Does the sight of a cluttered room give you heart palpitations? Does it make you feel crummy about yourself and how you keep your space? Do you feel an actual physical reaction to things being a mess … tightness in your chest or a heavy feeling in the pit of your stomach?
Or does a cluttered space seriously impede your ability to function …your ability to be on time, to find what you need, to not be constantly (and frantically!) searching for things? Could you care less about stepping over piles on the floor while you look for your car keys as you are racing out the door late (again!) for an appointment or meeting?
I’m sure that over the years you have heard many references to people being either “left brained” or “right brained” … generally in the context of your logical side vs. your creative side. Everyone has a dominant side that they naturally approach life from and this generally influences how you process information, how you react to situations and how you set things up in your life so that they work comfortably for you.
While everyone does use both sides of their brain, you will fall back to using your dominant side when what you are trying to accomplish is new, difficult or stressful.
And for many – organizing is difficult … and stressful.
After years of working with many different types of clients, I had an “AHA! Moment “. Depending which side of the brain is your dominant side, you will not only have a very different reaction to disorganization … but more importantly the solution to this disorganization will also be dependent upon your brain type.
Left Brainers are the logical, analytical types who use words to remember things, process ideas sequentially, approach a task in a step by step manner and are good at keeping track of time. When their environment is in disarray they will literally have a physical reaction to the mess that puts them on edge. Internally they feel as out of sorts as their external space looks.
Right Brainers are creative, intuitive, emotional types who are extremely visual, process ideas simultaneously, see the big picture and then work backwards and are generally challenged by the clock. For the most part they are not affected by how their space looks (they will do a big clean-up every now and then when it annoys them enough, but they’re not much for maintenance). Disorganization impacts their ability to move smoothly through their day – they find themselves constantly looking for what they need, running late and buying things they know they already own (but can’t locate).
Just as disorganization affects each type of person differently, obviously the solutions to their organizational challenges are also very different. If I were to work with a client who was a Right Brainer and set up systems and routines that were based on how a Left Brainer thinks and functions, how long do you think it would take before my client gets frustrated and gives up on our organizational strategies all together?
Pretty interesting stuff, huh? I think so … especially because it supports my personal belief that EVERYONE IS CAPABLE OF BEING ORGANIZED … as long as their lives are set up for how they naturally think and function. This is something that I will be sharing more information with you on over the upcoming months. In fact I’m even hosting a workshop “Left Brain + Right Brain Organizing: How to organize your life for how you live” at the end of September (want to sign up?) …
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you’ve noticed this dynamic playing out in your own life…