Everyone knows the simplest way to get organized is to put all your
tasks down on paper – but organized people know that the key to making that
list work is setting priorities.
Think about all the small tasks that pile up day after day on your to-do list. Most of them can be accomplished and let go of quickly, but instead they languish behind the bigger, more time-intensive items, leaving you overwhelmed and stressed by all the things you still have to do.
1. Get it together
The first secret to success is simply to get it together. At the start of each day, spend your first half hour tackling any tasks that can be accomplished in less than a few minutes. Then prioritize the rest of your to-dos based on the time each will require – as well as their importance.
2. Get going
Of course, ultra-organized people know that sometimes making lists can actually make you less productive. Some list-makers get caught up in adding daily tasks to the list – and evaluating and prioritizing them – rather than getting them done.
Throughout the day, don’t just let your list pile up. Evaluate each task as it arises – and if it’s something that will take less than a minute to accomplish, like sending a short reply to an email, stop what you’re doing and take care of it right then.
3. Get it done
At the end of the day, successful people know that to accomplish their goals, they can’t expect the days to get longer – or the lists to get shorter. They understand how to prepare for and create opportunities for productivity each and every day.
Learn productive multitasking – instead of reading the old magazines in the waiting room of your doctor’s office, bring that article your boss has been telling you to read. While you’re on hold waiting to talk to a customer service rep, don’t surf the Internet for celebrity gossip – use that time to reply to those week-old emails in your inbox.
If you implement just a handful of good habits like these, you will get organized in no time at all. After repeating a good habit ten or more times, it will seem natural to be organized each and every day of your life. With the time you’ll eventually save you can meditate, write in your journal, laugh with friends and… talk to your favorite psychic.
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