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How To Be Super Organized And Quickly Get Things Done

How To Be Super Organized And Quickly Get Things Done

Stuck on how to be organized? With a few handy tips and tricks, you can stay on top of that to-do list and power through your day.

Start the night before

Each evening, plan the important things that need to be done the next day. Whether you write using old school pen and paper or an app, just jot down your thoughts so you can park your brain for the night knowing you will hit the ground running the next day.

Divide up big tasks

When a task feels too big to face, it’s easy to put it off. Set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes, and work without distraction for that time. Get up, wander about, stretch your legs and come back to it. Slicing away at tasks like this allows you to plough through and get things done without feeling overwhelmed.

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Mind sweep your brain

Sometimes your mind can feel so full of ideas, lists, tasks, projects and odd things to remember that it can be impossible to focus. Sit down for half an hour with a pen and paper and get everything in your head out into a huge list. Then, you can start dividing up your tasks and allocate time for them. Once your have cleared your head, you can crack on with the most urgent tasks.

Prioritize

Learning how to prioritize is so important in the quest for super organization. Give each task on your daily list a ranking and order them from the most important to the least, and work your way through. When two things are equally important, make a decision and just start – use your timer method to chip away at your list.

Allocate tasks on a calendar

It can be really useful to cross-check your task planning against a calendar. Plan your tasks in time slots in your diary or online calendar so you can see how your working day looks. Add repeating tasks and jobs to specific times and days so they become habitual, and you always know they are booked into your schedule.

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Meditate

Meditation is a wonderful tool for productivity. When you are mindful and present in the moment, productivity can be so much better. Use tools like Headspace or some meditation sequences on YouTube to take a few minutes out and calm the mind – you will reap rewards in the amount you achieve with a clear mind.

Delegate

Not taking everything on yourself is a major part of being organized. Outsource or delegate tasks that aren’t your strong suit, and crack in with things you excel at.

Use tech to work for you

Apps such as Zapier and IFTT.com are wonderful tools to hack your workflow and make it work for you. Set up tasks to help maximize your time, such as automating blog posts across networks and bookmarking sites, make research come to you, and automate responses. The possibilities are endless and empowering.

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Step away from the noise

Step away from your email and social media for chunks of time to avoid distractions. Constant reach is counterproductive to concentration, so promise yourself chunks of time to just crack on with tasks.

Be disciplined

Staying on task can require some discipline. Get yourself in the mindset of work by scheduling time off, rewarding yourself with breaks, and dividing up the tasks you dislike into smaller chunks. Better still, delegate.

Do the things you hate first

If you have been putting something off for a while, nip that procrastination in the bud by tackling your least favorite jobs first. That kick starts your day, and you can look forward to working on the jobs you love.

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Step away from the inbox

Emails can be a real time vacuum for productivity. Use Awayfind to set alerts for crucial emails, and schedule time to check the inbox once or twice a day. Set up a folder for non-urgent emails to reply to, and set time in your calendar to empty that folder twice a week to avoid being buried by communications.

Use tech to help you plan

There are many project planning and “to do” list apps on the market, so find one that suits your personal working style. Azendoo is an easy-to-use manager that links with Evernote to plan your tasks and information, and has easily moveable tasks to re-order and prioritize in a visual way.

Schedule but be flexible

Use your schedule and task list as a guide, but be open to flexibility as jobs change and circumstances throw you a curve ball. Be prepared to reorder a list dependent on requirements, but stay disciplined to get things done and earn your super-organized superhuman status!

More by this author

Jo Gifford

Design Guru, Writer, and Founder The Dexterous Diva and the Killer Content Academy.

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Last Updated on June 26, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete/deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic/extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies.

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

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6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

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Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not,what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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