Being and staying organized isn't easy. It might seem like you can never get organized, let alone stay organized - especially when you live a busy personal and work life like I do. It is a skill you have to actively work on and keep at the top of your mind each and every day. Don't get me wrong. I'm not organized 100 percent of the time. No one is, even if they claim to be. However, in the grand scheme of things I'd like to think I am a pretty organized person.
According to simplyproductive.com, "280 hours (7 weeks) per year are lost by workers seeking clarification due to poor communication." This can be prevented by simply taking the time to get all of your thoughts compiled and organized upfront. It can even be as easy as rereading an email before you hit send or making a to-do list at the end of each day. Think about what else you could be doing with all of that free time: more watercooler breaks with your co-workers or even an occasional pinball game. Who knows!
For me, I learned how to stay organized by watching my parents and learning from my mistakes. Every person is going to have their own unique list of what does and doesn't work for them, and I want to share mine with you. Here are five simple things you can do to be more organized.
- Make a to-do list, but be flexible. A to-do list is great. It is one of my favorite things, but sometimes sticking too firmly to your list can be detrimental. You have to be able to go with the flow and switch gears and priorities when something comes up.
- Sweat the small stuff. It matters. Even the smallest of details that might not seem that important can be. It can definitely make a difference.
- Keep a calendar, digital or hard copy. When you plan an event or meeting, make sure to put it on the calendar. Reminders are our best friends because we all forget.
- File your documents. Whether in your email or in your drawers, filing folders can help you retrace your steps and conversations if ever needed.
- Read, read and then reread if you have time. I always try to read emails at least twice. I know time doesn't always allow for that, but the sooner you start the habit the better. It will help you see your mistakes and condense when you ramble.
Staying organized is a lot of work, but it will pay off in the end! I hope this gives you a glimpse of a few things you can do daily to make your life easier.