What are some smart personal organizing tips?

by Sam on October 10, 2011

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. ~Carl Sandburg

If you follow every one of these precepts, and still feel disorganized, the problem may be what you already think it is: You’ve taken on too much! But don’t give up too soon. There is bound to be at least one idea on this list you can do better with than you are right now.

1. Foresee everything you need when you take on a new task or embark in a new direction. This way you won’t constantly interrupt your progress to search for that unanticipated resource.

2. Keep a to do list with tasks listed according to their value and urgency. Consult it frequently. Several “apps” do a good job with this.

3. Do one of only four things when you open a piece of mail or pick up a piece of paper—pitch it, send it to someone else, act on it, or file it.

4. Divide complex projects into distinct, manageable pieces. Attack the project piece by piece. Don’t feel that you have to do it all at once. Solve one problem at a time.

5. Record every promise you make and every appointment you schedule immediately—never on slips of paper, always directly into a scheduling system that works for you.

6. Consider a tablet computer such as an iPad for note taking. What ever you use, keep everything you record either during personal brainstorming or at meetings in one place.

7. Each morning look ahead to your next five workdays. Be certain you have initiated actions necessary to anticipate requirements on each of those days.

8. Keep your desktop cleared for action, if not daily, every Monday morning.

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