Dogs and Your Ability to Get Organized

I LOVE DOGS. And, I look for any excuse to talk or write about them. To that end I found myself wondering whether there was anything that dogs could teach us about getting and staying organized. This is what I came up with.

  1. Self-discipline is necessary in order to take action to get and stay organized. Dog breeds have different levels of ability to be obedient (self-disciplined). So do people.
    • beagle-166873_640Huskies and Beagles are difficult to train and not very obedient. Poodles and Shetland Sheep Dogs, however, are much easier to train.
    • Brain wiring and personality result in some people being driven, Type A achievers who get things done, and some people being couch potatoes who procrastinate and have difficulty completing tasks.

2.  Focus is required to be able to sustain attention and effort to clear clutter, get organized, and stay organized. Dog breeds differ in their ability to focus. So do people.

The Border Collie stare.

The Border Collie stare.

    • The Border Collie is an intense, highly driven breed with a superb ability to focus on his owner. The Border Collie stare is visual evidence of that. It is far more difficult to get the attention of more relaxed, less driven breeds like Shih Tzus and Golden Retrievers.
    • Some people can sustain focus easily. People with ADHD and other brain-based disorders like anxiety and depression, however, can have great difficulty sustaining focus.

3.  Not all dogs are motivated by the same thing. Not all people are motivated by        the same thing.

    • labrador-1114810_640Some dogs are motivated by food (e.g. Beagles). Others by attention. Some by toys, balls, and play (e. g. Terriers, Labrador Retrievers).
    • Some people are motivated to get and stay organized because they have a high need for order. Others need to look good to outsiders. Still others are motivated because being organized makes life easier.

4.  Dogs have differing levels of energy. People also have differing energy levels.

    • dog-719630_640Terriers are high energy dogs, whereas Mastiffs and Greyhounds are not.
    • Some people are always moving, enjoy being productive, and can keep going for long periods of time. Others are more laid back, slow to get into action, move at a slower pace, and exhaust their energy more quickly.

Why compare dog behavior to people? It’s a fun way to make the point that in terms of our abilities to be self-disciplined, focused, motivated and have energy available to get and stay organized, we are all different.

Differences are normal, not something to hide or feel bad about. Once you identify your “normal” in terms of self-discipline, focus, motivation and energy level, you can better understand any challenges you have with getting and staying organized. And, you can better justify getting help to handle your organizing challenges with less guilt.

Just as dog breeds are different, so too are people. Accept who you are and your abilities, and make getting and staying organized happen!

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