Don’t Organise The Organiser

Are you an organised person or are you the type of person who needs someone else to organise you?

Being an organised person doesn’t just mean you show up to meetings on time with the correct file, notes and coffee. It’s not about spring-cleaning and making sure dinner is on the table at 6pm each night. It goes much deeper than that.

A truly organised person makes organisation a part of their daily routine and practice. They may be the organiser at work, organising staff and clients. They may be the organiser at home, organising family day-to-day activities and tasks. Either way they will have some traits they live by and which become a ritual each day, month or year.

Using a calendar, (either electronic or hard copy), plan your week in advance, check what you have on the following week and prepare for it. I find using colour coding for different areas of my life very helpful e.g., I use red for business meetings, purple for client work and green for personal tasks or organising activities for my kids. This makes a visual for me to easily glance at when looking at the week ahead.

I also find it useful to keep a “to do” list. I use only one list and cross items off as they are completed. This gives me a sense of completion and I know where I stand. I find I am always adding to my list, however, to ensure that everything I need to do is completed and then feel that sense of completion once it has been crossed off. Another thing I add to my “to do” list is a weekly goal; this is usually made of actual goals I want to achieve and which I set for myself in my business. I find adding my goals to my “to do” keeps me honest and accountable for what I am trying to achieve.

I also spend 30 minutes each morning going through emails; responding and creating task items from the emails. This not only keeps me on track but also keeps my inbox to a minimum and manageable size. Many people who use my services for organizational purposes will start off with the task of email management, most often when feeling overwhelmed with the amount of emails in their inbox. Checking and responding to emails as a set routine each day makes you accountable to clearing out your inbox and helps to keep you clear headed in what needs to be done.

Take time out of your day for lunch, not only to clear your head but also to feed your brain and body a nutritional meal. This helps keep your brain actively clear and ready to take on other challenges. It also gives you time out for you; even 30 minutes for a lunch break will help with productivity.

At the end of each day it’s important to leave your workspace clean and tidy. Bin any paper and documents you don’t need, tidy documents you do need and put in one pile. Ensure your “to do” list is at the top of that pile. Clearing your workspace at the end of the day means you arrive the next day with a clear slate and ready to tackle the day ahead.

We have a saying in our house “Don’t organise the organiser”, It’s a bit of a running joke as I follow the above tips for just about everything in my life from work to family, even as far as planning holidays. Everything is thought out and then entered into my calendar; I then create task lists and cross off as I complete tasks. It works and works well.

If you’re one of those who struggles with being organised and can’t afford to hire someone (like a Personal Assistant) to organise your work and life for you, try putting these simple tips into place and see how your day can be a little more organised. Yes, it takes a short time to set up and then actively complete and make routine, but it will work!


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