Being organized is key to productivity. At work, school, and home everything runs more smoothly in a thought-out system. It’s easy to stay organized once you’ve mastered it, but for some, getting there is a major challenge. Organization can be divided up in 2 ways: internal and external. Your internal goals and tasks need to be organized in such a way that you know everything you need to do and when you need to do it. Your external environment also should be organized in a way that you can efficiently perform those internal goals. Here are some tips I’ve found to help organize my life.
Internal Organization: Creating lists – grab a planner, smartphone, or your computer’s calendar and jot down all of your daily tasks. This is a way to manage the internal aspects of organization. Having all of the goals you need to accomplish for the day in 1 place will keep you on track and a tangible list helps guard against forgetfulness. When you finish something, cross it off; you may even find it rewarding to see the progress you’ve made, which can serve as a motivator to check-off the rest of the list. In some programs like iCal, you can set up a reoccurring entry – like “Pay Electric Bill” or “Jenny’s Birthday” and every month/year you’ll have a reminder.
External Organization: Build a positive environment – some things are beyond our control, but make the spaces you command positive and conducive to accomplishing goals. Feng shui your home, office, and any other workspace you occupy. Removing clutter and unnecessary items will help you to think more clearly and increase your focus on the task-at-hand. There are also great ideas & many links for organizing spaces here. Knowing where the tools you need are located saves loads of time and saves you from stress and panic. While you’re out-and-about, try to set up a logical order of tasks to minimize stress. For example, the dry cleaner is next to the bakery, but the post office is across town; consider things like traffic when prioritizing the places you need to visit. Taking a quick minute to plan your route can help to eliminate rushing around chaotically.
This article would not be complete without a word on time management. Organizing your internal and external environments is a key component of saving and maximizing your time, but other aspects of time management are outlined here.
Check out some other great resources on the web:
NOTE: I will expand on this section with more information soon!