How to Be Organized
Knowing how to be organised will help keep your busy life in order, make everything seem much more manageable, and greatly reduce the amount of stress that you might suffer. Being organised is crucial for anyone who is doing more than just aimlessly plodding through life. If you’re having difficulty starting things off, this guide should give you some basic ideas about how to start putting everything in order
1- Start with a tidy up. It helps if absolutely everything is tidy, not just your workspace, as having everything physically in order will make it much easier to have everything mentally in order. If possible, spend time on creating a filling system. This requires much thought as you may need to add to it at a later date so be sure to leave room. Make sure that documents/items that you will require regularly are easily available yet are not simply left in a pile on your desk. Do you really need that old broken bicycle that’s been sitting in your garage for years? De-clutter to make room for better sorting.
2- Prioritise! Things requiring attention should be prioritised based on how important it is and when it needs to be done by. Find a system that works for you, preferably something more sophisticated that just a ‘to do’ tray.
3- Establish routine. Routine, for at least the 5 normal working days of the week, helps both your body and mind to synchronise and anticipate what should be done next. This will help ensure that things that fall outside of routine, such as important events, will not be forgotten. Understand what time of day you are naturally more productive and use this time to tackle tougher jobs.
4- Avoid piles (pun not intended). Piles tend to result in things being left and forgotten at the bottom. Whether you’re sorting out your clothes, documents, or food, a horizontal arrangement rather than a vertical one is always preferred.
5- Purchase a large calendar. Purchase a large calendar and hang it up in your workspace or kitchen. Although you may already diarise things on your smart phone or computer (if you don’t, make sure that you do), having a large tangible record of what you need to do and when you need to do it makes dates and events much easier to remember. Make it a habit to check it every morning whilst eating breakfast or as soon as you arrive at work. Write absolutely everything on it!
6- Put things back immediately after you’ve used them. Having something back in its rightful place will ensure that it doesn’t get lost, will keep everything tidy, and when placed somewhere consciously will allow your unconscious mind to ‘let it go’ until you pick it up again, ensuring valuable ‘thinking space’ is not wasted.
7- Things should always sit back in the same place when you’re not using them: Keys, phone, wallet, bag etc.
8- When things need replacing, write them down. A white board that you and your colleagues/family can jot things that need replacing down on will ensure that come your weekly shop you will be able to easily write a comprehensive list and not forget anything. This white board can also be used to note down a cleaning rota or a general ‘to do’ list.
9- Get things started. If you’re organised, once something is started then it is as good as done. If there’s an activity that you know needs doing but have been putting it off for whatever reason, simply making a start will make the rest of the process much easier.
10- Delegate. Whether delegating to your family, housemates or your colleagues, be aware that other people have different ways of working. You may be someone who likes to get things done immediately, whereas they may work better under pressure last minute. Understand these differences and cater for them i.e. if you know someone will do something last minute, give them the task to do 2 days before the deadline in order to allow yourself time to review.
Stickys/post-its are incredibly useful when tackling a large number of tasks. Take great pleasure in scrounging each one up once the task is completed.
Exercise! Not only is a healthy body a healthy mind, but it will also clear your thoughts and help you to prioritise. Make exercise and integral part of your routine.