In today’s world, it seems impossible to not multitask to some degree. And with multitasking comes distraction, with distraction comes disorganization. While I’m in no way the most organized person, I’ll share some of my secrets, habits, and routines for keeping organized.
I start my day with a simple accomplishment. Any simple accomplishment will do. Making the bed, doing some chores, something that needs to be done every morning.
That way you start the day with a small, satisfying feeling of completion to motivate you in your tasks ahead.
That was more of a motivational tip, but one of my habits that truly keeps me organized is taking little steps throughout the day to stay on top of things. I make an effort to read every email, spam or not, and properly deal with it. I seldom leave an important email un-replied to as soon as I’ve read it.
When I make a file, I don’t let them pile up on my desktop and lie to myself about cleaning it up one
weekend. I always spend the time to save it to the proper folder, and to name the file correctly (as opposed to slamming my keys randomly while naming it).
Even at home, I take the time to organize out of place objects, no matter how small or insignificant. This helps me to save myself from a weekend full of cleaning. It also gives me peace of mind.
I find the cleaner my work environment is, the more organized my work tends to be.
It’s really just a mental state, but the initial effort it takes to justify “wasting time” by naming your files correctly pays off by eliminating laziness and creating an organized workplace in the long run.
Another approach to organization is having a to-do list, but not in the typical way people normally use one. To start, don’t stick to large, broad topics on your to-do list.
Get specific. I even find that I’ll write little instructions to myself when making my to-do list, as it helps me remember exactly what to do.
That way I feel accomplished checking off upwards of 10 items on my to-do list per task, and each item was completed with a very tight focus. I also find myself hiding all other tasks except the task I’m currently working on.
I keep my to-do list in Google Docs and I change the text color of upcoming tasks to white, which I find invaluable in keeping me focused on the task at hand.
When I organize it this way, I feel much less stressed than when I’m worrying about other items on my to-do list.
Trello is great for helping me see a project’s entire scope from start to finish. It helps prioritize what is
necessary. It allows me to quickly prioritize what needs to be done, lets me see if a certain aspect of a project is nearing completion and motivates me to finish it off.
Google keep and Google docs are my go-to for short notes, reminders and small tasks for myself.
I make it a point to not let tasks pile up, and I let older tasks cycle up to the top of the list.
Write It Out
The whiteboard is great for writing down quick, temporary notes and to-do items, and I try to have everything on it completed and erased at the end of the day. Plus, physically writing notes down makes it a lot easier to remember them.
Vigilantly using the methods above throughout my day makes me just that more organized than before. I find work not only being done faster but with more enthusiasm and satisfaction.