Creating routines and ‘setting out your stall’ each day gets you organised to get done the things you need to get done. It can be hard to get into a routine and create your habits in the first place but once you get set up and organised, you’ll be flying! These eight tips will help you to stay organised every day with very little effort or fuss.
Start the day by checking your diary and working on your todo list.
As you come across things that you need to do, add them to your todo list (I use Todoist). Then each morning one of your first jobs is to review each item and decide when each of them needs to be done and when. At the same time you need to check your calendar to see the shape of your day in terms of meetings and activity.
Plan to Stay Organised
Use your calendar and your todo list to plan your day. Think about any calls, meetings and you need to do.
Work out when you will be in meetings and when you will have time during the day to do the things that you need to do. Use whichever format works for you – pen and paper, a planner like a bullet journal, or an app.
It’s really important to prioritise your todo list and determine when each of the tasks is due / will be done.
If it works for you, add task time and projects to your calendar to schedule in time when you will do those activities. It doesn’t work for me to do that as I don’t like my calendar to look too busy – it’s overwhelming to me! I use my todo list to plan in when to do my tasks. Work out what works best for you and do that.
And it’s important to make sure to schedule breaks and to make time to do things you want to do, like see friends and family.
The F.A.R. Rules
These rules are good to remember (and not necessarily in this order – they don’t form a work any other way!). They are essential for helping you to stay organised. And they apply equally to your personal life as your business.
File it – if it’s important and needs to be kept (either in paper or electronic form) then file it immediately in the best place (ie one where you’ll remember where it is!).
Act on it – if something needs to be done and will take less than two minutes, just do it. If you have something that needs to be done but will take longer than two minutes, add it to your todo list and then you can make a plan for when you will do it.
Recycle it – whether it’s junk mail or papers or items you’ve finished with, recycle them immediately once they’re no longer needed. These rules apply to emails as well as paperwork (though in the former case it becomes ‘delete’ it!).
Technology can be helpful in terms of staying productive and ensuring that your days are organised and run well. But it can also be a distraction and get in the way of your productivity , so beware!
Choose your technology well so it helps and doesn’t create more of a problem than it solves!
My advice would be to start with what you want to do, what your issue is, and then, only if needed, find some technology to help you, rather than starting with an app or other tech and trying to find a use for it.
For example, I wanted a way to keep recipes handy at home as well as available when away from home. I started by using Evernote, which is a tool that I use for keeping all sorts of information and notes handy across all my devices.
Once I started to rely on that, I found another better app that does all sorts of other stuff in order to make my life easier.
It’s called Paprika and it works across my laptop, ipad and phone. I can save recipes from the web, enter my own, create meal plans, make shopping lists and manage my cooking by adjusting recipes, highlighting the stages of the method and timing.
I almost wouldn’t have known how much of the functionality I needed until I started using the app, but I got to that incrementally by only looking for it when I needed it.
It’s a definite recommend!
One thing to do to help you to be successful in organising what you do is to track and monitor your progress. What’s working and what isn’t?
Be ready to make changes to how you do things to ensure that you are always working most productively.
For a start, don’t assume that how someone else works will work for you; we are all different and we need to take inspiration from others but mostly implement to suit ourselves.
That’s how my POWER to Live More CALM Platinum Mastermind works. You join and participate in our calls each Wednesday, bringing your questions and issues as and when you have them. We work through them together, ensuring that the solution suits you and your working style. There is definitely no ‘one size fits all’ in the group!
Are you a hoarder? So many people seem to keep things, whether in real life or on technology ‘just in case’.
If it’s not useful or necessary, throw it away! If you are keeping it, put it away.
Work on the ‘there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place’ theory. That way you keep your surroundings free from clutter and distractions.
5 Minute Review to Stay Organised
Just like you started your day with a check in and some planning, end your day with a five minute review.
Celebrate your accomplishments (most important and mostly missed) and cross off everything you’ve achieved from your todo list.
Move anything that you haven’t yet achieved to your todo list for tomorrow, minus any unimportant tasks that have now become irrelevant.
To Do List
Having moved anything from today that you haven’t accomplished to tomorrow, add anything that you need to get done without fail tomorrow.
Try and limit your list to 10 items or fewer so that you don’t feel overwhelmed or also end tomorrow with a list of unaccomplished items.
Becoming and staying organised doesn’t happen overnight and it does require regular effort. However, you can stay on track by following these eight tips. You can be organised every day with a little planning, time and effort.