Your desk is buried under heaps of paper. Your Email Inbox is never empty. And you’re running late for your next meeting. Don’t despair…it’s always possible to be more organized. And it can start by learning from organized people.
Being an organized person means you have control over your life. You get to decide what happens and when, instead of constantly reacting to events.
Some people are born organized, but that doesn’t mean we all can’t learn and improve.
Here are five lessons you can learn from organized people.
“For every minute spent organizing an hour is earned.” Benjamin Franklin1.
1. Before you go home, make a list
At the end of the work day, when you’re ready to go home, stop and take five minutes to make a list of what you are going to start the next morning with.
These are the tasks you didn’t finish and the work that’s moved up in urgency. This quick list will help get your morning off to a positive start and
help free your mind to transition from work to home.
When you go into work in the morning, you want to start fresh. If you already know what needs to be done, then you can start work right away. Instead of wasting precious time checking email and responding to other people’s priorities, you are on task and productive.
2. Think ahead and avoid anxiety
Organized people are on time. Why? Because they think ahead. It sounds simple, but this is actually a skill worth learning.
You have to meet someone at 10AM: did you block travel time? Did you avoid opening an email that you know will require a careful reply, did you schedule in some prep time to get your head out of your current tasks and into the meeting topics?
Sure, it might seem overkill, but think about the cost of rushing and the stress from anxiously trying to meet deadlines.
A little foresight can mean a lot of clear thinking and effective decisions.
“You can have it all. You can’t just have it all at once. “ Oprah Winfrey
3. Think about your future self
Athletes learn how to think about their future state.
How do I want to feel crossing the finish line? How do I want to feel at the end of the match.
This is a skill organized people do naturally - think about their future self. Your day is packed with meetings, conference calls, appointments and mini deadlines. You know there will also be interruptions.
How do you want to feel? As you pack up and make a quick list (#1) to clear your mind, how do you want to feel.
It’s a strange capacity we all have to change our state by thinking ahead. And you can employ it in an instant.
“Perfection is the death of possibilities.” Mary Kay Hamm
4. Sometimes good enough is good enough
Being organized does not mean being perfect. In fact, often perfectionism is a deterrent to completion.
It’s all about time allocation and work expectations.
- A financial planner must be exact about client buy orders. And sometimes a one-line email to staff reply will suffice.
- A project management team needs to be precise with budgeting. But folding chairs in the conference room might be good enough.
- You could use more time to prepare for your presentation, but you know you will perform better if you have a good night’s sleep. So you have to be happy with what you have.
Once you can let go of the pressure to be perfect, you can enjoy the freedom to choose what you give attention to.
5. Trust in the experts
Just as organized people know when to leave a project be, they also know when to let experts take care of tasks. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he shared studies claiming it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. To be a master at a skill takes time. And if you don’t have that time, then it’s okay to trust in those who have already mastered the skill.
Your business needs help with your web site. There are hundreds of videos and blogs offering advice. And it’s tempting to invest in learning the skills - after all, there will be more needs in the future.
But, that’s not your forte-there are people who live and breath web design. What would take you hours they can do in minutes.
Organized people know their strengths and when to reach out. Build your network of experts, but don’t think of them as a cost - they are making you money because you are free to do what you are an expert at.
You might think of yourself as an organized type person. Don’t despair. Like anything skill, it take practice. But if you’re really committed to effective
productivity, streamlining your life and reducing stress then that practice will be worth it.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425 749 7471 if your business requires resourcing support or if you are interested in exploring employment opportunities with Amaxra.