Leadership In Action

The Disorganized Organizer

December 29, 2015

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

Meet Deb


Back in 1964, Paramount Pictures released a movie called The Disorderly Orderly, starring Jerry Lewis. Many of you will remember him well in that role.

A few years before, that, The Disorganized Organizer was released into the world. Her name was Deb Ingino. Yes…me.

I was born D- and I-wired. From as far back as anyone can remember, I was a take-charge, move fast, whirlwind of ideas kind of person. I’ve been called strong-willed…and I’ve been called disorganized. But the fact is, I get things done. It is how I’m wired.

Now I will say through the years, I have learned a few things from my S- and C-wired husband and daughter who used to clean off my desk and clean out my closet when I left for business trips.

January is the time most people “get organized”. Magazine articles and blogs and Pinterest are chock full of ideas of how to organize everything from your books to your spices to your storage containers. January is “heaven” for my S- and C-wired family and friends.

So I decided to write a “get organized” article for the rest of us – the D- and I-wired people of the world who by nature are “disorganized organizers”. Here are some of the things I’ve learned that work for me, and that I believe may work for you as a D/I-wired leader as well.

It comes down to one thing…IDEAS. You have a ton of them. And you have items everywhere because they are somehow related to IDEAS for things you want to do.

Let’s face it, if you are an I-wired leader in any form or fashion, you will NEVER run out of ideas. You may have more ideas in one hour than some will have in a month…or a year…or a lifetime! You have ideas on sticky notes, ideas on scraps of paper, ideas on napkins, ideas on your refrigerator, ideas all over your desk, ideas in your car, ideas on your computer, in your email, and on your smartphone, and ideas in your head.

You also have randomly placed reminders to carry out specific ideas.

What you see as ideas, over time, become clutter. And clutter creates overwhelm and inhibits productivity. Essentially, what happens is that none of those great ideas every gets carried out. They just sit there.

And so, my “Disorganized Organizer” advice to you (and to myself as well) is to deal with IDEAS.

Here is what you can do with IDEAS:

Capture them.

Get them out of your head and either written down or captured electronically. Head clutter kills productivity. Here is the key: find ONE place to capture ALL your ideas, along with projects in process.For some, it’s as simple as using 3 x 5 cards, colorful sticky notes, or a physical notebook. For those who are tech-savvy, a program like Nozbe or Evernote will serve you well.If you use 3 x 5 cards, sticky notes, or even random scraps of paper, capture them on something like a whiteboard. The advantage of this method is that you can move them around as you get more defined. It allows you to group ideas together and start to see how they fit with your bigger picture.

Challenge them.

As a business leader, you must have clearly defined vision, mission, and goals. If these are not defined, everything is a priority and nothing gets accomplished. Having this clear definition allows you to say “yes” to the ideas that fit and, just as importantly, “no” to the ones that do not.With your vision, mission, and goals defined, look at your “idea board”, whether it’s physical or electronic.Challenge each idea against your vision, mission, and goals. Pull off what doesn’t fit. Save those in a box or folder for a later time if you’d like, but store them out of sight. In this case, “out of sight, out of mind” is actually a good thing because you are creating focus.

Choose them.

Now that you have refined your ideas so they align with your vision, mission, and goals, pick three (yes, only three) each day that will help you get at least one step closer to attaining your goals. If you choose fifty cards, the fact is, you won’t get anything significant accomplished. But if you choose three, you will see very targeted progress.

Calendar them.

You’ve heard it said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” And that is true. Set deadlines. Set benchmarks so you know if you are on track. And set a certain day each week where you review goals and ideas, and plan your week according to priorities.

Communicate them.

If you have ideas, that is great. If you also have a team to help carry them out, that is powerful. Communicate your vision, mission, and goals to your team so they understand and feel part of the big picture. Then as you communicate ideas, they can help you carry them out with the big picture in mind. This creates collaboration and ensures that your ideas not only get on your idea board, but also get done.

And so I say to my fellow D- and I-wired leaders (and this will come as a relief to you)…your system doesn’t have to be pretty, alphabetized, color-coded, or perfect. It does need to be captured, contained, challenged, and carried out. Disorganized Organizers (the acronym for which, by the way, is “DO”) unite…be organized in a way that not only fits your style, but gets things done!

Need help with defining your style of organization or your vision, mission, and goals for 2016? Sign up for LEAD 90, a complimentary webinar on January 6. Deb Ingino’s gift for defining and creating a team that works will help you get those goals defined…AND accomplished.

To Find out more about LEAD 90, click on the image or link below.


LEAD 90 Webinar