I’m probably one of the most efficient people you’ll ever meet! I’ve taken daily/monthly tasks and streamlined them as much as I can to save myself time and energy. I’ve done this in all the jobs I’ve had throughout the years, also applied it to my home life. There are tools I use that help with the process.
Here are 6 tools I use to stay organized
Calendar. I don’t use a digital calendar. I hate them and I won’t use them. Some people love them and that’s ok, but that doesn’t work for me. I have 2 paper calendars. One I use for work and home that I carry with me to work. The other calendar is a weekly planner that sits on my desk in my office. It contains all the paper that I need to tackle throughout the year. There isn’t any paper scattered around the house. All my bills, appt. cards, invites, things I must do are in this planner. It gets rid of the mental clutter. I’ve never missed an appointment, never paid a bill late and never missed an event or redemption of a reward card.
Clock. Time management is my specialty and using a clock helps in the process. When I’m writing articles, preparing my newsletter, or doing anything at the computer, I use the clock and give myself a block of time to complete tasks. I keep a clock in the bathroom to keep me on track when getting ready. When working with clients, I’m always keeping track of our time together to make sure the project is running efficiently and we’re being super productive.
Systems. I’ve created simple systems in my work and home life. I always tell clients, the simpler the system, the easier it’s going to be to maintain. Creating a space for everything in your home and office is also key. I want to be able to grab something when I need it and go about my day. I don’t want to touch 5 things before I touch the item I need. I don’t want to waste time thinking about where things are located.
To-do lists. On Fridays, I look at the week ahead and create a daily to-do list for each day. I look at where I need to be, what errands I have to run, and I even jot down household chores like laundry. Whatever doesn’t get accomplished gets pushed to the next day and I make sure it gets done by the end of the week. Working with a daily to-do list keeps me on task for the week and because I know ahead of time which area of the town I’ll be in; I make sure I get my errands done while I’m there.
Live simple. It’s not a tool, but it’s a way of life that helps me run efficiently. When you live simply, you have less to clean up, less to worry about and less to stress about. I like quality over quantity. I like nice things, not too much, but just enough.
Eat healthy. Again, not a tool, but when you eat processed junk food, you’ll usually feel sluggish and who feels like being productive when you feel like that? Eating clean, healthy food and drinking lots of water will give you more energy and in turn you’ll be more efficient and productive.
All of the above have one thing in common: Structure. If you’re living a chaotic life, and want to get organized, it begins with having structure. You may not like structure, and that’s ok, but are you enjoying the chaos?
You may say, this sounds like too much work. I've been living like this since I was a child. It’s been my lifestyle. It’s not difficult; it’s actually really easy and simple. It’s not exhausting, but invigorating! It’s not for everybody. You have to think about how much you want it and if it’s the lifestyle you want to live. If so, you’ll reap the benefits of having more free time, less stress, more structure, and you’ll be more efficient and productive.
Kristin has written over 350 articles. Her column, Organized Energized Living, can be found twice a month in the Coastal Breeze. She also wrote a weekly column for GoLocalProv from 2012-2018 and has been featured in local and national publications. She is author of the book, Living an Organized, Energized Life! For more info on how to purchase, click here.