Stuck on how to be organized? With a few handy tips and tricks, you can stay on top of that to-do list and power through your day.
Start the night before
Each evening, plan the important things that need to be done the next day. Whether you write using old school pen and paper or an app, just jot down your thoughts so you can park your brain for the night knowing you will hit the ground running the next day.
Divide up big tasks
When a task feels too big to face, it’s easy to put it off. Set a timer on your phone for 15 minutes, and work without distraction for that time. Get up, wander about, stretch your legs and come back to it. Slicing away at tasks like this allows you to plough through and get things done without feeling overwhelmed.
Mind sweep your brain
Sometimes your mind can feel so full of ideas, lists, tasks, projects and odd things to remember that it can be impossible to focus. Sit down for half an hour with a pen and paper and get everything in your head out into a huge list. Then, you can start dividing up your tasks and allocate time for them. Once your have cleared your head, you can crack on with the most urgent tasks.
Learning how to prioritize is so important in the quest for super organization. Give each task on your daily list a ranking and order them from the most important to the least, and work your way through. When two things are equally important, make a decision and just start – use your timer method to chip away at your list.
Allocate tasks on a calendar
It can be really useful to cross-check your task planning against a calendar. Plan your tasks in time slots in your diary or online calendar so you can see how your working day looks. Add repeating tasks and jobs to specific times and days so they become habitual, and you always know they are booked into your schedule.
Meditation is a wonderful tool for productivity. When you are mindful and present in the moment, productivity can be so much better. Use tools like Headspace or some meditation sequences on YouTube to take a few minutes out and calm the mind – you will reap rewards in the amount you achieve with a clear mind.
Not taking everything on yourself is a major part of being organized. Outsource or delegate tasks that aren’t your strong suit, and crack in with things you excel at.
Use tech to work for you
Apps such as Zapier and IFTT.com are wonderful tools to hack your workflow and make it work for you. Set up tasks to help maximize your time, such as automating blog posts across networks and bookmarking sites, make research come to you, and automate responses. The possibilities are endless and empowering.
Step away from the noise
Step away from your email and social media for chunks of time to avoid distractions. Constant reach is counterproductive to concentration, so promise yourself chunks of time to just crack on with tasks.
Staying on task can require some discipline. Get yourself in the mindset of work by scheduling time off, rewarding yourself with breaks, and dividing up the tasks you dislike into smaller chunks. Better still, delegate.
Do the things you hate first
If you have been putting something off for a while, nip that procrastination in the bud by tackling your least favorite jobs first. That kick starts your day, and you can look forward to working on the jobs you love.
Step away from the inbox
Emails can be a real time vacuum for productivity. Use Awayfind to set alerts for crucial emails, and schedule time to check the inbox once or twice a day. Set up a folder for non-urgent emails to reply to, and set time in your calendar to empty that folder twice a week to avoid being buried by communications.
Use tech to help you plan
There are many project planning and “to do” list apps on the market, so find one that suits your personal working style. Azendoo is an easy-to-use manager that links with Evernote to plan your tasks and information, and has easily moveable tasks to re-order and prioritize in a visual way.
Schedule but be flexible
Use your schedule and task list as a guide, but be open to flexibility as jobs change and circumstances throw you a curve ball. Be prepared to reorder a list dependent on requirements, but stay disciplined to get things done and earn your super-organized superhuman status!
Article by Jo Gifford, Lifehack