Another standalone article which will take a seriously in depth look of how you get yourself organised. Thinking of a number of ways in which you can do this, makes me realise that there will be a number of shortish paragraphs on a number of subjects, some of course will need to be much longer.
It is surprising just how many headings that I could use, should I so wish, will try to cover as many as possible as it is surprising just how disorganized we are in some of our ways, often without realising it.
No excuses are made for introducing one of my favourite topics, as those of you who are regular readers of my articles will be aware, not quite obsessed with planning but very nearly so. My theory of the need to plan is based on a very old saying or quotation:
“He did not plan to fail, he just failed to plan”
Unfortunately this is so very true, none of us plan to fail, but do we fail to plan? This could be true, at the same time if we do plan and fail then we must ask ourselves why. Would suggest that the most common reason would be because, we either did not plan correctly, or we did not carry out our plan as we intended to. In other words virtually ignored it. Or just could not be bothered.
Have myself fallen into this trap, found the solution by not just planning, in my case the week on a Sunday Evening, but also having a timetable to go with it. Have this available to look at on the screen of my computer, which I can check every so often, depending on the timing that I have allowed.
Find that this does keep me on track, (must sometimes admit to this, being a little tongue-in-cheek at times). The one problem is when something crops up which has to be dealt with, this of course is a problem with working from home, you cannot cater for every eventuality.
Where Do You Start?
Several ideas come to mind, you could have a brain storming session, thinking where you need to go next, will keep this article related to business, though a lot of the methodology can be equally applied to redesigning your garden or putting in a new kitchen as a couple of examples.
The most obvious answer is the good old pen and paper to write things down as you think of them. You could of course use your computer, that way you can move items around in a more logical order, writing them down first moving them when you get chance to study what you have written.
You could also use a properly designed planner, there are a number on the market that you can choose from, if you get one that can be amended to suit your purpose so much the better.
The article which follows this is a review of “Createful Journals” which might worth your while to read.
How Being Organized Saves You Time and Money
It would be very nice if we could not only organize our schedules, but be committed to keeping them on a daily basis, how can we do this? It is very time-consuming to create a workable schedule.
Being organised can be adapted to suit your individual needs, you can save time and money by being organised, below are some of the reasons.
Being Efficient Causes Less Stress
It is not rocket science to understand if you keep your personal belongings organised, then you will know where they are when you need them, instead of wasting time looking for them when they are needed.
To keep things organised, you must find a place to keep them, know where this is, keeping to these same places is also important, make a list if you have to.
No Need For Uneccesary Purchases
If you know where everything is, when you need say a rubber band, if you cannot find any then, what do you do? Go out and buy some more, but if you know where things are it can save you money.
This problem can also be solved if you have drawers where you keep bits and pieces, clean it out occasionally, then make a list of what is in there. No more extra packets of rubber bands!
Remember Things That Matter
Sometimes we forget little, and not so little things, such as paying a bill, being organised helps deal with this type of problem.
Reduce the Shopping Bill
Try to plan your menus for the month, this way you can shop in bulk, saving on multi purchases. You can also look out for coupons which offer you savings on items that you have on your to buy list. This method can also be used for non-food items, such as say washing up liquid, store the extra items until they are needed.
If you stay organised you can also reduce your stress levels, as you no longer need to panic buy, this also applies to Birthday and Christmas presents.
You may have to put some effort into getting or being organized, but in the long run it will be worth it, less stress, possibly less expense. You can use your mobile to help you plan as well as the other methods mentioned.
Design a Plan That Is Workable and Stick To It
Whilst creating a plan or schedule is the best way to make efficient use of your time, it helps you to make deadlines, appointments, whilst staying focused on the present task. It can be difficult, so here are a few ideas to help you stay on track.
Use A To Do List
Make yourself a list of all the tasks that need doing that day, then allocate a time to accomplish them in, do not forget leisure and family time. List the important tasks first.
Use A Planner
Yes, back to one of my favourite tools, but, if you use a planner it will enable you to enter your schedule in a logical sequence, making it easier to see not only what your tasks are, but to accomplish them as well.
One of these days I intend to design a purpose built planner for me!
Good intentions are wonderful, but when planning your schedule, do be realistic, allowing plenty of time, not only for tasks, but between them as well, you will need a break.
Once you begin to plan your day using a schedule. Keep at it, it will be hard at first, especially if you have not been used to it, but it will become easier with practice.
Be Prepared For Surprises
It does not matter how well-organised you are, things will not always go as planned, so be prepared if you have to amend your schedule, do not let it stress you. Always be ready to adjust your schedule should the need arise, this is one good reason for not over filling your daily list.
These ideas are intended to cover the very basic way in which you can manage your time. At the end of the day how you do your schedule and planning is down to you. Do be prepared to be flexible and experiment with different ways of doing things, until you find one that suits.
Get Your Email Inbox Organised
If your inbox tends to overflow, it can cause a lot of problems as it can take a while to sort it out, if ever. I know getting well over 250 mails a day, most of which are deleted. So here are a few ides:
Get rid of junk mail. Try unsubscribing to the junk that is a frequent visitor to your inbox, the little time it takes, will be repaid by not having to keep pressing the delete button.
Use Folders and Categories. Since I discovered folders, it has made my life so much easier, as a mail comes in which I need to keep, it just gets moved to the appropriate folder, this way I can find mails without searching the inbox for hours on end.
Using Tags and Labels. If you find that you have a message that could fit into several folders, tag it for sorting them later
Filters. If your email service will let you, when a junk mailer refuses to go away, you can apply a filter to automatically send them to the trash bin.
Remember To Search Your Email
If you wish to search your inbox to find an email quickly, there is a search tool that enables you to find emails from a particular person, an email address, or even some search words. I do use this when I have lost an email, especially if it is in the trash box, before it is completely disposed of.
Do remember to keep your inbox organised to avoid a mess, by allowing emails to clutter up your now organised filing system.
Try to use some of the tools provided, setting up may take time, but your effort will be rewarded.
Get Your Mindset Organised
If you can, clear your mind of clutter, then it makes sense that you should be in a better frame of mind to be more organised. There are a number of ways in which can get your mindset organised. Here are a few suggestions:
Put Your Feelings On Paper
Studies have indicated that one of the best ways to reduce your mind of clutter, is to write your feelings down. It does not matter if these are in a journal which you can keep for future reference or a scrap of paper which you throw away when you have finished with it.
It is surprising just how many people turn to meditation when they are feeling stressed. They believe, as I do, that if you meditate you can clear the clutter from your brain. This, then leaves you with a clearer thought and enables you to have a better mindset as you can now focus on just one thing.
Try A Jog Or A Run.
Studies have shown that this is another method of clearing the mind from clutter, especially if you listen to music whilst doing so. Music activates the part of the brain that deals with the higher level of mental function. Students who listened to music did better than those who did not, in fluency tests.
Time For A Nap
If you only take a short nap, of say ten minutes, it helps a lot in clearing the mind of clutter and mental fatigue. It is also known to increase both productivity and alertness. A good night’s sleep is also a great help. When you are again feeling mentally fatigued, it is possible that a short nap will help you with your organisation for the rest of the day.
Cuddle Your Pet
If you have a pet spend some time with it, most people regard their pet as a member of the family, I know that all our dogs have been so thought of over the last thirty years or so, my present dog I often say “Come to Granddad”. If you spend time with your pet, it can help with your mood for the rest of the day.
No pet, then watch one of the many videos of cute pets that are available on line. This is cuddling a pet from a distance, but does help.
Try some of these ideas out, combine them with those that you are aware of already, it is surprising, but your mindset will improve, as will your organisation of your life.
Use Your Computer To Organise Your Resources
It is amazing what we store on our computers, from family photographs, to recording our expenditure, making notes, recording the family tree, so the list goes on. Recording of these items is important, but they must kept in order and not in a cluttered heap. If this is you, can you find what you are looking for without trawling through numerous files?
Should I have just described you what you have on your computer, then these ideas might just help.
Buy An External Hard Drive
We all know that you should keep your files backed up. Some such as Photographs, Videos and Music these can take up a lot of space on your hard drive, so why not keep them on an external hard drive, freeing up valuable space. This always keeps them safe.
You Could Always Use A USB
Another word for a memory stick, I have several, following on from the previous paragraph, when I open zipped files I like to keep the original just in case! Transferring the original zip files to a USB, keeps them safe and clears the hard drive of clutter. I tend to use those capable of holding 128GB.
Old Files – Trash Them
If like me you have had a computer for some time, the chances are that you will have files, that you no longer use, or should not have downloaded in the first place. If this is the case get rid. If you are really not certain, you could always transfer them to a memory stick, again just in case! This way you will free up more space on your hard drive.
Do You Use Web Bookmarks?
If your bookmarks bar is somewhat crowded, it can take time to find what you are looking for. Most browsers will allow you to file these into folders, keeping them where you know where to find them. This allows you to create a sensible bookmark system.
Use Your Filing System Correctly
You will be aware of being able to use folders on your computer, make sure that they are correctly labeled and sub-divided so that you can find them easily, when the need arises. Here I can speak from total experience, mine were a complete disaster, slowly I am getting there, but it is taking time as they were such a mess, this is stopping me from working!
Using Other Tools
There are a number of tools which are cloud based, these enable you to store files away from the computer, but they are still easily accessible. It is not my intention to mention those that are available, merely to advise you of their existence. A little research will provide the answer. These of course also free up your computer.
In fact there is no real way to plan the way you organise yourself, it is how you feel comfortable, and what works for you, this article will hopefully help you in this, I certainly hope so.
All my working life I have been considered an organiser and planner, despite this, during my research for this article, have come across a number of different and new ideas on how to organise myself, do believe that you should always be learning.
Do so hope that as always that you enjoyed reading this rather large article, if you do have any comments, would love to hear from you, as we really appreciate the time that you take to make them
The next article will be “9 – Review of Createful Journals”
Be Happy, Healthy and Wealthy