Usually when we think about organization in general or going paperless specifically, we are trying to fix something.
We may have a paper mess, we can’t find what we need, and things are falling through the cracks.
But what happens if we don’t have these problems? Does that mean we don’t need to worry about organization?
In June, for the second year in a row, I attended the World Domination Summit in Portland. The same way that last year’s Leo Babauta meetup made me think about action, this year a talk by Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance and Publisher of the wisely-renamed 99u, has me thinking about organization.
Belksy’s talk was about ideas, and he feels that the impact of an idea can be summed up by the following formula:
Creativity x Organization = Impact
Now, I am about as creative as a tree stump, but for some reason this really resonated with me, and it made me think about using organization to take our work (or home life, I suppose) to the next level.
Once we have fixed our piles of paper, can the organization of our electronic documents actually allow us to have a greater impact?
I am reminded of one of my favorite DocumentSnap Reader Stories by John Svirsky. John goes into great detail describing his organization system, but I always am drawn to this paragraph:
By scanning each document I have been able to “make deals happen” and close deals with only my PDF documents. People are amazed how I have access to old files. Just two days ago a realtor who is showing a property I own in Greenwich Ct called and said a prospective buyer wanted the floor plans. I built this property in 2007. I said one minute, went to the file did a search and within one minute I emailed it to her. Man, that felt great to be that efficient. By the way I was in my Naples office when she called.
I am not in commercial mortgages, but I’d guess that there are many things that he could focus on in his business. By taking the time to focus on organization, he is able to use that to amplify the natural deal-making skills that he already has.
If Scott Belsky’s formula is correct, and organization can multiply the impact of other areas, then what he said in his WDS talk makes sense:
It is better to get organization sorted instead of always focusing on better ideas.
Make It Your Own
Of course, the question then becomes, how do you organize? Sadly, there is no one-size-fits-all organization scheme. While I obviously have some ideas, we all have to find a system and make it our own. It’s the only way that it will stick and be effective.
Do you have any other examples of how organization can amplify your work? What do you think? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
You can watch a 2 minute clip of Scott Belsky talking about this subject below.
(Photos by Armosa Studios)