Between running a court reporting firm, starting a new business, being a working court reporter, and keeping on task with my social media goals, my life sometimes feels a little out of control. I believe one of the keys to success is being organized. I have been reading some blogs and articles on organization and have found a common thread through all of them: Getting organized and staying organized relieves stress and clears your mind for creative thoughts.
Most of what I have discovered in my readings is obvious and not earth-shattering, and yet it is good to be reminded of what we can do to get organized.
Here are the steps:
- Decide if you are more comfortable with a paper system or digital – don’t go back and forth. Choose a method that is easy for you to work with. Don’t fight it.
- Create 3 lists: one that is your “to do” list, tasks that you are to complete; a “waiting for” list for tasks you are waiting for others to do; and a “someday/maybe” list, a place to remember new ideas and dreams
- Finish one task before you start a new one. Distractions are the quickest way to inefficiency.
- Start each task with an action word, for example, Call…, Present…, Drive to… It gets your brain to start thinking about taking action
- Organize paperwork: Buy bins and folders and label everything. Organize your paperwork by date to be completed or organize everything by project. Either way, have a place for everything on your desk and in your drawers.
- Dedicate time every morning or end of your workday to read your lists. It will keep the tasks top of mind and keep you focused.
- In the morning when you get to work, pick 3 tasks you need to accomplish that day. Check them off when they are completed. Most days become chaotic, and you might not finish your list. When you get the 3 tasks completed, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Don’t let the lists run your life. You decide what you are going to do and when.
- Be sure to put exercising or enjoying life on your list. I have a habit of going, going, going, and forget to stop and breathe and enjoy the sky or a meadow lark’s song. (I didn’t read this in an article or blog. I am throwing this one in because I believe it is really important.)