I like to consider myself a pretty organized person; however, I feel that the past month or two have proven otherwise. I have missed appointments, forgotten to call people back, fallen off track with blog posts, and even gone to the store for something and left with everything except the one thing I went there for. Needless to say, it’s gotten pretty bad.
Being all over the place has my psyche off and it’s not a good feeling. As with most things in life, when I fall off the bandwagon or need some direction, I go searching for ways to pull myself back in line. I usually turn to reading books or articles on how to change my faulty ways, but this time I thought about all the times I was successful in being productive and organized in the past. Here are a few of the tricks that I have picked up on how to best keep myself organized.
Whether you use a handheld planner or jot it down in your phone, write out the things you want to accomplish. I have been trying to make a habit of sitting down on Sunday evening and writing out the things I want to achieve with the week in front of me. I also then break down my tasks for each day and refer to the list throughout the day to ensure I am on track. While I may not check off everything that I wrote out originally, having the list in front of me keeps me on track and encourages me to stay focused on the items at hand.
What about all of those things that you write down and don’t get to? Don’t dwell on them! Instead, write them down on the next day/week’s list and attempt to conquer them at a later time. Time spent on beating yourself up about the things you didn’t get to is time wasted on things you could be doing. I tend to get down on myself over things like this, but I have learned that at the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world if I haven’t finished all the laundry or organized the office. I can still get to those things another time.
I am the queen of multi-tasking…at least I like to believe that I am. While I may be good at juggling more than one thing at a time, it doesn’t always work out in my favor. In fact, I often find myself starting a bunch of things around the same time and then never actually finishing any of them. I’ll start writing out a card, then I’ll remember to text someone back, then start writing a blog post and before I know it – the card is never mailed and the blog post is never completed. Having a bunch of to-do’s sitting in front of you is overwhelming and the added stress of bouncing back and forth between things can make matters worse. While you don’t have to necessarily finish everything in one sitting, make sure you are looking at your lists and prioritizing things before you tackle them.
For the times you might be working on things that are going to take a while (paying down a credit card, losing weight, a big project for work) make sure you have something set up to track your progress. This is one habit that I formed over the years working as a project manager and it has benefited me in so many aspects of my life. Being able to have somewhere that I can constantly take down notes, update my progress and set up to-do lists makes me stay focused on the task and helps me accomplish it within the time frame I setup for myself. You can use tools like Word or Excel or even hunt down some apps that can track your progression.
Let me know what you thought of this post and be sure to share some of your favorite organization tips in the comment section below!