Everyone, except a blessed few, struggles with getting organized. Some can instinctively commit themselves to the completion of to-do lists, incorporate errands into agendas, jot down important notes, and declutter regularly. However, many of us fall back on intentions, when it comes to planning and scheduling. Even when efficiency and productivity are on the line, time-management and structuring schedules can be a daunting task.
So what can I do to tweak my habits and become more task oriented? There are various things you can do, but it all begins with putting your life and workspace in order. This way, everything you need is accessible, and everything you don’t need finds its way to the waste bin.
Benjamin Franklin said it best, “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” Because U.S. workers lose an hour search for items each day and because U.S. executives waste weeks searching through disorganization each year, it’s advantageous to be organized at home and at the office.
Break Down Tasks
Don’t merely make a generic to-do list. Instead, make a list of actions you need to complete, and divide them into sections, listing them by short-term, daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Be sure to include aspirations and other desired activities on that list, such as meal prep. Also, it’s important to not only trim out those frivolous activities but to determine how long the more important tasks will take. Try to be realistic when contemplating how long it will take to complete a task and remember to give yourself a grace period between each responsibility.
Individuals who live organized lives can quickly identify what they need and what they want. Holding on to fewer things offers you space and time to enjoy the things that you own.
Schedule Email Responses
Rather than check your email at the top of the day and leaving it open throughout the day, schedule a time to check and respond to emails. If you’re responding to emails beyond normal business hours, use Boomerang and similar add-ons to publish and send your emails at appropriate times.
Sleep & Eat Lunch
Bedtime routines and regular meals are essential. If you’re an individual who likes to squeeze every moment out of each day, consider the fact that if you’re exhausted and unfed, you’re not performing at your best. Energizing oneself through food consumption and rest can be the difference between failure and success. Resist the urge to skip meals or load up on empty calories, instead prepare healthy, easy meals and snacks, such as chicken salads, sliced cucumbers, stir-fry, or seared pan chicken.
Tackle Difficulties First
Putting off heavy items on your agenda is tempting. After all, if you get the easier things out of the way first, won’t you have more time to commit to your bigger project? No. Procrastination is the death of productivity.
Don’t walk into work blindly, try forecasting your tasks for the upcoming day. Identify what small actions you need to get out of the way, and focus on the most important items on your agenda.
Become organized in the digital space. You can do this by gaining access to programs and applications that intend to ease your life and make your world run smoothly. Evernote, Tripit, Dropbox, GroupMe, HabitList, Toodlelo, CoSchedule, Procrasterapp, Venmo, and Keeper are outstanding examples of fabulous apps that enable users to be their better self. Technology can make us more productive, just as it can distract us; but it can be used to save time.
By taking the time to organize your life better, you’ll be better positioned to tackle obstacles. If you have any tips or organization habits that work for you, please be sure to share them.