Organization can be tough.
Heck, just getting by is tough, let alone trying to organize the frenzy of daily life. Consider some of the things that most of us deal with every day. We have:
- Jobs to go to
- Groceries to buy
- Clothes to wash
- Kids to pick up
- Meetings to attend
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, I’m betting you can add several things to this list yourself. But even though life can be hectic, it doesn’t mean you have to live a complicated and random lifestyle. You can makes sense of your busy world, and all you’ve got to do is keep reading.
You aren’t organized enough
Let’s face it, getting organized isn’t exactly easy for some of us. In fact, you might be under the impression that organizing your life is impossible. Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re dead wrong about that thought.
You never learned how get organized
They don’t exactly teach you how to be organized in school, you’ve just to got to be lucky and/or hope that your parents show you the ropes. But even then, organization requires that you’re exposed to it. And to top it all off, you need those tips in actionable form. All of these things combined makes organization a crapshoot for a lot of people.
The 9 tips you need to get organized
Luckily for you, the tips and tools you need to get organized can be found right here. No need to go crazy trying them all out, just pick one that works for you and give it a go. Once you master one tip, move to the next. It’s a simple strategy that’ll work for even the most unorganized person out there.
1. Establish a good morning and night-time ritual
Organization is nothing more than a series of good habits, so the first step in achieving organization is in creating order.
If you don’t already, establish rituals that both start and end your days. Initially you’re going to want to add one or two things only, things that’ll be easy to stick with.
For instance, each morning shouldn’t be a rush to make it to work on time. A good morning routine affords you the time to ease into the day ahead of you, so start by waking up about 2-3 minutes earlier everyday until you can have some “me” time each morning. All you need is 20-30 minutes to yourself each morning, and you can use that time to enjoy some coffee, meditate, exercise or whatever you want. This’ll prime your mind and body for the busy day ahead of you.
As bedtime approaches, you want to start doing things to help unwind you from the day. You could have a relaxing bath or shower, read a book, have some chamomile tea, and several other things. Just pick one or two and start doing them every night. Eventually the habits will stick and you’ll start associating the habits with relaxation and sleep.
2. Create actionable goals
Having actionable goals helps prevent your day from being taken over by random intrusions. They help keep your focus on what’s important by giving you tangible actions to focus on, but they only work if they’re easily actionable.
For example, don’t choose the goal to lose weight. Instead, choose to eat one apple per day. Don’t choose to be more productive, choose to work on a personal project for at least 5 minutes per day.
Remember, organization is simply a series of good habits. If you can keep adding good habits to your daily routine, then organization is the natural result of it.
3. Use a calendar
A calendar is the best friend to an organized person, but only if they’re used properly.
First, keep your calendar where you can easily see and access it. If it’s electronic, then keep it open or keep its icon somewhere you can click easily. If it’s a paper calendar, keep it on your desk or near a doorway you always walk by.
Second, don’t rely on memory when it comes to due dates and tasks. Immediately add them to your calendar without hesitation.
Finally, don’t fill every time slot you have available with tasks. This will kill your flexibility, making it harder to adjust on the fly and ultimately giving more work when you need to change things.
4. Use a 5-item (or less) task list
Task lists are great when it comes to organization, but only if used correctly. The correct way to use them is limit tasks to 5 or fewer per day. This forces you to pick only the most important tasks, and ensures that you actually complete your task list every day.
5. Prioritize the important
Following up on the last tip, don’t give equal time and attention to every task. If a task is more important, put it higher on your task list. If it isn’t, then move it down. Organized people always focus on the important duties; that way they aren’t distracted by low-level tasks.
6. Delegate tasks
Organized people are smart about what they do and don’t do. Don’t try to take on the whole world; give some duties to others if you can. Ask your boyfriend to pick up the groceries. Tell your kid to take care of the dishes. Get your wife to drop off a package at the post office.
It’s not about ordering people around, it’s about fairly distributing work to those you’re involved with. People won’t hate or disrespect you if you’re delegating in a fair manner.
7. Clean up your workspace
A messy workspace is no good if you want to be more organized, as it’ll just take you longer to start working and you’ll be looking for work material when it should just be in the right place all the time. Take the time clean up your workspace and spend about a minute every day organizing it as well. It really doesn’t take much clear it up, as long as you do it regularly.
8. Keep everything in one place
If you keep everything in the same place, you can easily find it later. It’s common sense really, but it needs to be common habit as well. Whenever you use something, take the time to put it back where you found it. Otherwise, you’re going to quickly build a messy and unorganized environment for yourself.
9. Throw out one thing per day
Most of use have too much junk, plain and simple. However, this can be offset with a little daily removal done. I’m sure if you look around your place you can find at least one thing to throw out. Don’t hesitate, just scan your place, grab the junk and drop it in the trash.
Over to you! Do you have any other tips for getting organized? What are they? Please leave a comment below with your answer because I’d love to hear them :)
Featured photo credit: M&Ms Sorted by Color/Mr.TinDC via flickr.com