Don’t panic, organise!
To organise means to “arrange systematically; order” and to “make arrangements or “preparations for an event or activity”. This simple definition can be interpreted in different ways, but to be organised with our work can be what makes a difference in our productivity and the results that we ultimately achieve. How would you answer these questions?
1) What does it mean to be organised in your line of work?
2) Does organisation depend on the work you do or the ope of person you are?
3) What do you do to get the most out of your work day?
We can’t add hours to the day
Start by recognising that there are only 24 hours in the day and no one can work all of them. If you’re constantly working long hours, then you’re more likely to make you burn out than achieve brilliant results.
Use ‘Burn Out’ in a sentence and write it down as a comment at the end of this post (Don’t forget the tenses):
• I’m about to burn out.
• he burned out doing that project.
• She is burning out trying to do everything!
Write Things Down
You will only further complicate your life by trying to contain important dates and reminders in your head. A pen and some paper is our way of remembering things externally, and it’s much more permanent. You can also use a computer or a smart phone.
Try writing down people’s names shortly after you meet them (when they’re not looking). I’ll bet you remember a lot more names that way.
Once you know where you’re going, you can prioritise. Put more time into the things that will give you the most benefit. According to Pareto’s Principle, only 20% of your daily tasks really matter; that 20% will produce 80% of your results. So identify these tasks and focus most of your time and energy on achieving them.
Make Schedules and Deadlines
Organised people don’t waste time. They recognise that keeping things organised goes hand- in-hand with staying productive. They make and keep schedules for the day andweek. They make deadlines and set goals. And most importantly, they and stick to them! Similarly, by living a cluttered lifestyle, you will not have the time or space to make your deadlines or achieve your goals.
As an experiment, look at your bucket list or make one. Write down the things you want to achieve this year or in your life. Then write down what you need to do to achieve them.
If you’re faced with a long to-do list, do not, under any circumstances, pick up a job, do a bit of it, and then put it back on the pile. Starting lots of jobs at the same time isn’t the most efficient way of dealing with them.
Putting in the effort to get things done as soon as possible will lift the weight off of you from doing it later.
As an experiment, think of one thing that you should organise in your life. Write it down. Then write down when you can do it and what you need to get it done. If you can get it done right now, then go do it!
Give Everything a Home
Make easy-to-access storage spaces for things you use all the time, and don’t let your storage spaces get cluttered. Be creative about finding places for things. In addition, as a BIG NO: never label a storage space as “miscellaneous!”
Choose one place in your home that you can re-organise. If there are scattered items, then group them together. Once you’ve sorted everything, find or make a “home” for similar items, label the “homes,” and put them in the proper places.
Good delegation saves you time and will motivate and develop other team members. Even if you’re not a manager, there are always opportunities to share work among colleagues who are less busy or who have specific, relevant skills.
Look at your to-do list or make one. Go through the list and find one task that you can remove from your list or give to someone else. Now feel the stress of having to do it fall away.
Treat phone calls and E-mails like meetings
Get into the habit of keeping your emails organised. Deal with anything urgent immediately and create folders for important emails you’ll need to come back to.
The 4 Hour Work Week E-mail Tip
“Check e-mail twice per day, once at 12:00 noon or just prior to lunch, and again at 4:00 P.M. 12:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. are times that ensure you will have the most responses from previously sent e-mail. Never check e-mail first thing in the morning.* Instead, complete your most important task before 11:00 A.M. to avoid using lunch or reading e-mail as a postponement excuse.
Before implementing the twice-daily routine, you must create an e-mail autoresponse that will train your boss, co-workers, suppliers, and clients to be more effective. I would recommend that you do not ask to implement this. Remember one of our ten commandments: Beg for forgiveness; don’t ask for permission.
If this gives you heart palpitations, speak with your immediate supervisor and propose to trial the approach for one to three days. Cite pending projects and frustration with constant interruptions as the reasons. Feel free to blame it on spam or someone outside of the office.
Here is a simple e-mail template that can be used:
Greetings, Friends [or Esteemed Colleagues],
Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12:00 P.M. ET [or your time zone] and 4:00 P.M. ET.
If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until either 12:00 P.M. or 4:00 P.M., please contact me via phone at 555-555-5555.
Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and effectiveness. It helps me accomplish more to serve you better.
This habit alone can change your life. It seems small but has an enormous effect.”
Excerpt from ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferris
Put in a little effort. Actually, put in a lot of effort when necessary. Once you have delegated responsibilities and made a scheule, then you can organise what you have to do and when you can do it. Staying organised is not all a breeze. It requires that you work hard with recognition that when you work harder, you can enjoy your clutter-free home life later.
Use ‘a breeze’ in a sentence and write it at the end of this post:
“a thing that is easy to do or accomplish”
Other similar expressions:
– child’s play
– a doddle
– walk in the park
– piece of cake
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