Michele Dempster Director of Human Resources

We all have our strengths and our opportunities for improvement. This month’s character trait of Orderliness is an ongoing struggle for me. I can demonstrate orderliness in my planning and thinking, but when it comes to organizing my surroundings, I continue to fall short.

In preparing to write this, I went back and read previous blogs I have written about orderliness. I reread points stressing the importance of self-discipline and making it a priority to designate a place for everything. I have written about avoiding clutter by putting things away – right away. Yet, my office still has papers, files and work stacked everywhere. It reminds me that knowing what I need to do is often easier than putting what I need to do into action.

As with any struggle after a period of time, it is tempting to ask, “Does it really matter?” And the answer is, “Yes, each character trait is important and worth the effort to be our best.” The value of orderliness is not found in impressing others with our neatness and tidiness. Orderliness is important because it keeps our homes, our jobs and our minds functioning in a manner that allows us to best utilize our time, efforts and energy. Spending time looking for misplaced items or backtracking can prevent us from dedicating time to our goals and what we enjoy doing. Having things in their proper place and taking time to organize projects prior to implementation can save time and energy.

Sometimes, as we get caught up in the day-to-day busyness of life, we need to remember to step back and review the basics of what we do. Just because we have done something one way for years does not mean there is not a more efficient way to do it. We can develop orderliness at work and at home by reminding ourselves on an ongoing basis to look at the bigger picture and review our work or routine from different angles to determine if there may be a better way to complete the task.

Regardless of our struggle with orderliness, or any other trait, it is important to purposefully focus on continual improvement. I heard recently that “most often success does not come from the sensational, but the mundane steps you take when no one is looking.” This is especially true with character development. Lasting success is incremental and seen in the small steps we take in the right direction.