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Organizational Skills

April 04, 2020

Organizational Skills

Staying organized is essential to accomplishing our goals.  When we streamline clutter and get rid of waste we can focus more of our resources on what we feel is most important in life. While organizational skills are necessary, different things work for different people.  What does organization look like for you?  You don’t need a complicated, color-coded system to organize your life if something else works better.  To identify what organizational strategy works for you, just ask yourself a few important questions.  As you respond, thoughtfully consider where your organizational strengths and areas for improvement can be found.

Organizational Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Waste Removal- Keep track of your activities during a typical week, and document how you spend your time. What activities tend to waste your time? How can you minimize or eliminate these from your schedule?
  • Long-term goals- Have a clear vision and goals for the long term. Does the way you spend your time reflect these goals?  What are the daily and weekly tasks that help you achieve your goals?
  • Optimal time- Identify the time of day you are most productive. Are you a morning or night person?  Knowing your peak performance time of day will help you achieve quality work on your most important tasks.
  • Important vs. urgent- Determine what is important versus what is urgent. Often we spend the entire day focused on what’s been regarded as urgent.  When we cater to tasks like answering every email right away, we often don’t accomplish much. 
  • Top three- Ask yourself every day, “What are the three most important tasks I need to complete today?” When you’re able to focus on three items, it helps you not feel as overwhelmed.  You’re more likely to stay productive when you’re not thinking about everything at once.

Tips to Stay Organized

Some people are naturally more organized than others.  Even if you’re not characteristically structured and orderly, there are ways to learn this behavior.  Here are several strategies for clutter removal, proper planning, and time management that can help you develop greater organizational skills: 

 

Tackling Clutter

  • Start small- Organizational overhauls can feel overwhelming. Start with small tasks that motivate you.  Perhaps you can de-clutter your desk or sort through some paperwork.  Work your way up from there. 
  • Weekly cleanup- Papers and mail can easily take over your workspace. Have a weekly cleanup where you discard or recycle papers and other materials.  File important papers and put things in their proper place.  This will help you stay focused and avoid the need for major reorganization. 
  • Put in place- After you finish using an item, return it to its place. This will keep your workspace looking less cluttered, so you can focus better.  You also won’t be losing valuable time searching for misplaced items. 

Plan of Success

  • To do list- Breaking down large tasks into smaller steps helps you stay motivated by checking off each item. Keep a to-do list for every task.
  • Plan for the day- You can avoid morning confusion by planning for your day the evening before. Consider picking out your clothes or packing your lunch.  Gather the files or books you might need.  This may help you fall asleep faster too, as your mind is not preoccupied with the morning rush of responsibilities.  If you’re a parent, this is also helpful to do for your children.
  • Stick to one- We tend to praise multitasking in our culture, but this can actually prevent you from being organized. Focusing on one task at a time is best and produces a better result. 

Time Management

  • Avoid interruptions- Sometimes we have to stop and address concerns that interrupt our day. But other distractions, like emails or voicemails, can often wait a little longer.  We might feel pressure to respond immediately, but this can take up valuable time.  Limit the amount you check email or social media to two or three times per day. 
  • Time limits- Give yourself an ending time for tasks you don’t enjoy. You’ll stay more motivated when you know there is a time limit.  If you can’t do this, break up the task into smaller steps.  Do activities you enjoy between the smaller tasks you don’t. 
  • Set limits- Don’t apologize for organizing your life according to priorities. You might receive some pushback at first when you say no to certain tasks, but you’ll be more useful to yourself and others when you decide what’s important.

Finally, you might want to try and associate organization with positive feelings.  While implementing organizational strategies, consider playing music that puts you in a good mood or having a picture of those you love or scenery you find peaceful on hand.  You know you’ll feel good when the task is complete, and there isn’t any reason why you can’t enjoy your progress on the road to success. 

 

Want to talk to a counselor today about this? 

Call Amplified Life at 800-453-7733 and ask for your “Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation" with one of our licensed counselors. We’ll listen, answer questions you may have, and help you plan next steps.

 

Sources: 

http://people.rice.edu/uploadedFiles/People/TEAMS/Getting%20Organized%20at%20Work.pdf

 

 




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