Okay people. Let’s be honest here. We all know that one person who constantly has their life together, is never late, their house is always spotless, and they always seem to have a plan. So, instead of feeling the opposite and like you’re always falling off the track, here are some of my favourite habits when it comes to being highly organized …
The To-Do List:
When people who are highly organized make lists, it isn’t necessary about crossing them off. It is all about writing those ideas down on paper to get them out to clear their mind. For me, it’s all about keeping multiple lists (we’re talking business-related lists here, but these rules also apply to life). One list for daily tasks (with separation per client and self), one for a grand overview of the month (I do this in a fun and colourful styled planner) and one for thoughts and creative ideas (Evernote is a good place for typing notes, making voice recorded notes as well as taking pictures).
The “5-Minute Rule:
To be organized, you need to be proactive and abide by what I like to call the “5-minute rule”. When a highly organized person thinks a task will take 5 minutes or less they tend to complete it right away so that it doesn’t get added to the dreaded to do list or gets pushed off to the point where it never gets done. Organized individuals tend to avoid putting the little things off, so they have more time to focus on the big things. This simple “5-minute rule” will make a huge difference in all aspects of your life.
The Satisfaction Strike:
Honestly, what is better than the feeling of satisfaction … that huge sigh of relief that comes from crossing something off of your to-do list? This is one of my most favourite things! Grabbing that big black Sharpie and striking (yes, with great force) an item off that list. Try starting each day by prioritizing what you “must” get done and bumping the most difficult tasks to the top of your list. Doing this will make you have a clearer sense of what is important and in the long run will help you get more stuff done. And, the reason I suggest “the bump” is because your energy is most likely the highest at the start of the day.
The Organized Chaos:
What do I mean with this title? It’s simple … everything need to have a “home”. If items in your office are “homeless” or you do not have anywhere to go they end up in stacks. Literally stacks everywhere. Perhaps even beyond the space of your office. Now, I am not saying it is not okay to have stuff and lots of it, but to be more efficient and enjoy your space it is best to have everything (yes, absolutely everything) tucked away in a specific spot. For most people, that is too much to ask right off the hop. Maybe start with a basket or desk bin. Start placing wayward items inside. Not only will your clutter magnets (aka. “homeless” stacks) stay stuff-free but you will now have a better idea of the type of storage you should invest in. Truth of the matter is, studies show that people who have organized spaces, and enjoy them, tend to be more attentive and accomplished during their work hours.
How you spend your day is how you spend your life, which is why it is so very important to carve out some daily routines. Organization requires work and habit. Some may even say practice. Studies show that it takes upward of 23 days to form a new habit. Highly organized people function with routines. They have certain times of each day for accomplishing tasks. Find what works for you and MAKE IT STICK!
The “Reset” Button:
This habit is just as important as all the other you’ve just read. Allow yourself 15 minutes each day to reset, reorganize, purge and put things back in their place. For me, as an example, this means organizing my notes form the day to prepare for the next, organizing piles of client folders with notes on each one (daily as well as monthly), tossing notes no longer needed and lastly, emptying my recycling bin and decluttering my space.
“Organized people are not born, they’re built.” – John Trosko
So, keep it simple, develop routines, have a place for everything, and put everything in its place, keep a current and detailed to-do list, purge routinely, and don’t get bogged down by perfectionism.
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