Take The ‘My Work Ain’t Working!’ Quiz

So you're looking for a deeper insight into your challenges with professional time management, vocational paper, and workplace clutter -- or else you're just one of those interwebz-addicts who can't NOT complete an online assessment. (Go ahead. Tell me your color. What type of potato chip you are. Your rapper name. No judgment here -- I myself am a purple maui onion called "Lil' Fishtick.") Either way, welcome!

I hope to help those in the first group face their flame-writhing inner organizational demons. And y'all in the second? You get yet another categorical label (slightly more scientifically-credible than a study of Star-Warsian personality traits or Muppety sexual qualities) to flesh out your personal narrative. Woot!

As all those 12-steppers are so fond of saying, the road to recovery begins with admitting your problem -- how 'bout a little fearless-searching inventory? (But screw the "moral" part. Disorganization's not a moral failing. It's a completely surmountable logistical problem. So if you're ready, let's get started mounting!)

Icon -- Clock FileHow often are you interrupted during your work day?


                      Very rarely -- I'm extremely protective of my "productive periods."

                      More than I'd like -- I spend at least half my day fielding calls and visitors.

                      All the freaking time -- I never seem to get anything accomplished!

Icon -- Desk PilesHow do you tackle a new project?


                      I get an early jump on things and almost always finish before my deadline.

                      I start out strong, but tend to fade as I get past the initial excitement.

                      Are you kidding me? I pull an "all-nighter" the day before it's due.

Icon -- Clock FileWhat time do you normally leave the office?


                      Five o'clock sharp -- then I head home for dinner and down-time with my peeps.

                      It varies -- when the roof caves in, I'm guaranteed to end up staying late.

                      Friends? Family? Ha! I'm lucky if I get out by 10:00 most nights.

Icon -- Desk PilesHow quickly can you find a filed document?


                      Thirty seconds, tops -- I have a very orderly paper management system.

                      It takes a minute to remember which stack, but I'll eventually hunt that sucker down.

                      Filing? What is this thing of which you speak?

Icon -- Clock FileWhat does your in-basket look like?


                      I have a few outstanding to-dos, but I'll tackle them by the end of the day.

                      I don't remember having ever completely emptied it.

                      My whole desk is an in-basket. I'll never get through it all before I die!

Icon -- Desk PilesHow do you handle an unexpected "urgent" item?


                      I put it on my calendar in a free spot later that day, then return to the task at hand.

                      I drop everything to tackle it, neglect my regular work, then spend a week catching-up.

                      I bury it in a pile on my desk. If it's really crucial, they'll ask for it again.

Icon -- Clock FileHow do you go about planning your work week?


                      Every Friday, I look ahead at each day's schedule and plug in to-dos from my list.

                      I usually wing it from moment to moment, tackling whatever lands on my desk next.

                      In what perfect world? I'm too busy putting out fires to do any planning.

Icon -- Desk PilesHow do you deal with incoming mail?


                      I open every envelope, toss the junk, and put the rest in the appropriate "action" file.

                      I usually let it stack up for a couple of days before I get a chance to look at it.

                      You must be joking. If it's important enough, they'll call me.

Icon -- Clock FileHow do you feel at the end of a work day?


                      Satisfied -- I got everything done that I hoped to accomplish.

                      I wasn't as productive as I wanted -- I'll try to get more completed tomorrow.

                      What a waste -- will I ever feel in control of my job again?

Icon -- Desk PilesDo you spend your 9-to-5 hours on enjoyable tasks?


                      Oh hells yes -- I focus on what I'm good at and make sure to delegate the rest.

                      Sort of -- I feel like I could be using my talents more effectively than I am.

                      I'm too busy solving everybody else's problems -- I never get to do the fun stuff.

Icon -- Clock FileHas disorganization ever cost you a client? A promotion?


                      Not even close. I'd be insane to jeopardize my career that way.

                      Once or twice, but I usually regain control before I get complaints.

                      Don't ask.

You Earned A Score Of !
(which translates in quiz-language as 'Head Barely Above H2O')

Quiz -- Thumbs Down

You've known for a while that your professional systems are out of control. You're surrounded by a distracting assortment of office clutter. Most of your time is spent dealing with other folks' emergencies (rather than getting your own work done). Each new stack of mail adds to the enormous paper pile covering every available horizontal surface. You're stressed, you don't feel well, you rarely see friends or family. Your career is stagnating and your personal life sucks -- because (no matter what you do) you just can't seem to get your vocational shit together. You're sick and tired of just barely hanging on (by the skin of your teeth or the tip of your fingernails -- or whatever body part you prefer). You're certain there has to be more to life than this. Well guess what? You're right -- there is!

Unfortunately, you're in too deep to tackle it all by yourself -- the mess is way-past overwhelming, you don't know where to start, and you've no idea what sorts of changes would actually make an enduring difference in your life. You've tried getting organized before, but it hasn't stuck (so the last thing you want is to invest a lot of time/effort/money and fail again). What you really need is someone to help you out -- an expert who can guide you toward the right solutions (while leading you around the many obstacles blocking your path), either cheer you on or hold your feet to the fire (depending on the situation) when you feel like giving up, do the damn manual labor for you (if that's what it takes to clear ye olde decks), and help you see this thing through to the end. (Wow -- lucky I came along, isn't it??)

You Earned A Score Of !
(which translates in quiz-language as 'Needs Work')

You usually manage to keep things pretty well under control -- but every once in awhile, you're caught off guard by a clutter pile, a stack of mail, or an overflowing to-do list. You have to paddle hard to keep from sinking, which seriously (SERIOUSLY) stresses you out. You run non-stop, trying to catch up -- canceling fun stuff, pissing off your boss, and apologizing to friends/family for falling off the face of the earth. You never fully lose sight of that light at the end of the tunnel (and are pretty sure it's not an oncoming train). But you wish you could find a more proactive way to manage incoming paper, external responsibilities, and your daily schedule. Well guess what? I've got one for you right here!

You're prepared to try and tackle this mess yourself. You're motivated, self-directed, more-than-willing to do the heavy lifting -- but you need a little expert guidance in figuring out what steps to take, which systems to implement, the best tools to use. You also recognize your limitations, and are committed to setting a few healthy boundaries around this whole "D-I-Y" effort. Your plan is to accomplish as much as possible within a set time-frame -- then if you can't reach the finish line, you'll hire a professional to help you tie up those last few organizational loose ends. (Wow -- lucky I came along, isn't it??)

You Earned A Score Of !
(which translates in quiz-language as 'Future Organizer In The Making')

Who says "anal retentive" is a bad thing? You're so organized, you put the "ohyeah" in O.C.D.!

You're just about as systematic as they come. Your office is a joy to behold -- employers, colleagues, and clients alike know that they can count on you to get the job done, thanks to your killa time-paper-space-management skills. Best of all, you build in plenty of time for personal priorities (while still being twice as productive as most everyone else around you). Somewhere in the back of your mind, you've sorta kinda thought that you might like to help other folks clear their clutter for a living -- either as a full-on career change or a new addition to your current responsibilities. Well guess what? You can!

You see becoming a Professional Organizer as one of the most rewarding vocational choices you'll ever make -- not only are there limitless opportunities to serve clients directly, but you've got a million ideas for a whole series of life-changing products to help those outside your immediate local area. You know that impactpreneurship ain't easy, and it's gonna to take a lot of hard flippin' work. But you're excited about the idea of getting paid day-after-day to do something that feeds your soul. All you need now is a little guidance on the "starting a business" end of things. (Wow -- lucky I came along, isn't it??)