Focus Friday: A Good Life; Organized but Messy

by, Becky Dziedzic, Xerox PR

My sister-in-law is coming to visit in August and it’s already making me nervous. Why? Because I’m messy. My house is clean, my kids are neat and punctual, my inbox is organized, my multiple calendars are updated, and my mind is like a steel trap – but underneath it all I’m messy. And so are my closets, my desks, my drawers, my basement and anything else you can’t see. So now that I’ve admitted that little known fact, back to my sister-in-law. Her closets are immaculate, her bins and drawer are labeled, her spices are alphabetized, and when she opens the door to my guest room closet, I fear she will have a heart attack.

This life as I’ve described it reminds me of a sign that hung in my parents’ house growing up. It said, “Be like the duck. On the surface look calm and unruffled. Below the surface, paddle like [heck].” I saw it probably every day of my life, but now it make sense. Isn’t that what we all do? In life, in business – we put our best foot forward and work like crazy behind the scenes to keep it that way.

So how do I cope? I:

  • write it down: at any given time I have least 10 lists going
  • label for easy access: I have 330 Outlook folders and I can find anything from the six years I’ve worked at Xerox
  • outsource: a cleaning lady was best thing I ever did
  • have strategic plans: a weekly dinner menu, the kids’ outfits for the week, every hour of my day so I can fit a workout in
  • know my strengths: fortunately I have a very good memory when it comes to details, so my mind helps when my messy desk does not


It’s not unlike what Xerox does every day with our clients and our partners. We understand their priorities and behind the scenes, we’ll do whatever it takes to keep them focused on their business, their customers. It’s the same in my life – what I do behind the scenes is whatever it takes to keep my focus on what’s really important. To make sure I have time with my kids, time to stay healthy, time to succeed at my job, I have to plan ahead. But, I don’t have time to clean my closets. Maybe I can outsource that to my sister-in-law…

Becky Dziedzic has a passion for spin – from public relations for Xerox to regular cycling sessions at the gym. She’s a dedicated mom, sports and exercise enthusiast, and looks forward to resuming her world travel adventures when her kids get older.

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  1. Emilie April 28, 2012 - Reply

    Very interesting article. I would have never have guessed that you drawers and closets are messy but then I have never opened them.
    All else that you wrote about is exactly who you are. Our salute to you for who you are!!!!
    We are very proud of you. With love

  2. Laurie Riedman April 30, 2012 - Reply

    Amen Becky. Let me know if you sister-in-law takes you up on the job — if so, i may have a few areas for her expertise too!

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