One word – Organize!

I’ve heard from a few clients recently “THIS IS THE YEAR I’M GOING TO GET ORGANIZED”.  Organized is an appealing word to many and can be hard to implement.  “Being”organized starts as any “being-ness” – it is based on habit.  Following are some tips to “being” organized.

Disclaimer – only introduce one tip at a time.  When you’ve mastered that tip, pick another tip.  You don’t have to go in order.  Pick the easiest tip to implement or the one that will make the most impact on your life.

Tip 1:  One calendar.  You have one life, therefore one calendar.  Pick a paper or electronic calendar.  With today’s technology, an electronic calendar can be set to synch – keeping all of your devices up to date.  Use color coding (pens or electronic color options) to designate different parts of your life.  Examples are work or home items, children’s or spouses’s appointments, birthdays, etc.  You’ll cut down on double booking and be able to plan your day effectively.

Tip 2:  Small notebook.  As you go through your day, use the notebook to record commitments you make, tasks that your employees will complete and anything else you have to follow up on.  At the end of the day or before you begin your next day, process your notes.  Processing includes putting items on your to-do list, taking care of the quick items, or putting follow up items in your calendar or follow up system.  Highlight or cross out the items on the pages that you’ve processed so you aren’t reviewing them each time you look at the notebook.

Tip 3:  Projects/subjects.  For each project/subject that you work on, have a file devoted to the project/subject.  This includes one physical file (if you receive paper related to the project/subject) and one electronic folder (if applicable).  As emails and documents come in related to the project/subject save them to the electronic folder.  This is the same process for physical documents.  You will have two areas at most to look for information.

Sub-tip:  Don’t save emails in email folders – especially folders that are from a specific sender.  We work in subject areas, not people.  You’ll end up looking through a ton of emails to find the one you want.

Sub-tip:  Administrative tasks – as you receive bills you’ll want to have a “bills to pay” or “administration” file to hold the items until you have time to process them.

BIGGEST TIP OF ALL:  I’m sure you’ve seen a pattern to these tips which is the KEY to “being” organized.  Get in the habit of storing things in a single place.  You’ll save enormous amounts of time, energy and increase productivity.

You’ll know you’re organized when you are controlling your time, space and things – they aren’t controlling you.

What keeps you organized?  Do you have any tips to share?  What one area needs organization in your life?

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