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Archive for May, 2009

The Importance of Being Organized

Posted by dbrchamber on May 5, 2009

The Importance of Getting Organized

Tough economic times like these can be very stressful, especially if you’re worried about your business, employment status or financial situation. Getting organized can help you manage that stress before it gets the best of you. When you are organized, you don’t need to worry about things falling through the cracks. You know where everything is and can locate important information on a moment’s notice. Once organized, you’ll not only be prepared to respond effectively, you’ll also find that organization allows you to be more creative and productive. The following are six easy steps you can take to get organized, to help you reduce the stress and focus on the things that are most important.

1. Prioritize your objectives.

Time management is a huge part of an organized life. Make a list of your daily and weekly activities. Prioritize this list. Which of these activities contribute to your advancement, your networking goals or even your fun? Don’t try to do it all. Feeling guilty about undone tasks is a waste of time. When you find yourself with more tasks than you have to time to accomplish, ask for help. Delegate tasks that are not your strengths or are not in your area of expertise.  Outsourcing tasks supports other businesses, expands your network and frees up your valuable time to focus on your priorities.

2. Write it down!

Keeping a calendar or daily planner and a to-do list will help you manage your time more effectively. If it’s not on your calendar or to-do list, it doesn’t exist. A calendar helps guarantee that you show up when others are relying on you and that you don’t miss, or double book, important appointments. You also won’t be distracted by that stress-inducing question, “Am I forgetting something?” A to-do list allows you to see everything you have on your plate at a glance, enabling you to pick out the most important tasks. It is helpful to keep your to-do list inside your calendar or daily planner.


3. Simplify your space.

It’s difficult to stay organized when you are overwhelmed by your surroundings. Are you tripping over papers, bags and boxes? Do find you find yourself constantly searching through the same drawers, closets or cabinets looking for items you know you have but can’t find? Do you avoid your desk or other work space because it’s buried under a mountain of mail and stacks of paper? When you have a lot to sort through, break it down into small increments.  Schedule 15-30 minutes every day and devote that time to going through your stuff, throwing away or recycling what you can live without and organizing the rest by category. Free up your space so you have a comfortable place in which to focus your energy on the more important areas of your life.

4. Make decisions.

The primary reason stuff accumulates is that we put off making decisions. What do I do with this paper? Should I keep this? Where do I put it? If you look at the piles around you, you can probably trace it back to being unable to decide what to do with it. Institute the “one touch” rule—you will only touch an item once. When you pick it up, make a decision. Act on it, delegate it, file it or dump it! If you absolutely cannot make a decision the moment you touch something, have a designated bin that you go through once a week.


5. Have a home for everything.
Being organized means being able to find what you need when you need it. To keep things in their place, you need to know where they belong.  We all know the saying “A place for everything and everything in its place.” A logical place to put things is close to where they will be used. Keep your office supplies in your office close to your desk. Keep your tools in a toolbox in the garage. Look for the proper storage containers to store everything. When everything has a place, you’ll be able to put your hands on what you need when you need it. You’ll no longer buy something only to discover that you already have one.


6. Maintain your space.
Once you establish a home for everything, you just need to put it back there to maintain order. Spend time each day maintaining. Not doing so is one of the easiest ways to get overwhelmed by too much stuff. Taking time to put things away every day can save endless hours of searching for lost things among all the piles of stuff. When you walk in the door, have a place for your keys, your bag and other frequently carried items. When you use something, put it away. Small actions, when added together, can make a big difference in the quest for maintaining organization.

The reality is that, as individuals, we can’t control what is happening with the economy. What we can control is our response to the situation—both emotionally and practically. So take action and apply some or all of the steps for getting organized. It might even help you turn these stormy times into an opportunity for a new beginning and growth.

Marnie Dawson
Dawson Relocation Services




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