I’m a bit of a control freak. I’m a huge control freak. And I thought it would be time to come clean.
That picture pretty much sums me up: list making, neat, structured, neurotic, obessive organizer and overactive worker. I could have taken a picture of my diary of this week, or last week, or the one before the Christmas vacation, or well any week really. It actually looks worse than the picture above, but I didn’t want to give you all a heart attack.
I’m obsessed with order an d organization. Not so much with cleaning though, which doesn’t make me OCD. At least, that’s what my psychologist told me. The best description is ‘neurotic’. I get nervous about the slightest changes in my schedule. I arrange things timely and get antsy whenever I have to rely on others to get things done. I have a tendency to say: oh I’ll do that, just because I don’t ‘trust’ others to do the job. I make lists for everything: groceries, to do lists, ‘wish lists’, etc. In other words: if things happen which are out of my hands, I get stressed out and I can’t function.
I simply love structure. Everything at home has a certain place. When you peer into my room, or my housemate’s you’ll see a shocking difference. Her room is always a gigantic mess, while mine looks neat. It tends to be a bit cluttered as I live my life on 30 M2, so I keep all of my stuff in that one room, but it’s neat and organized. I alphabatize my books, CDs and records, color code my socks, t-shirts and sweaters and hang washed clothing and stack washed dishes always in the same way. Once an object has a place, it will never move from that place unless I am cleaning up. I can take all of my records of their shelves and regroup, reorder and reorganize them, just for fun.
I love getting stuff done and make lists on a daily basis. It’s pretty much the first thing I do when I get to my office. In a way, I’m a nightmare to work with, but it has never come up in my job other than a comment from a colleague that I seem to feel that ‘standing still’ is like moving backwards. My anxiety about getting stuff done does not allow me to sit down and reflect on things. Rather, my aim is to finish my list as soon as possible and I cannot rest until the list is done. I have this continuous drive to keep going, going, going.
This obsessive structuredness does have its advantages. The only reason why I can manage traveling 3 hours a day, working a 80% job and full time studies, is because I’m structered and hyper organized. If it weren’t for the lists, the time tables, and the color coding, I wouldn’t be able to juggle so many tasks all at once. Since I’m so focused on orgazing things, it is also something I like to do. For instance, those trips I blogged about on Friday. It is me who’s figuring out the flights and hotels. In general, people tend to like that and I’m having fun while at it as well.
However, when you’re as structured and organized as me, there are also a few disadvantages. I cannot go to bed or get to sleep before I have cleaned up everything. I cannot imagine leaving a glass in my room and not put it in the kitchen before going to bed. I usually feel like I’ve forgotten something if everything isn’t organized and put away at the end of the day. Whether it’s shoes, left overs from dinner or a stray CD, I simply cannot sleep if the place isn’t tidy. On top of that, being able to juggle many things may sound like a good thing, but you can also juggle too many things and that’s when things go wrong. You lose all sense of control and, when you like control like me, that is the worst case scenario.
I briefly told you about being under a lot of stress as a teacher, but add to that my obsessive nature and you’ll get the right recipe for disaster (meaning borderline burn-out). If it wasn’t for attracting mono and that being the reason for my crashing so badly a little over 2 years ago, I most likely would have ended up with a burn out. Fortunately for me, things didn’t get that bad. I have had a fair warning and am now aware of the signs of me getting overworked and having to take a break. With that being said, I notice that I am still struggling with being an overactive, overorganized person who has to watch out for not getting too caught up in things.
Question: What are your crazy habits?