STYLE Savvy: Mustering Motivation


A few weeks ago,  I discovered one of the drawbacks of the I need to see it personal style. I don’t know why it surprised me (but it did), and it got me thinking about the drawbacks that accompany the other styles.

Let me assuage any fears that this is going to be a “beat up on the styles” post. I hope you know by now that’s not my, um, style. We’re all aware of the drawbacks of our lovely styles when it comes to organization. What occurred to me the other day is that they get in our way from a motivation perspective as well.

As an I need to see it person, I tend to downplay any progress I can’t see. I can spend an entire day chipping away at things that need to be done, but if I can’t see any difference by the end of the day, I feel as though I’ve done nothing.

Those with a cram and jam or I know I put it somewhere organizational style can have exactly the opposite problem. They think they’re more organized than they actually are. Because things are put away–all in one place for the cram and jammer and without an overall plan for the I know I put it somewhere organizer–they look organized. Other people (unsuspecting parents, teachers and spouses, for example) might even believe the cram and jammers and I know I put it somewhere organizers are organized–until they look more closely. Then, when they can’t find what they need, those with these styles are often blindsided, embarrassed and overwhelmed.

People with an I love stuff personal style may have a similar problem. To them, their collections and piles are organized, and their love of their belongings makes them resistant to any recategorizing of their beloved treasures. Change is hard for the person who has all her stuff just the way she wants it.

Time, or the lack of it, can be a motivation killer for other styles. Drop and run organizers often rely on time as a retrieval cue, as in, “no, it can’t be that deep in the pile because these papers are from last week,” leading them to struggle to find things that don’t adhere to the drop and run schedule hierarchy. Folks with an I love to be busy personal style may never feel fully organized due to time constraints and may constantly feel that they’re playing catch-up when it comes to getting their supplies for even one activity organized.

Is it any wonder I prefer a lighthearted approach to organization?

As with anything else, though, knowing these things is the first step to overcoming them. Listing our accomplishments, breaking things into smaller bits so our goals are achievable and choosing containers that help us to become as organized as we’d like to be all help us to find our motivation, no matter the flaws of our styles.

Small Success Thursday

Small Success Thursday

Want a little practice? Tomorrow, do something — small, medium or large — that you’ve wanted to do. Then, share your success here on Small Success Thursday. Read about others’ successes and draw strength from the camaraderie that develops when we realize we’re all in the same leaky boat.

Then pat yourself on the back, cross that item off your list and celebrate what you’ve done instead of what you’ve left undone.

That’s how you boost motivation, regardless of your styles.

Copyright 2016 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and is a blogger at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.


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