Wife: Washing Machine has broken down, where have you kept the bill?
Husband: It is in a folder in the side bed table.
Wife: Come on, be specific on your side or my side of the bed? You seriously need to organize your life and your documents.
In today’s day and age, everyone is super busy! Juggling work, family, home, friends, socializing, personal interests & hobbies etc. and it gets difficult for most people. In this overwhelming array of activities, most of us have some time missed taking care of an important activity such as credit card payment, renewal of insurance policy, misplacing a document etc. And then we end up cribbing that there is so much to do and we don’t have enough time to do it.
Everyone wants to save time, so that they can do more of what they love, be it work, spending time with family or anything else. But saving time isn’t as straight forward, it requires getting our lives more organized, planning where our time should be used, knowing the activities that suck our time & omitting/reducing those, work around a routine, make to-do-lists & prioritize activities on it etc. As boring as it sounds but these things are the only way to save time & spend it on things that matter.
Below are the 5 major challenges that we face in getting organized in life. This applies to organizing all aspects of our life but we will try to understand it from the point of view of organizing documents.
Lack of motivation to get organized
The first and in a sense the biggest challenge that most people face is “not having the motivation to start”. The brain is wired to find the easiest solution to maximize the happiness at the current moment. Hence, it makes us feel that we don’t need to organize stuff, it is just not that important. Most of the times, people start looking for a document when they need it urgently and if they are not able to find it, it causes a lot of stress. Typically, one such moment of stress becomes the trigger point to cross the motivation level hurdle for most people.
Confusion : Where to start organizing documents
Once you have finally gathered the motivation & decide to set aside a day to organize the documents, the next challenge is to figure out where to start. There are many documents such as personal ids, health records, insurances, banking docs, investment docs, education docs etc. All of them are scattered at different places such as different drawers of the cupboards at home/office, your personal computer, your different email accounts, your cloud storage accounts, your wallet your regular office bag etc. The sheer scale of the clutter & various places that you need to look for the documents makes one wonder “where do I start”. A lot of people get demotivated at this stage and procrastinate it for a later time.
Lack of Smart Document Organizers
You have overcome the motivation issue and have also figured out where to start. Now comes the challenge of not having proper tools to manage the task. One can use various tools from the very basic ones to an advanced one, what is really required though is
- Basic planning for organizing documents.
- Broad categories to segregate the documents in & which ones to file together.
- An order to file things in & process to setup for future so that any new documents can be also filed properly.
The actual filing part is not a very big challenge as at the first level one can manage the task with just having some standard, files, folders, a pen and paper and then move on to more advanced tools.
Lack of Discipline
Organizing documents (or anything else) isn’t a one-time activity. It requires discipline to keep them organized!
- Documents that are expiring or up for renewal, need to be renewed and updated
- Short-term documents need to be discarded to avoid clutter
- New documents coming in that need to be filed immediately.
If above tasks are not done regularly, we end up at the same state where we were before setting-up the whole document management system. All the effort put in to start & get organized goes waste if we can’t keep it organized. Challenge is that a lot of times we either get overwhelmed by the effort that is required or just become lazy; leading to wasting all the effort that we had put earlier.
For a lot of people, the above challenges in organizing documents become too daunting and people just end up procrastinating. If someone can make this whole process automated requiring least amount of effort from the user, then a lot of people can get better organized in their lives.
For a sneak peek visit — Sorted Website
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Snehanshu leads Product & Strategy at Sorted AI. He is an IIT Bombay & ISB Hyderabad alumnus. He has more than 12 years of experience in consulting, operations & entrepreneurship. He loves to run and is a proud owner of a Golden Retriever.