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10 Simple Steps to Get Organised

25 April 2022

Chaos and stress often feel like huge, non-avoidable parts of life. But getting organised is a simple way to gain a sense of control and boost your productivity. And it won’t be as taxing as you might imagine!

Follow these ten simple steps to get more organised and boost your productivity:

#1 Your Big Picture

Organisation doesn’t just mean tidying your desk or adding dates to your calendar (although these things do help). Organisation is also about planning your path towards your long-term goals and vision for your future.

Keep your long-term goals in mind by regularly checking in on your progress towards your goals. You might keep a checklist to keep yourself on track, or start a future goals journal.

Focusing on your long-term goal will help you to feel motivated, whether it’s that big promotion, increasing your work-life balance, or winning an important contract. And planning out your steps to your goal will help you to achieve it.

#2 Routine, Routine, Routine

Routines can bust stress and boost productivity. Creating a daily routine increases our sense of control and calm, and helps us to get more done.

A well-crafted daily routine, which is personalised around your productivity peaks and troughs, will help you to get the most out of your day and stay motivated.

Consider what your effective morning, lunchtime and evening routines look like. Build positive habits and remember to take regular rest breaks.

 A morning walk, a healthy breakfast, a daily chat with a friend over lunch, or some reading before bed - whatever helps you to feel happy, energised and motivated will help to boost your productivity.

#3 The Power of the Calendar

Never forget an event, work meeting, or birthday again by creating - and sticking to - a diary system.

Whether you like to buy a fancy new diary in January, or prefer the portability and simplicity of a calendar app, the key is to write everything down. Important event dates, train times, reminders for time-sensitive projects, those fun plans with your friend - stick it in your diary or app as soon as you make plans.

 

#4 List It

Listing is a great way to organise your work and home life, stop you forgetting things, and ensure important tasks are prioritised.

List everything - your food shop, your to-dos for the day, the restaurants you want to try.

Then enjoy the satisfaction of ticking off completed tasks!

#5 Time Chunking

But now that you have made a list, you may well ask: how do I get it all done?

The answer is time chunking.

First figure out when in the day you are most productive. While this is often the morning, it is not the same for everyone.

Identify the most time-sensitive or important tasks on your to-do list and schedule these during your most productive time. Then chunk your remaining time into 20-40 minute slots and divide it between the remaining important tasks.

Remember to schedule regular 10 minute breaks in between - peak productivity cannot be reached if you are constantly running yourself at 200%.

Do not cause yourself stress by overestimating how much you can do in a day. Celebrate the small victories as you cross tasks off your list. Don’t berate yourself for uncompleted tasks - simply reschedule them for another day and move on.

#6 Clutter-Free

Being surrounded by clutter can be distracting, lower your mood and inhibit your productivity.

Commit to keeping your desk area - at least - clutter-free. Follow the one personal item and one decorative item rule.

Regularly wipe down your desk at least once a week to keep your workspace clean and tidy.

#7 Filing System

Guarantee that your workspace remains clutter free by establishing a filing system. Investing in lever arch files or a paper tray if much of your work is paper-based. Or, for a superior clutter-free system, use cloud-based storage to keep your documents handy and secure.

#8 Back-Up

Organise and protect important documents by using a secure cloud-based system to back-up your work.

While you’re at it, back-up your calendar app, your phone content and other important computer files.

Nothing says organised and productive like a person who can pull up meeting notes at the tap of a button after a company-wide file deletion disaster.

 

#9 Mailbox Management

Invest time in managing your mailbox for huge productivity rewards.

Set up email filters and well-named folders to keep your emails organised and - even better - automatically filtered. Keep your main inbox as empty as possible to avoid a swamp of emails developing. This is the end of email-dread and endless scrolling through junk mail!

Once you have actioned an email, move it to a ‘Completed’ folder for a buzz of achievement.

Unsubscribe from as many unnecessary email newsletters and promotions as possible. Not only will it help you to avoid the temptation to spend money (or time!) on things you don’t need, it will keep your inbox streamlined and stress-free.

#10 The Pre-Plan

The pre-plan is a simple way to ensure you start your day feeling refreshed, productive and stress-free.

Ensure you have prepared your meals the night before - whether you prefer to batch cook or simply pre-select the cafe spot for your lunch. Also choose your clothes for the next day to avoid the decision taking up brain space in the morning. Pack your bag the night before too - you are much less likely to forget something this way!

Leave your keys, phone and other important items in the same place by the door every day to avoid a last-minute stress-inducing scramble as you leave for work.