According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of American Demographics, the most common excuse people use for not getting organized is not having enough time. Ironically, those who are organized end up having more time to focus on important tasks and do the things they enjoy most.
“Finding time to get organized simplifies your life and brings peace of mind, which you can’t put a price on,” says Ronni Eisenberg, author of 10 organizing books including “Organize Yourself.” “Organization is a skill that can be learned and will reduce the stress in your life. Once you learn some basic organizing principles, you’ll easily be able to apply them to everything you do at work and in the home.”
Eisenberg offers the following organizing tips to help simplify your life:
Use only one calendar to list appointments, meetings and tasks; with more than one, there is always the risk of forgetting to keep both up to date. Also, make sure the calendar is portable, since sometimes you need to make appointments while on the go.
Create a master “to do” list of what needs to be accomplished for the week. Then create a realistic and flexible daily “to do” list. Be aware that sometimes your priorities may change and you may not accomplish everything you originally set out to do.
Break down large projects or chores into manageable tasks. One way to do this is to write each task on a Post-it Sortable Card. These cards are a great way to visually organize your tasks because they stick to many surfaces but not to each other. You can stick them up or sort and prioritize them in the palm of your hand.
Cluster similar tasks or errands together. If you need to make several phone calls or go to multiple stores in the same neighborhood, try to do it sequentially.
Delegate assignments to co-workers or family members. By having others help you, it will give others a shared sense of responsibility and free up your time to accomplish other tasks.
Try not to let things pile up. Set aside a time each day to file paperwork or sort through the mail to avoid overwhelming and unmanageable piles.
Keep frequently used information and files in a place that is easily accessible. For example, keep important phone numbers near the phone or active project files on your desk. With everything at your fingertips, you won’t waste time searching for information when you need it most.