UNH Researcher Says An Organized Office Equals Success

Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations

Jan. 24, 2005

DURHAM, N.H. – Looking to save time, money and aggravation at work? Building on the success of her first organizational book, “The Well-Ordered Home,” health psychologist Kathleen Kendall-Tackett has written a new book to help people cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life in their workspace.
Studies suggest that the average business person squanders 150 hours — more than three work weeks — every year looking for items in their cluttered office or cubicle. In “The Well-Ordered Office: How to Create an Efficient and Serene Workspace,” Kendall-Tackett explores the real reasons people become disorganized — being easily distracted, a desire for perfectionism and procrastination — and offers simple strategies for overcoming them once and for all.
Kendall-Tackett is a research associate professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire’s Family Research Laboratory and a fellow of the American Psychological Association. While in graduate school, she held numerous housecleaning, homemaking and clerical jobs, and she says she has seen the impact of disorganization in her own life and in the lives of people she knows.
“It was a combination of my research interests and life experiences that led me to understand the psychological stress people experience when confronted with chronic disorganization,” Kendall-Tackett says. “This book isn’t just about how to reorganize your file cabinet or what office supplies to buy, although this information is included. But the book highlights other issues such as how your workspace can impact interpersonal relationships within the office as well. You can’t be effective if you don’t get along with your coworkers. There are many ways that being more organized can help you do that.”
In the book, Kendall-Tackett helps people look at some of the things they can change, like placement of a desk to reduce interruptions, how to track projects and keep objects from getting lost, and how to set limits and work well with coworkers.