Cleaning and decluttering your house and office is great, but really getting organized goes beyond buying storage containers or downloading a time management app. The key to being truly organized is to set up systems that encourage organized behaviors and productive outcomes like a daily routine.
Getting organized starts with baby steps that build new habits.
Adopting a new behavior can be challenging because it requires learning a new way of doing something and then practicing it until it becomes a habit. It’s easier to stick to a behavior change when it’s a small one. Once that first small change is embraced, you add another small change. These build on one another to drive significant and lasting outcomes.
FACT: Organized People Have a Daily Routine.
Organized people know what they want to do each day and how to get those things done. But how do they do it? It’s all about planning. To plan effectively for each day, you must:
#1 Review your commitments for the given day.
#2 Prioritize which tasks you can realistically accomplish that day.
#3 Evaluate whether those tasks serve your greater goals.
To get started planning your day more effectively:
- Set a fixed time to do your planning. Either do it at the end of the day for the next day or first thing in the morning for the day ahead.
- Be sure you devote at least 10-15 minutes of distraction-free time to do your planning.
- Have your work and personal calendars and to-do list available.
- Also, be sure and schedule self-care like exercise and eating breakfast so these important tasks don’t go neglected because you didn’t schedule them.
Step 1: Review your commitments for the day
Start by looking at what commitments you have on both your work and personal calendars. This includes personal appointments, work meetings, events at your child’s school and social events like dinner parties and date nights. Based on how much time these scheduled activities will require, consider how much time you have left to work on other things. Once you know your available time, you can choose tasks from your to-do list to assign to the coming day.
Step 2: Prioritize the tasks you can reasonably accomplish
The next step is to look at your designated task list (this is not your whole to-do list, but the tasks you chose in step one above) and decide which of these are a top priority for this particular day. Ask yourself if there is anything you can cross off your list because it’s no longer relevant. If a meeting was canceled, you can put off picking up the dry cleaning. Once you’ve further honed your list, order the tasks from most to least critical so you work most efficiently.
Step 3: Evaluate whether these tasks serve your goals
Last, put your list through one final refining process. Think about your goals and how the tasks at hand further those goals or conflict with them. For example, if one of your goals is to save for a vacation, consider how a task that involves spending money can be modified or eliminated. Ask yourself if there something you should say no to because it doesn’t serve your goals or is no longer relevant. Once you narrow your list to its optimal point, schedule these tasks on your calendar and execute your plan for the day.
Would you or your colleagues benefit from establishing more productive habits and getting better organized? Set up a free consultation with one of our Simply Placed Productivity Consultants and Professional Organizers to learn more about our home and business organization services.