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Blog: Chronic Disorganization
Why Does Disorganization Recur?

I've been reflecting recently on the 'recurrence' part of chronic disorganization. Why doesn't organizing "stick" with some people? Chronically disorganized people grit their teeth, dig out of the stacks of paper, excavate the desk, and liberate the living quarters of the house. They pledge never to waste another minute repeating this drudgery again. Still: disorganization returns. The reason? There are a few. Disdain is one of them. Never underestimate the power of disdain. Like anything else we hate, organizing is neglected when people don't like (i.e. hate) to do it. Stuff piles up again and that is met with more disdain. Repeat ad nauseam. Lack of competence is another reason. We all can't be wonderful at everything. We tend to do well the things we do well and vice a versa. Bbooorrrring is another reason disorganization recurs. It takes a certain level of engagement to get and stay organized. For many of us the appeal of order is compelling enough. Chronically disorganized people maybe need more engagement than the average person.

Maybe a chronically disorganized person's executive functioning (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_system) has somehow become impaired. Executive functions are the brain's higher order cognitive processes that impact learning and problem solving. The executive functions have been likened to the conductor of an orchestra who guides and directs complex instruments, musicians, and the musical score. Optimally, the pre-frontal cortex of the brain where these functions reside enable us to conceive a plan for a solving a problem, execute or carry out that plan and evaluate the adequacy of the attempt. AD/HD and other disorders affect executive functioning. Working memory, another part of executive function, reminds us of the consequences of our actions and decisions. If working memory is on the blink there could be a tendency to not recall the negative consequences of disorganization. To learn more about executive function and disorganization stay tuned right here for an announcement about a white paper on the topic. Meanwhile, check out http://www.geocities.com/growingjoel/ef.html.

posted on: 12/22/2007 11:00:00 AM by Judith Kolberg
category: Organizing Challenges

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Chronic Disorganization

by Judith Kolberg

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About Judith:

FileHeads Professional Organizers founded in 1989, is a business-to-business professional organizing firm providing time management , office organizing, and productivity consulting. Company-wide training, keynote speaking, and custom teleclasses are available as well as individual organizing sessions. Chief organizer, Judith Kolberg, is an award-winning professional organizer, international author and speaker. FileHeads is regarded as one of the nation's foremost authorities on the special organizing needs of chronically disorganized and AD/HD individuals.

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