Getting Organized, One Neurosis at a Time

Only 0.000000000000001 percent of the world’s population could legitimately claim that they are organized: my aunt Eusebia and I.

Since she passed away more than 25 years ago, it is now my sole responsibility to teach the world how to be organized. To be organized you have to be awake (dreams are always very messy), you have to have paper and pencil or you need to download one of the 5,576,444,290 apps that claim to help with organization, time management, priorities, schedule, goals, objectives, and bad breadth, all essential for success at work.

If you are like most people, you are going to spend 2,789 hours choosing the right time-saving app from the app store.

After you download it, you are going to use it for about three minutes until you get an email from your brother telling you that you must watch the latest TED talk on productivity. As you are about to click on the link, you are distracted by various pop-ups with offers to purchase cruise tickets, houses on foreclosure, and antiques from Estonia. By the time you are ready to watch the video on productivity you realize it’s time to go home.

After dinner you get your iPad and finally have time to watch the talk on productivity. The speaker recommends that you download a goal setting app. Because you are a discerning customer, you are not going to download just the first app that appears on your screen, so you are going to spend 592 hours comparing features, at which point you forget what you were looking for and settle for the latest version of angry birds.

Isaac Prilleltensky, a community psychologist, is dean of the school of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami. See his blog at Reprinted in part from from the Miami Herald.