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Organize. That’s my word for the year. Organize. I’m hoping that the more I say it, the more I’ll do it. Organize.

So far, it’s not going so well.

Let’s look at what organize can mean; then, I’ll explain what I mean.

  1. Arrange in a coherent, orderly, well-functioning manner.
  2. Plan through a systematic and deliberate effort.
  3. Form a group or organization.

Synonyms of organize: Arrange. Plan. Codify. Systematize. Dispose. Order.

A little background on this. At Purple Ink, we pride ourselves on being a strengths-based team. As members of a team, we are fully aware of our signature strengths. We discuss and exercise our strengths daily in our work and personal lives.

If you’re not familiar with CliftonStrengths, I recommend you do a little research. Your top five CliftonStrengths are talents you naturally have, are good at, and should intentionally improve upon, because they’ll lead you to success and excellence. These strengths drive you, whether you are aware of them or not. They drive how you think, feel and act – all day, every day.

My top five Clifton Strengths are Achiever, Arranger, Learner, Connectedness, and Responsibility. The Arranger strength is the one I’m counting on to help me with my word this year: organize.

By nature, an Arranger is organized. I can honestly say that, in terms of the second and third definitions above, I’m organized. I love to organize people, parties, presentations, projects, work and social events, multiple calendars, work schedules, activities, and groups. I’m good at all of this. Sometimes quite good. If that sounds like bragging, understand that in a strengths-based community, you are encouraged to claim what you are good at in the spirit of humility. As the great thinker, Thomas Aquinas, said, “Humilitas est veritas.” Humilty is truth. Humility is knowing what you do well and being able to speak honestly about it. It’s also knowing what you do not do well, which brings me to my next point.

What I cannot and never have been able to do is organize my physical space. Open any drawer, cupboard, or closet in my home. Walk through my garage. Venture into my basement. Even just peek in my briefcase or filing cabinet. They are all a mess. A great big mess.

A few weeks ago, my boss and I met at my house for a strengths coaching session. When I mentioned my word of the year, I invited her to survey the physical chaos that lurks in the hidden spaces of my home. She agreed that organize is the best word for me this year. She also suggested an intervention.

Perhaps I should have been offended, but I accepted her advice as wise counsel. I’ve spent more decades than I’m willing to divulge trying to organize physical things. It’s time to admit I need help. I’ll get nowhere this year with my word if I don’t ask for help.

The very thought of even starting to organize my clutter zaps me of all of my energy. I can hardly fathom that a person could actually enjoy doing what I loathe. But that’s the beauty of understanding strengths. What I’m good at, what gives me passion, might be the very thing that someone else despises. And what I’m incapable of achieving, organizing, can be someone else’s dream project. What’s more, the real power happens when I combine my strengths with someone else’s strengths to achieve results that neither of us could accomplish on our own.

That’s how our strengths-based team operates at Purple Ink. And that’s how it’s going to work as I attempt to create order out of my cluttered mess. Time to make a phone call to that professional home organizer.

Purple Ink may not be able to help you organize your physical space, but we can help organize your HR plans and processes, or take tasks off your plate so you have extra time for organization. Reach out to us for more information!

Click here for more on Purple Ink’s 2019 words of the year.

Denise McGonigal
Denise McGonigal
Denise is a Trainer for Purple Ink and co-author of The JoyPowered Family. With Learner in her top 5 Strengths, she is passionate about continuous learning both for herself and others.

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