Scattered? Get collected.

What is your procrastination trigger?

Scattered things can make you stuck. Being stuck looks like procrastination and avoidance. I don’t know why. I just know it happens to me and my clients enough I found the essential action (EA1 in my OOM/Organic Organizing Matrix) Like Things With Like Things, to get unstuck without a clue as to why you are stuck.

Allow me to demonstrate as a master mess herder (the result of this action using the milk caps from my water bottles in the office)….

Behold. A collection. #1 of 3) Example

[SeekSolutions Blog] via @shannonseek Using the Organic Organizing Matrix (OOM) sm/tm -- Essential Action 1 -- Like things with Like things.
[SeekSolutions Blog] via @shannonseek Using the Organic Organizing Matrix (OOM) sm/tm — Essential Action 1 — Like things with Like things.
Teaching Materials Definitions: The Organic Organizing Matrix (OOM) is based on 10K++ hours of work with clients and my professional research going back to 1995.  OOM caught on when I was very actively teaching it in San Francisco, CA, 2000-2003. There are 9 EAs (Essential actions). OOM is about giving yourself the gift to organize, this method leading to self-organizing systems. For my readers familiar, and those of you soon to be familiar, this does reference proprietary teaching materials. Please enjoy! 

In this post, I’m going to share this Essential Action, Like Things with Like Things with you, plus give you 3 main things to help you organize….

  • #1 of 3) Example — a picture of my sample procrastination trigger  — caps reaching critical mass! I was fine when there were a few, didn’t even notice. Suddenly, there was an entire herd crossing my counter tops making the kitchen feel impossible to use! So, with Like Things with Like Things I was a shepherd herding my sheep (caps).  
  • #2 of 3) Clues to how procrastination is triggered — just notice what tends to accumulate and how suddenly it makes things feel stuck around you (see, you may not know it is the “critical mass” that does it). Once you know it is “caps” like in my example, you will know potential “triggers” and watch to curb the build-up . This will give you a handle on current messes almost immediately! 
  • #3 of 3) What about you? — an exercise to help you identify a pattern around you that may be a procrastination trigger where you can apply my solution Like Things with Like Things immediately. 

And, the third thing I give you in this post may be the most important piece!….Helping you identify a pattern around you that may be a procrastination trigger where you can apply my solution, Like things with Like Things, immediately. 

Uh! The procrastination trigger (the uncollected accumulation of unidentified objects)! It is something so simple, “organized people” quip “isn’t it obvious?”

No. Not obvious. As a matter of fact it happens when I am so caught up in some passionate creative pursuit I barely notice until I suddenly can’t do something. Major Sigh. Are you with me?

Like….the dishes. Some things make them seem like an impossible task! Can you relate? So, here is what the scattered caps did to my focus (yes, really)….

#2 of 3) Clues

How-to identify the Procrastination Trigger here….

  • Clue #1 – notice I suddenly can’t deal with something that must be handled….the dishes. (Done up until this very moment of noticing a mini collection is beginning, why?)
  • Clue #2 – a brief overwhelming sense of dread makes me forget why I came into the kitchen. Run!


There is likely a creeper mess turning on the procrastination trigger.

  • Hint: The caps have been spread out all over the place for like two days on my counter.
  • Reality: I was able to do the dishes just fine until cap critical mass hit.
  • Causes:
    • Quickly emptying the re-purposed milk bottles of fresh reverse osmosis water and homemade raw cashew milk for my coffee and frozen organic blueberries.
    • Tossing the caps on the counter,  is taking a toll!
  • Outcome:  Having just exactly one too many scattered caps causes my brain to freeze! Yup!
  • Point:  This is how simply creeper messes start. I know, because I literally live for understanding them to help the World have some peace. 🙂

What is a creeper mess, you wonder?

  • A mess that creeps.
  • Accumulating and collecting when I am too busy to notice and not paying attention.
  • By the time “stuck” happens, I am already lost and it easily becomes self-perpetuating! 

Raise your hand if you have had a creeper mess experience!! 🙂 Share in the comments, please (and, do #3 of 3, too if you’d like!). 

So what happens with a creeper mess? And, how is is a procrastination trigger?

These re-purposed milk bottle caps are like minions suddenly popping up everywhere like Pixar is drawing them in for me! Suddenly, everywhere is how it feels! My normally tidy kitchen has cap splatter! And, is is not a mathematical formula in paint by Pollack!

After a couple busy days at work, the strewn caps are a huge procrastination trigger for me. Up until this moment, my dishes have been done, but there is a mini collection beginning.

At first, I don’t even know it is them. Now, after writing this, I will have it memorized to deal with caps more effectively, understanding every now and again this is bound to happen and be less of a shock!

That alone will save me so much time in the long run from wondering or being lost. Yay!

Again, I wasn’t aware of how or what at first. I just noticed the kitchen to be so overwhelming I forgot why I went in there! 

This is a super important piece. It takes an expert to get this is how simple it is. Expert teachers make learning obvious. The problem with organizing is people think they should know how to do it when never in the history of time as we know have billions of people had so much stuff!

Even as a Professional Organizer who graduated with a 3.98 GPA in Applied Economics at University, if I don’t have super regular help to do everything (like I did the first 10 years of my business), I get stuck.

I purposely stopped having help to figure it out. Why? Because I noticed having had set up such excellent systems run by other people was making me lame — like I didn’t even know how to swipe my own card at the store, friends.

It was time to Level-Up my systems! I call these my self-cleaning systems.

I had the Organic Organizing Matrix (OOM) in use with clients (and, myself) long before I realized how “soft” I had gotten doing no chores of any kind, unless you call perfect delegation a chore!

Used it successfully with 100’s of clients, including MCLE stress reduction for Attorneys.

Point is, I am trying to help you with keys to things so it is like I am entering your space or seeing it during a session @seekcollab secure cloud!

Look for patterns like I do here.  I purposely chose something super simple. 250K photos++ later of studying how messes happen and are picked up. Notice your version of the Clues I covered above, so can you (and, you have a chance to share here, too!!! )

I knew I had a “procrastination trigger” so I immediately looked for a pattern interfering with my peace in the kitchen. You can start with what is scattered. Or, you can run to your computer and come comment to me as soon as you are stuck! 🙂 Just engage your stuff! And, get help even if you are organized.

Ultimate goal is for things to be self-organizing in the inherent act of whatever we are doing. This is the ultimate living system. Like lungs breathing air in and out!

My clues were can’t deal and dread! (danger will robinson!)

If you ask how or why a professional organizer suddenly can’t stand the kitchen over a bunch of scattered caps you’ll be wasting your time. Who cares!?

There is total freedom in using an observable pattern to figure it out vs. “thinking it through.” 

The fact is, I can predict the physical response to the caps reaching critical mass.

I can predict shock. Momentary mortification, too. And, so, you see, I am am officially re-motivated to notice my handle on caps throughout the day(s).

Bottom line essential action Like Things with Like Things (from my Organic Organizing Matrix) works wonders to build self-organizing foundations. 

  • As soon as I start collecting the caps (like with like) I feel my energy and power coming back to me.
  • Next, I get the handy brush, and spritz the caps down with my watered down food-grade hydrogen peroxide solution. Then I spritz with my watered down Mrs. Meyers Geranium dishsoap. Scrub, rinse, repeat.
  • Next thing I know, all of the dishes are done!

Plus, my coffee water is done boiling! I can dry my dishes while I wait for my coffee to brew in my French press.

See how simple that was….? My home office peace of mind is saved again!

Now for #3 of 3) things I promised to give you in the blog post on getting organized using an essential action from my Organic Organizing Matrix.

If getting unstuck isn’t motivation enough to do what I am about to share….

What if I told you the more you identify your creeper mess procrastination triggers, the more satisfying life gets? Now are you with me?

See my belief from experience is this….the more clear we are about how to handle something, the greater the satisfaction we get when we do it. It is called follow-through and closure, folks. That is right. Closure. We like it because it makes starting what is next easier. Think about it….

#3 of 3)

Your immediate assignment….Notice your space around you. If you have to, go wherever you are stuck (another room, maybe your computer). Make it simple. Try just around you. What tends to accumulate? Be specific.

Ideas — coffee cups having babies in your office, a gazillion browser windows still open, postit notes, notebooks, kleenex, shoes, jackets, sweaters (any of these items can be offenders)….

  • I really want to hear from you about what “like things with like things” you find around you!

    • What you notice is happening when you feel stuck, frozen, or shock? (Er, like, why did I come into the kitchen again, this mess made me forget!)
    • Do you see any patterns in your space? Procrastination triggers of your own? Extra credit if you can describe how the creeper mess happens!
  • Call-to-Comment (CTC) — Please share in the comments below!!! I will check back and help you, too!

Remember, any time you take organizing for yourself is a gift! 🙂


Shannon Seek, B.S. CPCC CPO

— Shannon Seek, B.Sc., CPCC, CPO, Focus Strategy Coach to Omni-talented Go-Getter Genius Types + Founder

I coach omni-talented, go-getter genius types like you to organize business success + lifestyle priorities to effectively do, be, have what you love every day. All day. I’ve also assembled a team of expert, vetted coaches to assist as needed.

Call-to-Comment via facebook and WordPress (commentluv, please scroll to end of page).


Facebook Comments Arrow