Lately, our team has been discussing the importance of organization. While some of us our born with this trait, others need a little more help in this department. And trust me; we get it-you’re busy. And staying organized can seem like a never-ending task when you’re trying to manage your personal life and your professional life simultaneously. All of the sudden, emails start pouring in, papers get piled up onto your desk, and you have calls and meetings to schedule, not to mention the items going on in your home and family life.
The more hectic your workspace becomes, the harder your to-do list is to deal with. You need an easy and efficient way to juggle all of the tasks at hand. Try out these tips for staying organized when you feel like you’re drowning in a crazy busy schedule.
Write it Down
What’s the secret to staying organized? Organized people always write things down. Writing actually helps our brain to remember things, not to mention you have that information to go back to later when you need to recall the details.
Make a To-Do List
Before you start your day (or the night before), create a to-do list of all the items you need to accomplish. I keep the same notebook on me 24/7 to ensure I have information whenever and wherever I need it. Writing down items that need to get done can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Prioritize Your Inbox
I use a flagging system in my email inbox to notify me of any items that I need to follow up on. Each day, multiple times a day, I review those flagged items to see if action items have been met, who I need to follow up on, and keep projects moving. You can also use a color-coding system to label items according to priority.
Finish One Task Before Moving On to the Next
Since most of us are moving between multiple tasks every day, it can be hard to know exactly what we accomplished when the day is through. Your desk or home may be a mess from you moving between projects or tasks without finishing one before starting another. Try following your to-do list and finishing tasks all the way through to avoid this chaotic feeling at the end of the day.
Keep Your Calendar Updated
Use an Apple or Google calendar to schedule your personal and professional items. It’s best to use a separate calendar for work and a separate calendar for personal items, in order to keep things private (and color-coded!) and stay organized. If you keep your calendar up to date, it’s easy to tell what your day is going to be like at-a-glance. Also, an up-to-date calendar makes it easier to schedule other items when needed.
Implement a Paperwork System
Sure, a lot of us do our work digitally, but there are some projects that do require paperwork. In order to keep track of this important paperwork, make sure you have a system in place that allows you to separate items into clearly labeled folders or bins. That way, you can find what you need when you need it!
Break Up Larger Tasks
Sometimes it can be hard to start a task just because of its scope, but usually, I find that starting the task is half the battle. If you’re facing an intimidating project or task, break it into smaller, manageable pieces so it’s easier to digest and implement.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Items
If you’re feeling extra messy or unproductive, organizing your space can help you feel more organized. De-clutter your space so you have less to worry about while working. Get rid of what you don’t want or need anymore. A tidy space can make you even more productive!
A Home for Every Item
In the spirit of keeping your space tidy in order to increase your efficiency, make sure you have a designated spot for each item. This not only keeps your space neat, but it allows you to find items quickly when you need them.
Ah, one of my favorite tools. As I mentioned in the previous tips, color-coding things like emails and calendar events can help you quickly decipher the difference between items at-a-glance. It may take a few minutes to set this up, but once you have a system going, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Good Habits Can Help You Take Control
Organizing your life may seem like a daunting task, but these simple tips can make a big difference. Stick with good habits like these to stay organized and productive and take control of your life.