Over the past few years I’ve worked really hard at becoming a more organized person. Let me just say—if this isn’t something that comes naturally—it takes a lot of work. It requires a great deal of planning and unwavering discipline. I’ve learned that in order for my planning to be more effective I must incorporate better organizational practices.
I will share a few of my strategies for maintaining organization:
In my opinion, the key to organization is simply to get rid of the excess! This was the hardest part for me…getting rid of the receipt from two years ago for a gum purchase. (Why did I still have that?) I think the reason we sometimes hold on to the excess is because we fear one day we might need it. But there are some things, like my gum receipt that we should never need again in life. So in the process of decluttering, carefully evaluate if it’s something you’ll need three to six months from now. If not, get rid of it. Please note, if it’s an important tax document I strongly suggest holding on to that. Take a look at your work space and remove anything that’s not needed to make your work day productive: the Post It notes from 2004, the random binder full of useless information, or the coffee cup with last year’s science project growing inside. Throw it away now! This process may take longer for some than others, but trust me you will notice a vast improvement in your productivity and so will others.
Use a Planner/Calendar
When selecting a planner/calendar get one that works for your lifestyle. There are many types of planners out there: weekly/monthly/hourly, ring binders, hard-bound (my personal favorite), pocket-sized, or large desk-sized. I recently purchased a new planner/calendar that allows me to connect my long term goals to with the activities that I perform daily. This helps me to stay focused on my tasks and ensures that I am taking steps daily to accomplish my goals. Everyone’s different so just find one that works for you.
Create a To-Do List
Write it down! Typically I spend my Sunday evenings creating a realistic daily to-do list for each day of the week. I’ve learned that when I write down everything that needs to be done, it’s a little overwhelming. So I decided to break the list out into daily actionable items. There are seven days in a week: give yourself time. Last but not least, prioritize your to-do list. Strategically arrange your list based on level of importance. Obviously, if you have deadlines you want those items higher on the list. Then prioritize based on the type of task: Easy, time-consuming, least important, etc.
About the Author:
Nancy Rice is a Project Manager at SYNNEX Corporation. She mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteers with Upstate Warrior Solution and is currently serving at Blogging Lead for the Pulse Young Professionals Marketing Committee. Nancy enjoys traveling locally & abroad, golfing, and spending time with her family.