Getting your act together

Getting your act together

Taking the drama out of getting stuff done

Do you gaze with envy on people who get their projects finished on time, are always punctual, who always have a handle on where everything is? What if I told you that being organised is in fact a skill you can learn – that you aren’t born with it? If you blend together small, simple changes to your daily routine and a little bit of discipline, it can bring calm to your chaos.

You know the saying – time wasted is time lost. So let’s get down to it. How do you get more organised? Here are seven suggestions to help you become the Martha Stewart of all your friends (just remember to pay your taxes, though…):

  1. Develop a system, a place for things – and then keep using it. In this way, you establish a pattern or habit, saving you timeĀ and allowing things to flow, instead of hopping around like a toddler in need of the bathroom.
  2. Do a daily task review, keep it short. Depending on your situation, take 15 minutes in the morning, or the evening before, to review and prioritise your tasks and events. Once written down, tasks and appointments lose their power to freak you out so much. Really.
  3. Leave things in the same place. Have a dedicated space for things like keys, phones, things you use regularly. It saves a bit of brainpower not to have to frantically search for an item at the eleventh hour. Think how composed and serene you will look all the time.
  4. Keep to a routine and keep your hand on things. Have a set time in the day, for example, where the whole family joins in a quick tidy up. Do your filing 20 minutes before you shut up shop for the day. Be like the famous sports shoe brand – just do it.
  5. Write it down. If you’re the more creative type, you might enjoy keeping a bullet journal (more about that later), but whether it’s a grocery list or a meeting, or a flash of inspiration – note it down. And not on a scrap of paper that flutters off.
  6. Throw it out. Stop hoarding. If you have no use for it, then get rid of it. Clutter takes up space and needs constant dusting. Dust induces allergies. You get my point.
  7. Keep your inbox under control. Yes, this is a tough one. We’ll be chatting about this more. A worthwhile tip is to handle email only twice a day – an hour in the morning, an hour in the afternoon. That helps your work not be driven by demands and requests, and you can focus on being productive.

And if you mess it up, it’s OK – just pick yourself up and try again. Being organised is not a competition, it’s just a means to becoming the best version of yourself you can be. Unless you can be Martha Stewart, then by all means, be her.