How to be organized: Top tips and tools to get you started
Are you struggling to get a bit of order and routine into your life?
You’re hardly the first person to feel that way, and definitely not the last. But anyone looking to improve their career or land a new job should have strong organizational skills. These skills can help you become a valuable commodity for any company.
The good news is that you can train yourself to become organized.
Even the most organized people started small, by cultivating small habits that help them take control of their lives, rather than the other way around.
In this article, we’re going to look at what makes such people tick, and discuss some of the benefits of being organized
We’ll also list some practical tools and tips that can help you improve your organizational skills right away so that you can land the job of your dreams.
Let’s jump in.
Habits of organized people
A quote attributed to the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu captures the essence of the importance of good habits.
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
Your habits become your character which ultimately becomes your destiny. That’s why highly organized people decide to consciously develop good habits that can help them become more organized, efficient, and productive.
Here are some habits often displayed by organized people that are worth cultivating.
They value and manage their time well
Time management and organization go together. Learning how to manage your time efficiently can help you prioritize tasks, make better decisions, and achieve your goals.
Reflect on your day and think about instances where you might’ve been wasting more time than necessary.
Some common ways to kill productivity, especially in the workplace, is to spend time checking emails, playing games or scrolling through social media.
Are you using your time wisely? If not, think about how you can make better use of it.
They make a schedule
Organized people know that it’s nearly impossible to stay organized without making a schedule.
Creating a daily or weekly schedule helps with planning and organizing tasks for the day.
Use organizational tools such as a calendar, journal, or even an app to create and manage your schedule.
Fitting everything into a schedule, from to-dos to chores, appointments, deadlines, and work tasks can help you remember what needs to be done and keep track of your day.
They celebrate small victories
Remember to be kind yourself and celebrate small wins when you check things off your task list.
For instance, if you’ve managed to complete a few tasks, give yourself a pat on the back. Reward yourself by watching an episode of your favorite sitcom or make yourself a hot cup of tea.
What are the benefits of being organized?
Being organized not only helps you become more productive at home or at work but also leads to an overall boost in happiness and well-being.
Here are some key benefits of being organized:
Increases productivity and helps you get more things done throughout the day.
Improves your concentration skills by making you focus on your tasks.
Relieves stress by helping you complete things on your and your manager’s to-do list.
Helps you simplify your life and achieve your goals.
Free up your time so that you can look forward to things you enjoy.
What are some tools that can help improve organization skills?
There are several traditional or digital tools or apps that you could use to help you create and manage your to-dos and achieve your goals.
You can use a tool to remind you to declutter and organize every aspect of your life — personal or professional. This can range from household chores and cleaning schedules to filing important papers and office-related tasks.
Here are a few ideas on how to use tools to give your organizational skills a boost.
Put your list of tasks down on a piece of paper to create a to-do list. Place it in a familiar place where you can see it often and easily, like your fridge.
Use a daily notebook or journal to keep track of your tasks for the day.
You can leave a sticky note (or a few) around the house to serve as useful reminders of upcoming appointments, chores, and tasks you have yet to complete.
Keep a wall or desk calendar close at hand and add time-sensitive tasks and chores to it, such as appointments and reminders.
Invest in a good daily planner or organizer to keep track of all your to-dos — from meal plans and grocery lists to personal and career goals.
There’s a whole range of technology dedicated to organizing personal and professional lives.
To start with, you can simply make use of your phone to set-up an alarm, make a to-do list, record voice-notes, or add reminders to your calendar.
Or you can download a useful note-taking app such as Evernote to help you keep track of your appointments, reminders, to-do list items, receipts, files, and more.
You could even use task management apps such as Asana, Trello, or monday.com, which are great for teams and have a gamut of features designed to seamlessly plan, visualize, track, and manage your work.
How to be organized: Our top 7 tips
1. Write everything down
Instead of relying on your memory, make sure to write everything down using a personal or professional organizer. This can be anything from a book to a tool or app.
Writing things down will give you clarity and ensure that you’re not forgetting anything.
2. Spend 5 minutes on a daily plan
Taking 5 minutes in the morning to plan your tasks and schedule can help you plan and prepare for the day.
Record all the things you need to do in order of importance, and set up alarms or reminders on your phone or app to help you achieve them.
3. Follow a routine
A daily routine gives you order and structure throughout your day and helps you get more organized with your time.
Break down the things you need to do on a daily basis, such as your chores, exercise, and work. If you’re looking for work, this could include a chunk of time to send out a certain number of resumes or apply to jobs.
Try to complete everything within the allotted time.
4. Declutter regularly
An easy way on how to get more organized is to spend a few minutes every day decluttering your home or workspace. For instance, keep a filing system to sort important paperwork, bills, receipts, stationery, or office supplies.
5. Learn to delegate if needed
An organized person doesn’t take on more than they can handle. If you can, a good way on how to become more organized at work is to see if you can hand over tasks to somebody else.
6. Don’t procrastinate
A key organizational skill to learn is to do the things at the right time without postponing them. Set a reminder on your cell phone for activities that you need to get done; it's great to have that nudge to help you get your tasks done.
Getting things done right away can save you a lot of stress and time worrying about pending tasks or chores.
7. Make a weekend bucket list
Get the most out of your leisure time by planning your activities for the weekend. It's a good idea to set aside amount of time each day that you're going to focus on getting shit done. Don't forget to celebrate your achievements from the previous week and prep ahead for the coming week.
Organizing your daily schedule at home or work can make a huge difference to your physical and mental health. Additionally, being organized can be a huge factor in your quest to find a new job.
The important thing is to write everything down, make a schedule, assign deadlines, and use a handy tool or app to capture everything and set reminders.
Are you looking for some help or guidance with your career or professional life?
Meet like-minded people and become part of a community on Jobcase, a social platform designed to help you improve and manage your work-life.
For more job search tips, visit the Jobcase Getting Hired Resource Center.
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