"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up."
--- A.A. Milne
As we approach the first of another year, it's natural for many of us to begin making new goals, tweaking old ones, and basically trying to become more organized in our business and personal lives. As we strive to become better at managing our time and keeping pace with the onslaught of constant change, it is necessary to ensure we have the proper tools in place to help us. Because organizational skills might not come naturally for some of us, I'm hoping this newsletter provides some help, and if not, then hope, for getting better organized in 2019.
Like me, you are probably receiving numerous emails about how to take charge of your life in the new year, sales on organizational products from Franklin-Covey and others, free promotional calendars, and so much more. Finding the right tools to fit your world can be challenging, but regardless of what products you decide to use, here are four tips you can adopt now to get better organized beginning this January.
"Organizing ahead of time makes the work more enjoyable. Chefs cut up the onions and have the ingredients lined up ahead of time and have them ready to go. When everything is organized you can clean as you go and it makes everything so much easier and fun."
--- Anne Burrell
The first tip for getting and staying organized is to learn to write it down-write everything down. Keep a journal, legal pad, regular, $.79 notebook, whatever it takes, to keep track of your ideas, to-do list, thoughts, reminders, and goals. Instead of trying to remember it all, write it all down. You can use a tool like Asana, (or many others on the market), to everything in one tool. This helps you to keep organized and improves confidence by having everything in one place.
"Deadlines aren't bad. They help you organize your time. They help you set priorities. They make you get going when you might not feel like it."
--- Harvey Mackay
The second important organizing tip is to automate as much as possible. Place important items on your calendar, whether electronic or paper, and use them as reminders. Sounds simple enough, but too often we get pushed in a corner trying to tackle multiple tasks because we didn't remember what we needed to do and when. Put all appointments, deadlines, and important tasks in a tickler of some sorts to nudge you when you must do something. And then do that thing immediately.
"Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have."
Thirdly, set daily intentions. Ask yourself, "What are my reasons for doing this? What will happen if I do it? If I don't do it?" These kinds of questions allows you to evaluate if the tasks or goals you jotted down, (remember the first tip!), if really what you need or have to do. If you find that what seemed like a good thing to do at the time no longer has a positive impact on your business or life, remove it. Take it off your list and don't think about it again.
--- John C. Maxwell
"One of the core organizing principles of my life is that success comes through a delicate balance between making things happen and letting things happen."
--- Robin S. Sharma
Finally, don't force things. Your ideas, intentions, and goals should be a natural output of what you ultimately want to accomplish. If you find you are forcing items simply to get them off your list, then back away. While hard work is required for success, some things will fall into place if you allow them. Often, once you begin making progress on your idea and to-do list, they make room for other things to happen without much effort.