Orderliness vs. confusion

Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.

Orderliness is analyzing a situation to identify its guiding purpose, organizing all relevant elements according to that purpose, and then maintaining the standard arrangement for ongoing success in that purpose.

Rather than simply neatening your home and work areas, organize them. More than just appearance, orderliness is knowing where to find the things you are looking for, and knowing where to put the things you need to store. If you commonly spend more than a minute or two trying to remember where you put something, seek to improve your orderliness. It is better to spend a few hours getting organized than to waste countless moments growing increasingly disorganized day after day.

It will be necessary to periodically reorganize, so the next time you are organizing your schedule, include time for reorganizing those areas that need it. In the meantime, the best way to check the natural demise of order and maintain peak efficiency is to put things away after use. Putting things away is a tough job, but someone has to do it. At home, gather a basket of items from around the house that are not in their proper places. Time the children to see how fast they can put things where they belong. Discuss the need to take responsibility to put away - right away.

Orderliness is not just about stuff. Orderliness is also about taking time to plan and prioritize the use of your time. Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, a scientist, statesman, publisher and diplomat, and he excelled in each arena. How did Franklin accomplish so much in his lifetime? Ben Franklin gave this counsel: If you want to enjoy the greatest luxuries in life - the luxury of having enough time (time to rest, time to think things through, time to get things done and know you have done them to the best of your ability) - remember there is only one way. Take enough time to think and plan things in the order of their importance. Your life will take on a new zest. You will add years to your life and more life to your years. Let all your things have their places, let each part of your business have its time. After all, as Benjamin Franklin said, "Time is the stuff life is made of."

Brought to you by the Four Corners Character Council. Character First! Definitions and information used by permission. Copyright Character Training Institute www.characterfirst.com.