Super busy people often get "stuck" in a rut, working harder and harder, only to find they are getting further and further behind.
In my next post I'll explain "how" to get your busy self organized, but here I just want to give you the main benefits of taking positive organizational action now.
1. Gain time. Most time management gurus agree that you can save 10+ hours a week simply by getting your organizational act together.
2. Reduce stress. When you are spinning in the mud, even the simplest additional requirement (like, turn left) seems overwhelming.
3. Regain life balance. Sometimes just one wheel is flat or stuck, but it's impeding progress or throwing the entire vehicle out of balance.
4. Enjoy time with family and friends. Being preoccupied with too many things to do robs you of the ability to enjoy the moment.
5. Save money. Disorganization results in unnecessary spending because you re-buy items you can't find or you go out to eat instead of making a healthier and less-expense home cooked meal.
6. Increase your earning capacity. Who would you pay more? The person who could get twice as much done as everyone else or the average performer?
7. Have more energy. Being stuck results in standing still. You may be busy spinning your wheels, but you're not creating energy, you're only using it up.
8. Be more flexible. When a car is in motion, moving forward, it's easy to turn. A stuck vehicle is nearly impossible to turn. You'll find you have a much greater ability to flex once you are unstuck and on your organized way.
9. Sleep better. Once your mind is no longer juggling a "million things to do," you'll be able to relax and sleep.
10. Be a great role model. Your nieces, nephews, kids and grandkids are all watching you. What is your life teaching them today?
There are a thousand things you can do to get organized now, but the following four lay the critical groundwork for your organizational success.
1. Identify your organizational style and its weakness. In their book, "How to be Organized in Spite of Yourself: Time and Space Management that Works with Your Personal Style" by Sunny Schlenger and Roberta Roesch, they describe five time management styles:
- The Hopper. Fast mover. Gets tons done, but often loses focus due to quick switches between tasks.
- The Perfectionist Plus. Awesome final product, but has difficulty distinguishing between valuable and less-valuable uses of time.
- Allergic to Detail. Thinks about the big picture and new ideas, but often refuses to take the necessary actions to make progress toward them.
- The Fence Sitter. Perches where she can see both sides of any issue. Great perspective but often results in indecision vs. action.
- The Cliff Hanger. Thrives on adrenaline, deadlines, and external pressure and has a hard time doing necessary mundane tasks.
- Do you perform best first thing in the morning? Tackle your biggest projects then.
- Maybe you prefer to pick the low-lying fruit first and leave climbing the ladder of success until later in the day? Whichever works for you is your best scheduling approach.
- As a natural-born organizer, I journal out all my projects for the day, week, etc, then estimate the amount of time each will take and its deadline, and finally organize them into a prioritized order. I usually do them in order, because that's how my brain works best.
- I use a combination of Google Calendar and http://www.SuperSaas.com. Both can be accessed from any computer and by any person with permission. This enables my staff at the store, the restaurant, the websites PLUS family, media and event planners to self-book appointments with me within the parameters I set.
- You might choose to use Outlook, a master calendar in the office or kitchen, an app on your iPod or whatever. The key is to find a system that you a) will use and b) is sophisticated enough to actually allow you to succeed. (ie - mine combines the ability to tap into my address book from the calendar, so I don't have to take that extra step).
- Set aside 10-60 minutes a day for personal development through reading, solitude, meditation and prayer.
- Build some exercise into your life. If you are truly strapped for time, buy a kettlebell. It costs under $30 and provides an entire body workout in one to three minutes.
- Add thanksgiving to every day. Verbalizing gratitude for what you DO have increases joy, creativity and productivity while decreases angst and feelings of sadness.
- Celebrate the wins. When you finish a 3 minute kettlebell workout, say, "That felt great!" Don't wait until you lose 10 pounds, celebrate positive actions vs. only final outcomes.
Marnie Swedberg is the leadership mentor to over 13,000 leaders from 30 countries training B.U.S.Y. - Best Unique Strategies for You. Learn how to maximize your life in the minutes you have at http://www.Marnie.com.