How to Overcome Chronic Disorganization


We all experience periods of chaos during our lives, such as  when we are unwell or a member of our family is in turmoil. Then there are moments of work stress, demanding projects and hectic deadlines but these instances usually work themselves out. With chronic disorganization on the other hand, we become unable to easily recover from these setbacks and the disorder only gets worse over time.

As the clutter keeps piling up, you find yourself constantly overwhelmed and unable to function adequately at work or even in your personal life.

What is chronic disorganization and do I have it?

Chronic disorganization is characterized by a history of inefficiency and ineptitude and the failure to improve your situation. This characteristic may impact your personal life, affect finances and trigger consistent mistakes and errors at work. Chronic disorganization can harm your quality of life to the point where you are ashamed or don’t want anybody around.

Take a look around you. Is there clutter everywhere? Magazines and newspapers you can’t get rid of? Items still in their boxes? Clothes, shoes and accessories lying around? Have you recently purchased something that you haven’t stored away? Have you ever been unorganized before? Are you embarrassed to have guests over? Someone who suffers from chronic disorganization is likely to respond positively to these questions.

Chronically disorganized people often exhibit the following traits:

  1. Accumulate a lot of items, unnecessary papers and paraphernalia
  2. Have difficulty parting with things and letting go
  3. Have a wide range of interests and many uncompleted tasks
  4. Need visual cues to serve as prompts for action
  5. Tend to be easily distracted or lose concentration
  6. Frequently suffer from poor time management

Chronic disorganization & ADHD

Many people who have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) also tend to be amongst those who are chronically disorganized. Common traits of ADHD include impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention.

With these symptoms, maintaining a good sense of organization can seem impossible. According to the American Psychiatric Association, ADHD affects one in twenty adults and is a legitimate and treatable disorder. Another factor that leads to persistent disorder is depression. People with depression often struggle to stay motivated and are frequently worn out.

When you recognize the signs of chronic disorganization, especially at work, it’s worth conducting a time audit and monitoring where and how you spend your time. TimeTrack Timesheets offer intuitive ways of tracking your daily tasks and it’s interesting to see a monthly overview that will allow you to make productive changes.

Timesheet Overview

TimeTrack Timesheet



How does chronic disorganization affect work?

The corporate world moves quickly and deadlines wait for no-one. Adopting effective organizational techniques and eliminating persistent disorganization is crucial if you want to keep up with your work, advancing in your career and the company’s objectives. Chronic disorganization can make it difficult for you to get consistent promotions, can reduce productivity, cost your employer time and money and even harm your physical and mental wellbeing.

Chronic disorganization can affect your work in many ways, such as:

Decreasing productivity

Productivity suffers when there’s a lack of order and organization. Your efficiency takes a nosedive as you waste time on trivial matters and your manager will most definitely notice!

Good organizational skills and reducing chronic disorganization can help improve productivity and efficiency, claims Productivity 501. For example, simply tidying up your workspace and email folders frees up unproductive minutes looking for files for specific tasks.


Common signs of chronic disorganization

Costing the organization

The proverb “time is money” is true in the business sector since time is a valuable resource that, when spent, may be expensive for an organization. Your organizing skills impact your capacity to manage your time effectively and can ultimately cost the company money. Failure to complete projects can result in missed deadlines and your employer may pay a high price due to your disorganized and poor time scheduling and organizing skills.

Limiting professional growth

We’d all like to grow and climb the corporate ladder but chronic disorganization can make people less efficient and productive, and in the business world, those are two attributes that can seriously improve your trajectory. Challenging disorganization is not easy but it’s necessary so that you can build a good reputation at work and be recognized for promotions and new opportunities.

Having trouble finding things at work

A messy workspace, inbox and filing system can wreak havoc on anyone’s productivity. When everything is cluttered and all over the place, you can easily waste a lot of daily productive work time just searching for simple items.

Constantly missing deadlines

You might miss deadlines at work or home if you are consistently unorganized. Naturally, this could impact your professional development and, in the worst situations, result in termination. At the office, missing deadlines can result in late payments and meeting deadlines for an important project, which might cost you a lot.

Tips to manage chronic disorganization

Whether you’re naturally organized or disorganized—you might even be one of the select few who thrives in chaos—you still need to learn how to manage chronic disorganization through time scheduling and planning. When you don’t manage your time, deadlines sneak up on you, projects go incomplete and crucial activities are overlooked. This causes you tension and endangers your business.

Use these suggestions to track your time, pinpoint areas of improvement and up your productivity.

Evaluate how you spend your time

Are you working 12 hours daily and checking your texts and emails every five minutes? Are you assuming too many obligations? If so, start refusing and start assigning the appropriate chores to others. To keep track of what you’re doing, especially when managing staff and their duties, use a TimeTrack feature like Duty Roster to plan everyone’s shifts and locations. With the function to filter for skills, you can search for employees with special know-how.


TimeTrack Duty Roster

Organize your time wisely

Use a planner that has a calendar app function to schedule your time more effectively. In your monthly or weekly action plan, list every activity even if it seems unimportant. For chronically disorganized people, it’s helpful to have a full overview including appointments, project deadlines, exercise, social events and even things like picking up the groceries.

Start small

Chronic chaos doesn’t need to feel daunting. Pick a time management technique that works for you. Schedule only necessary meetings and say yes to tasks that seem doable. Be brave and try various strategies until you find the one that best solves your ongoing disorganization issue. Aim for time management quick wins to give you a boost of momentum!


Everyone finds it difficult to stay organized sometimes, but if you genuinely want to stop being chronically disorganized, start with small changes. Keep a notebook handy to write down tasks, check off your daily to-do lists and time yourself with everyday work and projects.