A wise, online organisational guide, once said, "You can do anything, but not everything" this is an excellent mantra that most of us would do well to listen to. If you're trying to do everything or too much it's easy to feel overwhelmed and then actually achieve very little. However, a skilled organiser can arrange their time and priorities to achieve a lot more.
Juggling the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that require equal attention and planning can seem impossible but it doesn't have to be this way. No one is born organised - I'm sure you won't shocked when I tell you that not one baby arrives into the world with a to-do list and 5-year plan. Even if you're the self-diagnosed 'most disorganised person', there is always the potential for change. So don't be disheartened, with a little practice and willpower, you'll be organising it all like a pro.
Figuring out how to get organised can benefit your home, work and social life it really can be life changing. Right, with organisation in mind, let's keep this concise and have a look at some key lessons you can apply today to become more organised.
Write down your tasks
We all know someone who never forgets a birthday, remembers what everyone wants for Christmas and can rattle off their weekly shopping list at the drop of a hat. Well, it's probably not because their memory is foolproof, it's more likely that they write things down and set themselves reminders.
Writing down experiences and reminders for the future is not only an excellent method of improving memory. Creating a to-do list also helps keep you focused on the task(s) at hand ensuring you become more organised. You also get the added satisfaction of ticking off a completed task - who doesn't love doing this?!
- Try to carry a small pocket-book to jot little lists down or names to remember. This way if you think of something on the move it won't just fade to the back of your mind as the day continues.
If physically writing things down is too 19th Century for your liking, try using Microsoft To-Do. This easy to use app works for you as an intelligent task manager, creating an intuitive way to set actionable tasks and keep track of side-errands that need completing.
Create personal deadlines
Setting a deadline to complete a task is an important part of learning how to be organised and staying productive. These can be as big or as small as you need them to be. Just keep them realistic and achievable.
A good deadline should be:
- Specific - set a definite time frame for when you want to complete your task, today, tomorrow, next week, October the 5th.
- Attainable - be realistic, you probably can't learn a new language by tomorrow at 6pm, make sure it's a deadline you can achieve.
- Personal - this is your goal, make sure it works for you. Just because Dean decorated his house in a weekend doesn't mean you will, and that's ok!
- Challenging - whilst being attainable you should still need to push yourself to achieve it, don't allow yourself 10 years to put the washing away!
If you find it a struggle to stay focused on a big task then break it down into smaller parts and set a realistic deadline for each part. This can really help to keep you on track for achieving your end result and you'll know fairly early on if your deadline is attainable or if you need to adjust.
They say (and when I say 'they' I mean everyone) a cluttered home is a cluttered mind. It's hard to be organised and focused when your home or workspace is a bomb site. The chaos we feel when we have too much to do, is only made worse worse when we are surrounded in clutter and mess, so let's have a bit of a clear out?!
Maybe you've attempted a Springtime de-clutter and it's just piled up again - keep trying! De-cluttering doesn't have to be entire days worth of clearing. Remove a few items every day, that you see and walk past, that make your space cluttered. Take a tip from Marie Kondo and throw out anything in your space that doesn't 'spark joy' in you!
Give everything a home
This one leads on nicely from de-cluttering as, while you clear out, rehome your remaining possessions logically.
If you're tackling your home space try to think about where things could be most conveniently placed. You could:
- Hang a hook for keys on the way to the front door
- Put a shoe rack by the entrance to combat mess and dirt
- Label areas for certain foods for easy access
- Place anything not used every day in out-of-sight storage cupboards
Although these are home-specific, the principle of making regularly used items readily available applies to anywhere! After you've successfully done this and learnt how to be organised, you'll be able to save all that time you spend running around looking for things on your way out of the house.
Tip: never label a storage box 'miscellaneous' or risk it mysteriously filling with coins, hairbands and all sorts.
Sometimes when juggling the swath of tasks you've taken on, you've got to know which 'ball' to drop. Truly being organised doesn't give you the magical ability to get everything and anything done with time to spare, it means knowing what to take on to be realistic. Like we said at the start, "You can do anything, but you can't do everything..."
This is especially true of small business owners who sometimes struggle to 'let go' or delegate tasks to staff and so, end up stressed and overworked. Try to review your most pressing to-do list tasks and see if there's anything on there that you can hand off to someone else. This isn't shirking responsibility, it's being a savvy, organised individual who knows what they can handle! By reducing your workload you will be able to fully focus on those all important tasks you can't delegate.
Lots of businesses have successfully learnt how to get organised by using our parcel delivery solutions at Interparcel. Integrating their eCommerce business with our Shipping Manager has allowed them to collate multiple orders in one portal whilst benefitting from branded tracking and in-built address correction.
At Interparcel, we want small businesses to be as organised as possible, keeping stress-levels down and revenue up. Creating an account is free, so you can easily get a quote and start organising shipments in no time.
Note: task delegation doesn't end when work does - the kids can do their own laundry!
It won't happen overnight and it'll take a strong resolve to stick to, but by learning how to become more organised you're taking the necessary first steps to reaching your goal. Apply these principles to whichever area of life you feel most disorganised and you'll be juggling it all like a professional...juggler, in no time.
If you have any questions about how we at Interparcel can help you or your business be more organised give our parcel experts a quick ring, live chat message or email and find out!