I actually never thought I’d ever write anything about organizing. Quite frankly, I only recently got my shit together when it comes to organizing not only my daily schedule but my entire life.

I thought I’d pass along something it took me years to learn.

Wanting to organize your life will not make it so. You actually will need to participate in a process that will involve doing certain things certain ways. It involves changing habits (mostly bad ones) into good habits and habits that will help you achieve your goals.

1. Get a planner and learn how to use it. I recommend Franklin-Covey. Life is a set of goals. You need goals in everything you do in order to be successful. Why? Why would you start a race without knowing where the finish line is? Life is no different. What are your goals? What would you like to achieve today? Would you rather write your marching orders or have someone else do it for you? A planner puts you in control of your life. It’s the difference between living “proactively” versus “reactively.”

2. Learn to set your work area in a certain way and then make sure that when you leave the area, everything is in it’s place. You should be able to spot when something is out of place by a quick glance. Keep your work area clean and clear of distractions. Do you know where your stapler is? Spare pens? The less time you spend on finding things the more time you can spend on the important things, whatever that happens to be for you.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed.

I have a friend who “cleans” and “organizes” his office only to have it fall back into the mess it was before he “cleaned” it a week later. His problem? Self discipline is missing. He continues to use the same bad habits such as leaving things sit where they obviously don’t belong with the philosophy of “I’ll get that later.” The problem is that by the time “later” rolls around the entire office looks like shit again. Without self discipline, you fight a losing battle.

Step 2 is vital to controlling this problem. Do you realize how much time you waste when you can’t find something in your office? Have you ever spent more than 10 minutes trying to find something? If your office was organized that 10 minutes turns into 10 secs or less and those minutes and seconds can really add up.

These things may seem simple but simple works. Keep it simple stupid is a philosophy I live by. While some may argue that I excel at the “stupid” part, I’d like to point out that as simple as I may be, I still know where my freaking calculator is.

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