Organization is the simplest way to become more productive, but the most overlooked. Keeping your focus on small things in the beginning will lead to increased organization when it comes to the bigger things. If you modify your behavior to be more organized consistently, tasks become automatic. The goal here is to persuade you to increase productivity and focus with some tips on how to better organize your life.
When I was a child I can remember organizing my trophies, books, movies, drawers in my room from largest too small, front to back, outside to the inside. I created a symmetrical environment which was orderly and neat. The ability to instantly retrieve products and information was a large part of my success as a Human Resources Manager. The ability to be organized was a great lasting impression.
What type of impression are you making?
The world is made up of complicated systems. You are overloaded with information and competing agendas. If you can organize a system and funnel data through it, you will control your focus.
Keeping a journal is a great way to download thoughts. Writing brings relief and clarity. This process is like medicine; it heals, strengthens and balances your thoughts.
Calendar your Priorities
An effective calendar is a great way to organize. Busy people are happy, but don’t let the day drag on. Organize your time and focus on a purpose. Do not manage time, manage your priorities. You do not want conflicting goals and to be lured away by life’s demands. Organize the day and schedule important tasks when there is the least distractions. Forty-three percent of your day is structured with existing habits. Leverage that schedule with everything else you need to get done.
Communicate on a schedule
I average about 50 minutes a day on email. If I need to write long emails, I schedule them. Organize your folders by priority and then broad topics if necessary. I use Stephen Covey’s Quadrant System in my email application to prioritize. Email rules can automate the process resulting in more time for meaningful tasks.
Manage your To-Do-List
To-do-lists are an effective way to organize tasks. There are many tools out there to help with the process. Two of my favorites are ToDoist and OmniFocus. Some vary in cost and others are free. A handwritten to-do-list is effective and eliminates temptation to play on devices. Others use a moleskin or post-it-notes. Experiment until you find what is effective for you.According to Ellen Richards, an industrial and environmental chemist, “The environment that people live in is the environment that they learn to live in, respond to, and perpetuate. If the environment is good, so be it. But, if it is poor, so is the quality of life within it.”
3 Simple Steps to Productivity
- Place yourself in a controlled environment.
- Sort, purge and categorize the physical and digital world.
- Maintain and find things more easily.
Clutter will overwhelm your focus. A messy workspace results in poor workflow. Devise a system for your hard files with broad categories. When you organize, don’t create too many categories, or you will find yourself over-complicating the system. You will spend more time creating and debating the system rather than it working for you.Napoleon Bonaparte said, “The Battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls the chaos, both his own and the enemies.”
At the end of the day you want a simple system. One you can easily sort, purge and categorize your workflow, beginning again in a better place than yesterday. Productivity is working smarter every day. In an overloaded world with competing agendas you need to control the chaos by organizing your efforts and resources, coordinating them towards the same desired results. Do not chase the rabbit down the hole.