Advertising
Advertising

How to Get Organized in Spite of Yourself

How to Get Organized in Spite of Yourself

    “He who knows others is wise, he who knows himself is enlightened” – Lao Tzu

    One of the first steps in change is awareness — understanding how and why you do things the way you do.

    But why is it important to know yourself?

    Awareness of self…empowers.

    It creates space and understanding for decisions to be made. Decisions on how to move forward or decisions on how to change. Self-awareness gives us a starting point, a place to work from.

    Advertising

    In Sunny Schlenger and Roberta Roesch’s book “How to be organized in spite of yourself”, they explain that everybody can be identified by a different operational style and knowing what your personal style is can be a good starting place if you feel the need to organize your work life.

    In the book, people are classified by the following Time Styles:

    Hopper: A person who generally has many projects on the go at once and likes to works on all simultaneously. They constantly jump from task to task without finishing any of them.

    Perfectionist Plus: The Perfectionist Plus gets so involved in their projects and believe they can do everything right that they rarely finish a project on time. Even when they do finish a job, they are usually dissatisfied with the outcome.

    Allergic to Detail: They would much rather formulate the plans than carry them out. This type is very weak on follow through.

    Fence Sitter: The Fence Sitter leaves most things to chance because they are incapable to making a decision and worry whether their decisions will be the correct ones.

    Advertising

    Cliff Hanger: These people thrive on excitement, delay everything to the last minute and usually need a deadline to complete anything.

    Identify your own style. When I identified myself and my style of working, I realized that it wasn’t so much a character flaw as I had previously believed, but a recognizable style that probably one-fifth of the population of the world share with me. Knowing this allowed me to (firstly) not be so hard on myself but it also put me in a position of power to allow me to learn to work with it.

    Here are a few tips to help you work better with your each style

    Hopper:Slow down. Eliminate distractions and interruptions.Do high priority tasks when you have most energy. Break projects down into mini-goals.

    Perfectionist Plus: Identify and focus on your highest priorities. Anything else does not need high attention to detail. Learn to say “no” and to delegate.

    Allergic to detail: Create simple, basic routines, set reminders, break up tasks into smaller goals, and schedule tasks.

    Advertising

    Fence Sitter: Understand that there really are no bad decisions. Break down decisions into small steps, pinpoint your fears, and get familiar with your gut feeling.

    Cliff Hanger: Schedule time for tasks. Become aware of how long they really take, check your to-do list regularly to ensure you are not procrastinating on important tasks.

    How do you spend your time?

    Another important factor is to see how you currently spend your time. We all work hard — we spend many hours each day on tasks and projects that need to be done.

    But are there tasks that could be eliminated?

    Are we perhaps spending too much time on certain jobs? Identifying how you spend each moment of the day can be very enlightening.

    When the end of the work day comes and you think you know how the day was spent, do you remember that you spent twenty minutes chatting to your work colleagues about the football game or the fact that you spent thirty minutes on social media? What about the time spent at two meetings that didn’t really affect your job? Could you have read the meeting minutes rather than attend it personally?

    Advertising

    Analyzing how the hours of each day were spent will allow you to make better decisions about your time going forward.

    This can be done by using a paper time sheet where you detail all of the things that you spent time on during the day or you can download an electronic time-sheet from the Internet that will monitor all that you do on your computer during the day.

    Know Thyself

    When you discover more about your personal style and how you currently spend your time you will be in a more powerful position to make more informed decisions about how you can work at your best.

    As for my style, it turns out that I am both a Hopper and Allergic to Detail. Confusion, disorder, chaos, disarray were all words that described me in the past. Getting organized has been life-changing for me. It has been the facilitator of my personal success — and believe me when I say that if I can do it, anyone can!

    (Photo credit: Document folders sorted via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    Ciara Conlon

    Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

    7 Characteristics of Procrastination (And How to Fight Them) This Is Why Taking Action Creates Success Less Is More: How to Become Productive with Less 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude Why Failure Can Take You One Step Closer to Success

    Trending in Productivity

    1 6 Ways To Make Progress (And Realize All Goals) 2 The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness 3 How to Stop Being Passive and Start Getting What You Want 4 How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement 5 5 Less-Known Reasons Why Less is More

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 13, 2020

    6 Ways To Make Progress (And Realize All Goals)

    6 Ways To Make Progress (And Realize All Goals)

    Are you at a critical stage in your life, and it seems you are not making headway as far as your life goals are concerned? Does it feel like you are complacent, and you are struggling to accomplish your set goals? You can make progress by establishing and diligently working towards those goals that align with your life mission.

    A lot of dreams are not terminated because the dreamers gave up; they died due to a long period of inactivity. This is the more reason you need to develop a progress mindset while you pursue those relevant and meaningful goals.

    A progress mindset will enable you to work on any disability or inadequacy that can truncate the realization of your goals. With such a mindset, you are constantly evaluating yourself, improving your skills, and seeking ways to learn and grow through life.

    Why Is It Essential to Develop a Progress Mindset?

    Your mindset encompasses your beliefs-how you perceive your talents, skills, knowledge, personality. Your belief system eventually influences your viewpoints about goals and success. A fixed mindset can hinder your progress, while a progressive mindset will enable you to achieve sound health, happiness, good relationships, and peace.

    6 Ways to Make Progress and Realize Your Goals

    Here are 6 practical ways that you can make progress and realize all your goals.

    1. Figure Out Your WHYs—Reasons

    Nothing is static! You are either making progress or retrogressing. However, no one desires to retrogress, and that’s why you are here. You need to establish why you want to move forward.

    • Career: Why do I want to be fulfilled in my career?
    • Marriage: Why do I want a happy home and lovely children?
    • Health: Why do I want to be physically and mentally sound?
    • Finance: Why do I want to be out of debt?
    • Academics: Why do I want to ace my grades?
    • Relationship: Why do I want to communicate better?
    • Personal: Why do I want to be a better person?

    For every aspect of your life, establish the reasons for changing levels.

    Someone once said,

    Advertising

    “When your why is strong and convincing, the how will emerge.”

    Establishing your reasons will help you to be an active player in decisions that affect your life. You will also be able to establish if your motivation to progress is intrinsic or extrinsic.

    2. Establish Your What—Tangible Goals

    Once you have established your reasons, the next step is to establish your life goals. Develop your aims for short-term, mid-term, as well as long-term. This process will enable you to track your progress and implement changes that improve your progress.

    Keep your goals SMART: Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For instance, I want to improve my typing speed by 150 wpm within the next three months. I will spend two hours daily practicing on Mavis Beacon. I wrote in detail on how to set SMART goals that you will accomplish.

    Write your goals on paper: Sticking your goals on your wall or notepad will offer you a visual cue that can reinforce your goals.

    Update your goals as required: Review your goals at intervals to ensure you can still achieve them.

    3. Create Your How—Game Plan

    It is not enough to know what you want from life; you need to design a roadmap to get to your destination.

    Here’s what you can do:

    Advertising

    Break your smart goals into habits: Begin by highlight the good habits you need to cultivate and the bad habits you need to eliminate. Here’s how to break bad habits that can truncate your progress.

    Master one habit at a time: Once you figure out the good habits to have in your life, then ensure you practice them daily. Scientists revealed that you would need 18 to 254 days to develop new habits and that a new habit will only become permanent after 66 days of practicing it.[1]

    Once you have gained mastery over a habit, add more routines that will enable you to make progress in the direction of your goals.

    4. Imbibe Positivity

    A positive outlook means you are always optimistic about yourself, interactions, and events. It also means your ability to expect favorable outcomes when working towards your life goals.

    Positivity is a mental posture that sees accomplishments and opportunities instead of failures and defeat. It will keep you hopeful when you are facing daunting challenges.

    A study on positive thinking conducted by researchers at the King’s College in London and published in the Journal of Behavior Research and Therapy revealed that visualizing positive images can reduce worry and anxiety.[2]

    How do you maintain a positive outlook on life?

    • Look out for the best in every circumstance. This will enable you to be more progress-minded.
    • Use positive affirmations. For instance, when you wake up, say, “I will work hard to complete all my milestones today.”
    • Associate with positive people that will support your progress. You need positive energy to make consistently make progress in the direction of your goals.
    • Change your perspectives about failures and setbacks. See them as significant components of making progress.

    5. Practice Reflection as You Progress

    A lot of things will occur once you are determined to advance. You will learn new lessons and implement changes. You will form new habits and eliminate bad ones.

    Advertising

    It is reasonable to take time out and evaluate what worked and what did not. Ask yourself how you can improve and surmount new obstacles. You can log your answers in a diary or use a virtual journal to track your thoughts.

    Scientists have proved the significance of reflective practice on your productivity. A group of students at the Harvard Business School found out that call center agents who reflected for 15 minutes on what they’ve learned outperformed their colleagues by 23% who attempted the test without revealing.[3]

    Self-reflection will enable you to keep your goals in mind constantly.

    How do you make this happen?

    • Set up a weekly appointment with yourself: It sounds funny, but it works. During this period, define your goals and reflect on them. It will also help you to verify if your goals are still achievable.
    • Ask reflective questions: Did I achieve all I planned? What salient lesson can I pick this week? What new things did I learn and what actions do I need to make progress.

    6. Celebrate Your Achievements

    It is highly crucial to acknowledge every milestone you complete as you make progress in life. Celebrating your achievements will build your confidence and provide you the motivation you require to continue.

    One of the best ways to do this is by pampering yourself with rewards when you achieve a goal. These rewards could be things you enjoy, such as a special meal, a music collection, or a mini-vacation. These little rewards will continuously remind you of victory anytime you feel like giving up. Merely looking at your mini-vacation pictures will motivate you to keep working towards your next goals.

    Bill Carmody wrote in a report by Inc that celebrating your achievements will enable you to build on existing momentum and will allow you to attract more successes.[4]

    Bonus Tips

    Here are other things that you can do to help you make progress toward your goals.

    Advertising

    Invest in Self-Improvement

    Self-development enhances your self-worth and self-confidence. You can improve yourself by listening to podcasts or audiobooks on any subject of interest. You can also attend webinars, seminars, or workshops to enhance your skills and broaden your knowledge.

    Keep Moving

    Every success comes with obstacles. Not giving up on your goals despite setbacks will help you achieve anything you desire. For instance, if you write a book and don’t make a single sale, write another one.

    Don’t allow anything to discourage you from making progress. In case you missed a deadline, train yourself to meet the next one. A positive attitude will enable you to stay on course and infuse you with confidence.

    Final Words

    Goals offer you a sense of mission. When accomplished, it gives you a sense of fulfillment. When you make progress relentlessly in the direction of your goals, you build up the confidence to overcome obstacles, and every setback becomes a stepping stone to achieve your next target.

    Apply these six practical steps to make progress and achieve every goal you have set.

    More Tips on How to Make Progress Toward Your Goals

    Featured photo credit: Khiet Tam via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next