“How Can I Stay Organized?” [Solution Saturday #22]

Hello My Friends, and welcome to this week’s #SolutionsSaturday”.  In this week’s solution I wanted to talk about the importance of organization and how disorganization can literally rob you of your most precious resource.

How many of us have spent at least 10 minutes looking for our keys or our phone on occasion? I am guessing most of us. Now while this may not seem like a big issue on the surface. What is 10 minutes you say? It could be signal to a much larger problem that is stealing time away from you each and every day.

 “Time is all we have”. We have heard that quote many times and it is our most valuable resource.  And whether its 10 minutes looking for our phone, or hours a day wasted simply because we are unable to prioritize our tasks, lack of organization may be costing us a lot more than we realize. Those 10 minutes can add up to hours, weeks and months in the long run.

So how can we stay organized? Most of us have a lot on our plate each day. More than we can accomplish in a single day. For this reason it is critical to keep an organized and prioritized task list of all of the items that you need to accomplish. These might be critical items that need to be accomplished within the hour or day, or items that must be done within the month.

To solve this, I keep multiple lists of items. To keep these lists I use Microsoft OneNote, because it’s available and synced on every device I use, however you can use any type of list you want, as long as you are comfortable using it wherever you are.

The first list I keep is a list called “Critical Items”, which is a daily list of the most important tasks. I make sure to take care of all of those items first thing in the morning if possible so that I can make sure everything that MUST be done, gets done on time.

After that I look to the “Important Items” list. These are items that should be done within the week or the next few days and I try to knock out as many of those as I can. These are items that may not need to be done that day, however they should be completed as soon as possible.

The next list I have is a “To Do” list. Items like these are often things that should be done within a timely manner but not on that particular day or week.  I will try and get to as many of these as possible a day, but only after the Critical & Important things get done.

I continually add, move and update items on these lists on a daily basis, as priorities change, new tasks come in and items get completed and removed.  Just as with life events, these lists are dynamic and open to change and updates.

With so much unpredictability in our lives each and every day, it’s often hard to be able to plan and organize every aspect. That is exactly why we should always organize the ‘known’ so that we can be prepared for the ‘unknown’.  The peace of mind that comes from putting your keys down in the same place each day, is the same peace of mind knowing you don’t have to think about what to do and when to do it, because it’s all written or typed out on a nearby list. 

The benefits of staying organized are immense. Not only does this reduce your stress, it actually increases your time for more creativity and inspiration to reach both your professional and personal goals and dreams

I hope you have enjoyed this Solutions Saturday and you get tons of value from this post and our Excel For Freelancers Group. (If you have to join, please feel free to join here: http://bit.ly/groupexcel )  If you have a question that you would like me to answer, just put it in the comments below and I will try and get to in in a Solutions Saturday.

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