It helps a person maximize time, focus on important things and make the most of every opportunity. I realize it’s always a work in progress. At times, I get one thing organized in life, only to realize some other area now needs attention. But be encouraged – today is a great day to get things organized. Start with something small and get it together.
I just finished re-reading John Maxwell’s book, Develop the Leader Within You. He listed ten ways to get life organized and I thought I’d share them with you. Here’s his list:
Set Your Priorities
What is it that you need to bump to the top of the list? What are your top most important items you need to do? Those are your priorities.
Place Your Priorities on the Calendar
What gets calendared gets done. I’m a firm believer in this because I’ve seen it work in my own life. When I put some goals on the calendar and then break them down over the course of a few weeks or months, amazing things happen.
Allow a Little Time for the Unexpected
Productivity needs to be tempered with some reality. You need to be sure to plan in time for things that you can’t control – interruptions, phone calls from family members, car trouble, house trouble, sick kids, you name it – something always happens. Allow for some cushion in your day.
Do Projects One at a Time
I’ve heard it said that anyone can do two things at once; what’s really impressive is to do one thing at once. In our world of multitasking, it’s easy to do a little bit of everything and not get done with anything. If you want to organize and accomplish something, write down your six things you want to do for the day and don’t stop working on the first one until it’s complete.
Organize Your Work Space
I’m not a prime example of this because my work space gets filled up quickly, however, I do know the breath of fresh air that comes with straightening the desk or office. When I take a few minutes at the end of the day to make sure things are all clear and ready for the next day, I’m much more productive and organized the next day and the next week.
Work According to Your Temperament
Are you a morning person? Then be sure to put your most important work in the morning hours. Most everything I do for this blog and website happens between the hours of 5:00 and 6:30 a.m. each morning. I enjoy mornings and try to maximize my planning and creative time during these hours. Identify your prime time and maximize it.
Use Your Drive Time for Light Work and Growth
You want to be safe, but there are many things you can do in your car to keep your life organized. You can listen to a podcast with sermons or other topics on productivity, you can make calls on a hands free device, or you can think through your plan for a coming event or a meeting.
Develop Systems That Work for You
Is there something you do all the time? Create a system to save you time and energy. Do you find yourself sending the same basic emails to people all the time? Create a template for it. Organize the way you get work done, the way you process emails, the way you batch your time for phone messages, etc. The best system is one that works well for you.
Always Have a Plan for Those Minutes Between Meetings
Ten minutes doesn’t seem like much, but so much can happen. You may not be able to start a big project, but you can knock the little items from your to-do list in ten minutes. Don’t waste time in between phone calls or meetings; be sure to utilize every moment.
Focus on Results, Not on Activity
What have you accomplished today? What has been completed? What has been finished? These are things to celebrate.
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