Have you ever tried looking for something and can’t find it? Have you ever found yourself running late for work and you can’t even locate your car keys? Have you ever tried remembering something you needed to do and can’t remember at all? I believe your answer is YES to all these. Experiencing any or all of these a few times in your life is understandable; but if this happens to you all the time, it’s time to make some changes.
This article is meant to help you get more organized so you can better utilize your time and avoid getting all stressed out. And even if you believe you are already organized, it’s always good to refresh yourself or get new tips.
First, let me clarify that being organized is more than just being neat and tidy. Being organized means you know where to find stuff when you need it. It means planning in advance so you have all your ducks in a row. It means remembering the things that you need to do.
Next, I want you to know that each person is different, and therefore has his or her own way of keeping things in order. Therefore, what I am going to present here are simply guidelines for you to follow.
Write it down.
I promise you that you will forget it, which is why you need to “write it down”. From your grocery list to your bills to your schedule, you need to write them down … unless you have a personal assistant to remind you.
I keep a planner where I write down my meeting schedules, personal things to do, and other things that I need to remember. However, my planner is not always with me. Sometimes I am out for my morning exercise and all of a sudden, I remember something ... or I am already in bed and an idea comes to mind. When I can’t write them down, I put it on my phone alarm. Other times, I even email myself, just so I won’t forget. You can also use post-its. The point is: write it down or keep a reminder.
Keep a spot.
I don’t care where that spot is, or how many different spots you have. Have a place for your keys, pens, mail, grocery list, receipts, documents, and everything else. Don’t just leave anything anywhere. And, return them where they belong so you always know where to find it.
As a woman, my biggest challenge is when I change purses. All of a sudden, I can’t find a pen when I need it, only to realize it is in my other purse. This got me to think of ways to have all my stuff in one place when I change purses, which led me to one of the best organizers I've found for women, a purse organizer!!!
If you can’t keep your stuff in its proper compartment because you’re so busy or you’re just not in the mood to do that all the time, my suggestion is to have a weekly clean-up/organizing time. I do both. I return things where they belong, all the time, but I also sort things out once a week.
Plan ahead of time.
You can’t expect to be organized without being intentional about it. For things to work out smoothly, planning ahead of time is essential.
When I entertain guests at home, I want to make sure that the table is ready by the time they get to my place. This means that the food is cooked and simply warming up, and the whole house looks inviting and cozy enough for the guests to feel welcome and at-home. I plan backwards, which is how I plan everything I do. I start with the expected time of arrival, and I work back to the time I should start preparing the food. Of course, there is a pre-preparation which includes the grocery shopping and cleaning the house.
I have a busy work schedule, even if I work from home. Half of my work hours is devoted to meeting people outside, whether it is networking or client meetings. In between meetings and working on projects is my social media promotions and answering prospective client inquiries, which can take a lot of my time.
What I do, each work day, is wake up very early in the morning (thanks to my husband’s very early work schedule). Once my husband leaves for work, I get into my regular quiet time. This has been the source of everything for me – peace, strength, refreshing, wisdom, new ideas, and answers to my questions. I call it my God time. I use this time for prayer, which is mostly my thanksgiving to God. This starts my day with an attitude of gratitude, and which instantly uplifts me. I also make sure to read my Bible and pay attention to what God is telling me through His book. I can’t even begin to explain how my Bible reading has given me so many business ideas, and how it has given me clearer direction. It is in this quiet time where I wrote my books, and where I write my blogs.
I also journal as part of my quiet time. I've been journaling for years, and my journal entries have evolved through time. If there's one thing I won't be able to throw away, it's my journals. I have a collection of them from so many years back.
I am very particular about the type of paper I write on when I'm journaling. I guess there's something about the flow of paper when you have a pen and paper that blend together.
From my quiet time, I shift to my physical exercise. I make it a point to run at least three times a week. During my busier days, I do some quick strength training, or take a walk with my husband in the late afternoon, which works best during the spring and summer.
My physical exercise after my spiritual exercise surely prepares me for my day ahead. It gets my body, heart, and mind ready for the demands of the day.
Never rush toward your day. Wake up earlier to have some quiet time. This will help you warm up and get ready.
Being habitually organized is about being intentional. For some people, it comes naturally; for others, it does not. Being intentional means that you have to exercise discipline and commitment in not only making it happen but in maintaining it.
It is easy to organize your closet when you feel like doing it, but to keep it organized requires ‘being intentional’. Every ‘intentional’ move leads to the formation of a habit that eventually becomes a part of you.
Each night before we go to bed, I make sure that my living room and kitchen are clean and tidy. Why? Because these two rooms are the first areas I go to in the morning, and it makes my mind stay at peace when I see everything in order. I have done this so many times that it has become a habit for me.
Being habitually organized will help you become more effective in everything you do. It brings about good time management, a more peaceful and stress-free life, and can be greatly beneficial to your relationships. Beginning today, make that decision to be habitually organized.
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