By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
We all have our own systems for staying organized, and level to which we excel in keeping things under control. Some people believe that organization is not in their DNA and have a hard time keeping their work and personal lives in order.
For our unorganized friends and those who could brush up on their organizational skills, remember that being in the right frame of mind to begin the journey towards becoming organized is the first step. The next step is having the right approach – a plan of action, if you will. Here are a few quick and easy tweaks anyone can make to their daily routine to lead to the path of organization.
- WRITE IT DOWN
Do you find yourself getting distracted and forgetting tasks that were on your plate? Are you often late or completely forget about meetings you scheduled? Do you come home from the grocery store and remember at least three things you forgot? When it comes to organization, a planner or notebook is always a great starting point.
Writing down important tasks, dates and times, and notes from conversations is an easy but effective way to stay on track. Keeping a to-do list within your planner can help with forgetfulness as well as keep you from over scheduling yourself. When you write your tasks down, you’re much more likely to remember them and make them happen!
Not a pen and paper person? That’s okay too. Instead use the Notes section of your laptop or smart phone, or digital tools like EverNote or iCal. Find a system that works for you, and stick with it!
- PICK YOUR PRIORITIES
To build further on the above point, prioritizing your day can also keep you mentally organized. Time management is a skill to master ASAP, if you haven’t already.
When your workload is heavy, prioritize your tasks by importance and knock those out first. Often people have a tendency to do what they feel like doing first (typically the tasks that are easiest to cross of a list) and then run out of steam when it’s time to tackle the big projects. Ask yourself, is everything important? If something more pressing or timely is brought to your attention, you can always adjust the level of importance or re-organize your list to reflect the changes.
Once you become skilled at prioritizing this way, organized habits will become second nature. It’s also the best feeling ever to cross each task off that list! You may even feel a small amount of stress relieved as you check tasks off.
- PROCRASTINATION NATION
With prioritizing comes the pile-up of less important tasks. However, it’s important that you don’t let minute jobs stack up. When you’re focused on bigger projects, sometimes the smaller ones get pushed to the back burner.
Take your days one by one, prioritize the larger tasks, but don’t forget about the small ones either. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from something big and finish up that small, more simple job to give your mind a rest.
Productivity hack? If your work schedule allows for it, try to pick a day of the week or hour of each day where you work on the small tasks, like cleaning through your inbox or files, administrative work, or upkeep. If you don’t set aside time for these tasks, you might find they continue to fall by the wayside.
- KEEP IT CLEAN
Maintaining a clear and sound mind starts with maintaining physical organization. Keeping a tidy, clutter-free workspace will help keep you sane. For many, it’s difficult to focus when a desk is cluttered with papers, business cards and empty coffee cups from days past. Make a point to clean your desk at the end of each workday and throw away items that aren’t useful for tomorrow.
It’s a quick, small routine with immense benefits. Even the act of purging after you end a work day symbolically sets you up for a fresh start the day after. If you find yourself needing to keep paperwork or some of this clutter for future reference, invest in a filing cabinet or designate a space in the office solely for storage.
You could also purchase some workspace decorations and organizational items for your desk that you personally like, so you’ll be more apt to use them. You’ll be more motivated to getting an area organized if you make changes that you’re excited about.
When you make these four things a habit, you will begin to realize how much more structured and efficient your life becomes. Don’t look at organization as a daily task, but a lifestyle!