Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a very organized person especially when it comes to my home office. There are so many aspects to organization that I am going to break this down into several different posts. The team at Remodelista have been giving me some serious inspiration, so I hope that I can share some of my sage advice with you.
The first post in my Organization Series will be on Time Management and Organization. Below are five steps you can take now to improve your time management and organize your daily and weekly tasks, without feeling overwhelmed.
5 Steps to help you get things done!
1.Write It Down: Creating a list of all the tasks you have to get done, helps you visualize everything. You can download the weekly task template I made here. I know it seems old-fashioned to jot things down, but the act of writing tasks helps me remember. Since I don’t live in the stone age, I also put very important reminders down in my phone’s calendar or reminder app. The redundancy may be too much for you, so you may opt just to write it down once. I find the extra step reminds me that I have to do it. I love the planners from Green Chair Press. Plus, you can personalize them!
2. Prioritize: I am thankful to have a lot of autonomy with work and mostly online classes, but it means that I have to be extra diligent. I categorized two lists, one for work and one for school. For each of the those lists I write down the most important things at the top, I then work my way down to the minutia. I also think it is important to give yourself a two-day window. By this, I mean bump up the due date so you will have everything done two days earlier. This is almost like a built-in circuit breaker should your boss need that report early, or you get confused about a school assignment due date. Having trouble deciding what is important? Remember due dates, and length of completion. If a project or task will take you a long-time, then it is better to start it early. If you have more stuff added to your plate, speak with your boss and/or team if you’re unsure how to prioritize.
3. Build-In Breaks: Have you ever been working on a time-consuming project with a tight deadline? It’s so easy to get burnt out and lose concentration. If you plan out several five-minute breaks, you will be able to refresh yourself enough to get through it all! One caveat would be to make sure you are not disrupting your creative process. The point of taking breaks is to ensure you have enough brain fuel to tackle that project. If you are on a concentration streak, then stick with it! However, the moment you become fatigued, you should take five minutes to clear your head. Step outside, take several deep breaths and clear your mind for the next leg of your project. This step really helps me, especially when I know I will be spending the whole day in front of the computer.
4. Organize Your Work Space: Whether you work at home or in an office, the space around you will dictate how you feel about completing your work. I am in the process of an office overhaul (organization post coming next month), the first part would be to shred and recycle any old documents. I purposely bought a desk without drawers, and it forced me to organize myself. I store some important information in two file boxes, atop one of my desks. The rest of my documents are filed away in two containers while I begin to scan my documents, in order to be predominantly paper-free! If you work in an office, bring some fun things from home to brighten up your spot. A cute mug, or a picture of your pet (or other loved ones), and clear any clutter away. You may have an inkling to keep that pointless memo from three years, but throw it away. If you really think you need it, scan it and save it to a folder on your desktop.
5. Commit: It is easy to write down everything you have to do, but it is much harder to actually get it done on time. Commit to a study or work schedule; make sure you incorporate breaks and work meetings/lunches. Each Sunday evening, I look over my school schedule, school assignments, and work tasks. After I write a list of everything I have to do, I write down exactly when I will be tackling each task. I have to hold myself accountable, so organizing everything makes it impossible for me not to accomplish it. I am telling you, writing down everything in multiple spots makes it difficult to ignore. My tasks will begin to haunt me if I do not attack early and often! Plus, I find that when I commit to my action plan, I feel a lot less overwhelmed. There’s nothing like leaving things to the last minute and letting things pile up to feel extremely overwhelmed.
Taking these five steps has helped me become a more organized and efficient student, blogger, and employee!
I hope that it helps you too!