Organizing stuff is usually the no-brainer part of organization. However, finding time to keep everything organized is a whole other story. Time management techniques are sometimes the hardest things to add into our lives, because they require consistent effort. Once you know some of the tricks, and those habits are created, it makes keeping it all together so much easier.
First, make an agreement with yourself that you are not perfect, and sometimes emergencies happen, and sometimes it is impossible to get everything checked off your list. With practice, you can get MORE done each day by incorporating these simple tricks.
Step 1. Make a list of tasks and projects each week.
Pen and paper usually work best, but if you are a laptop kind of person, then by all means type it up!
Step 2. Estimate the time for each project / task and round up!
Most people don’t realize that most things cannot be accomplished in 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes quickly turn into 15, so be generous and realistic with the amount of time it takes to complete each item.
Step 3. Divide the tasks by day and priority.
I like to put a little number (1,2, or 3) next to each item to denote it’s priority and then I am able to spread out all my tasks over the week ahead. Once you’ve assigned each item a priority, then assign it to a day of the week. Use a planner, phone, or electronic calendar. There is no right or wrong. Choose the best time of day to complete these tasks. Ask yourself: are you more productive in the morning or evening? Items that can be multi-tasked are great. For example, do a load of laundry while you clean the rest of the house.
Step 4. Remember, don’t overload your days and you will feel more accomplished; cross off items as you go.
Crossing things off your list makes you feel as if you have done something productive, so this is really where old-fashioned pen and paper are practical.
Step 5. Prep the night before.
Plan ahead for the following day so you know where you left off and what to expect. Items you weren’t able to complete today, get moved to the following day based on priority.
Obviously there will be some days where your list gets trampled by life and you feel as if nothing got done. Don’t beat yourself up. Just adjust and be flexible. Move those priorities to the next day and readjust the rest to your week as needed. Time management is a skill and needs to be practiced just like any other skill in order to become proficient.
Just like exercise, you can’t do it once and expect immediate or dramatic results! 🙂