Thought you were organised? Well, it is easier than you think to lose control of your day. Things just spin out of control and you run from fire to fire, frantically dousing and at the end, ruffled and lathered, you are left wondering what just happened! So, choose your fires, because if you choose the right fires to fight, there is a chance that at the end of the day, you will be left with more organised you!
So here are my 7 simple steps to becoming a more organised you.Do note that this here is no rocket science. In fact, these are the most basic steps but are still the ones that you most need to practise for it to become second nature. And once up these steps you climb, you shall be ready for your initiation into the more arcane mysteries of productivity!
Step 1: Arm yourself with a good old-fashioned ruled notebook and pen. An ink one!
Ballpoints are for kids. (Ok, you’re allowed to cheat and buy one of those rollerball pens that look like ink but behave like ballpoints) But a ruled book is a must! Because I don’t trust you to write in a straight line. And diagonal lines are distracting and severely exacerbate my OCD issues.
Step 2: Choose a peaceful place for your morning coffee/tea & put your phone far away. Far, far away.
No kids, no spouses, no pets and certainly no whistling teapots.Peaceful in our cities is relative so plug in your headphones if that helps you tune out the world.Make sure you’ve gone to the loo beforehand and brush your teeth. Please.
Step 3: Take the 1st 15 minutes to make your To-Do List for the day. Only for today.
Make one column for work that you have to do personally.Make a second column for follow-ups – basically stuff that you need to chase others to do for you. List follow ups by person so you can do all your chasing at one go.The 2nd column should be far longer than the 1st.If not, you’re in serious trouble.
Step 4: Take 5 minutes to prioritise them as Important, Urgent, Important & Urgent
Do not ask me to define these categories.
tep 5: Spend the 1st half of your day on the Important-Urgent items
Done right, this will successfully bring the rest of your week under control.Done wrong, you will burn in the fires of workplace hell.
Step 6: Spend the 2nd half of your day on the Urgent Items
These are unavoidable and non-value-adding.And mostly related to your boss.They are probably on his list of follow ups (evil grin)
Step 7: Then take half an hour after dinner or before you sleep to work on your Important Items!
The timing here of attacking these at the end of the day is important.The most important items require time to slow roast in your mind that the crazy day would have given them.By the time you sit down to work on them, your brain would already have thought them through on the back burner and ideas will flow fast and easy. There you go then! Get started