway to productivity.

Instead of dedicating precious time to getting perfectly organized, try doing the thing you’re putting off; the tough conversation with your team, your client, your boss. Scheduling a team retreat to celebrate great work and facilitate community building, looking into next year and building solutions for the future. Taking a long weekend without any work with your spouse and your family. I can keep going with vast ways the “caught up” trap keeps us stuck.

The key to reaching your goals isn’t organization; it’s focus. I love the dictionary definition of focus, to “adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.”

Focus requires shining a light on the few most important goals and relationships and the tasks associated with those. It’s impossible to focus on everything, so this approach forces you to choose those things that will give you the highest return on both your time and your energy.

Decide on your key goals and projects and then get to work. Getting caught up and then getting organized is the enemy of achieving your most important goals. Focus is the key to moving forward, organized keeps you spinning your tires and stuck.

What’s The Risk?

Our industrial age model of education and work has too long valued organization as a moniker of success. Providing value, relevance, and impact for you, your team, and your customer needs elevated above organization. The risk is to miss the big idea, the innovation, or the engagement of your team while vying for inbox zero. Or worse yet, losing top talent burned out and exhausted from fighting entropy when all they want is to make a difference.


This content was written and shared by Rebecca Fleetwood Hession.

Rebecca Fleetwood HessionRebecca Fleetwood Hession is the CEO/Founder of WEthrive.live and host of The Badass Womens Council podcast. Rebecca has nearly three decades of experience in leadership, team building, and consultative selling.

She has a track record of success selling over $35M, a popular Tedx talk, inclusion in a best-selling business book, and 15 years in the esteemed President’s Club at FranklinCovey. Her focus with WEthrive.live is to ban burnout, build community, and boost business with high achieving career women. She provides unique content through a podcast, online community, coaching, and consulting.

Connect with Rebecca via LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Topics: Executive

Written by Gibson

Gibson is a team of risk management and employee benefits professionals with a passion for helping leaders look beyond what others see and get to the proactive side of insurance. As an employee-owned company, Gibson is driven by close relationships with their clients, employees, and the communities they serve. The first Gibson office opened in 1933 in Northern Indiana, and as the company’s reach grew, so did their team. Today, Gibson serves clients across the country from offices in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Utah.