Men nowadays are often busy multitasking and always on the go. The accumulation of responsibilities in a day sends some on a frenzy as to how they can stay on top of all the job-related tasks they should accomplish along with all their other activities outside of the workplace.
This is where the need to be organized comes in. Now perhaps you may be daunted by the prospect of staying organized simply because it’s not in your nature. If this is the case for you, then it’s alright. Even the most organized of professionals may not have started out as such. Being organized may involve cultivating good habits and using technological advancements, such as Drop Cowboy ringless voicemail, to automate tasks that are part of your everyday routine so that, eventually, staying organized becomes second nature to you.
With that said, now’s a good time to start incorporating more organization into your lifestyle. This article gives you some of the best tips to stay organized in your workplace and at home no matter how hectic your schedule may be.
1. Do Not Procrastinate
If you keep on procrastinating, it’s best to change that behavior as soon as possible. Procrastinating won’t do you any good, especially if you’re a busy individual. It’ll only ruin your schedule in the long run, to the point that you’ll start to struggle with what to do first now that all the tasks you’ve put aside are piling up. Remember that the longer you wait to get something done, the more it’ll come back to haunt your mind and stress you out.
If you’re serious about changing your habit of procrastinating, follow this guide:
- Become a master of scheduling and project planning.
- Use automation tools like Power Dialer to your advantage so you can cut down the time it takes to finish manual tasks such as making multiple phone calls.
- Tackle the hardest tasks during your peak time or when you feel your mind is most alert and productive.
- Set reminders for activities with a deadline.
2. Write Things Down
This doesn’t necessarily mean using a pen and paper per se, especially if you’re the type of man who loves to use gadgets and technology. The point here is to take note of crucial details such as your daily schedule, important dates to remember, and deadlines to meet.
The key to staying organized, particularly when you’re busy and have a lot of responsibilities, is to keep your schedule in one planner. It’ll be easier for you to keep track of all the things you have to attend to when everything from work meetings to personal reminders are contained in one planner.
Apart from not forgetting important dates and deadlines, there are other benefits you can enjoy from making it a point to write things down. Here are just a few of them:
- It helps clear your mind. You no longer have to feel anxious about possibly forgetting something now that you’re able to jot everything down on your planner. All you have to do is to open up your physical or digital planner and check your upcoming tasks and events for the week.
- It keeps you motivated. One of the easiest ways to keep your motivation levels strong is to write down your schedule and create a to-do list. Throughout the day, you can tick off an item once you’ve accomplished it. This is a powerful strategy to motivate yourself since you’ll no longer feel as though you haven’t done much. Also, if you always check your schedule at the start of the workday, you’ll be able to get into the right mindset that will allow you to get everything done on time.
- It encourages daily progress. On the days when the deadlines just keep piling up one after another, a good way to encourage yourself to push on is to look at what you’ve accomplished the previous day. Even if you may have only completed small tasks, your mood will surely improve when you know you’ve done your best in balancing all the demands of your life.
3. Prioritize Important Tasks
Another technique to apply when it comes to staying organized is to learn how to prioritize certain tasks. Even when you feel like everything you’ve scheduled in the day is important, there are ways for you to create your own hierarchy of priorities.
For instance, on Friday this week, you’ve got an annual picnic scheduled with your kids at school. Because this is something that happens only once every school year, this event should be on top of your priority for that day. Everything else can be done once the picnic is over.
To help you out, here are other strategies you can try when looking to create an order of priority in your schedule:
- Rearrange the items in your to-do list according to importance, especially those that have to be accomplished by a certain time. For example, you need to stop by the grocery to buy ingredients that your wife needs to prepare tonight’s dinner. Because the shops close at six, you may want to make that grocery run during your lunch break rather than wait for the end of your shift and take the risk of not being able to get there on time.
- Highlight what’s urgent. This is for matters like deadlines or meetings that are non-negotiable and can’t be moved to a different date. This way, when you look at your schedule, those tasks will immediately grab your attention, and you can make the necessary changes to accommodate them should you have other things on your plate.
- Consider the effort required for each task. If there’s no need for you to rush anything on a certain day, then you can prioritize tasks according to the amount of effort needed to finish them. This means starting with those that are more challenging or time-consuming and foregoing the easier ones until later in the day.
When you work on the most difficult tasks first, you’ll have the energy and mental capacity to deal with them regardless of how complex they are. If you wait to do them near the end of the workday, you may already be too exhausted to do them properly and end up making a lot of mistakes.
Even if you can only get one particular thing done by the end of the day, as long as it’s the one that requires the most effort, at least you can start fresh the next day, and you can take care of the rest of your responsibilities without a worry.
- Set clear deadlines. This is applicable even to tasks that don’t come with a deadline. In doing so, you’ll be giving yourself a time frame during which you’ll try your hardest to finish that task. You won’t have to keep facing the same unfinished thing over and over again simply because you’re complacent about doing it given that you don’t have a time limit anyway.
If you don’t set personal deadlines, then this might just be the beginning of having your responsibilities pile up until they form a mountain of work that’ll leave you overwhelmed and burnt out.
- Avoid distractions while at work. When you’re sitting at your work desk, stay away from any form of distraction. You can keep your phone nearby so that you’re reachable should someone call for an emergency. But don’t pick it up for reasons such as responding to unimportant text messages and checking social media.
The fewer distractions you have at work, the more tasks you’ll be able to accomplish within a short period. This can keep you on top of your to-do list, which will then prevent you from having to do overtime or taking home any unfinished work. If you’re married and you’ve got kids, your wife and children will surely appreciate it when you’re home and your attention is on them, not your job.
If you don’t do anything to retain your focus, it’ll take you so much longer to finish everything. This can lead to the dangerous cycle of overworking, getting exhausted, underperforming, and needing more time for work because you failed to be efficient with your time right from the start.
4. Manage Your Time Well
Having excellent time management skills is one of the most distinct characteristics of organized individuals. If you think that the hours in a day aren’t enough for you to finish your work, then perhaps you need to make changes in the way you manage your time.
Managing your time well doesn’t mean extending your work hours or foregoing rest. It simply means learning how to maximize what you can do with the time you have for each of your responsibilities. In doing so, neither your personal life nor your family life will suffer.
Here’s how you can make the most of your time every day:
- Set a time limit to complete each task. This should be done for everything you’re going to do within the day, including online browsing. Idle hours are among the biggest eaters of your time since it’s not always possible or easy to keep track of how long you’ve been mindlessly scrolling on social media or streaming videos. The next thing you know, you’ve already wasted an hour doing ‘nothing’ even when there are more important tasks to get to simply because you didn’t give yourself a time limit.
- Plan ahead. Don’t wake up without a plan for a day. This is also why it’s a must to write down your schedule: at the end of the day, you’ll have something to look back on that will allow you to visualize what’s going to happen tomorrow.
This can make it easier for you to plan for the next day and ensure that no crucial tasks are forgotten. Starting the day without a plan may only send you in a panic when suddenly your phone keeps buzzing with reminders, you’ve got deadlines coming in, your kids are asking you to do this and that with them, and your wife is also waiting for you to help her out.
Coming up with a plan the night before can help you set everything in order the next day. Right when you wake up, you already have a schedule to follow, so you know what steps to take next.
- Learn to delegate tasks. If you’ve got team members who can assist you with some tasks, then go ahead and entrust those jobs to them. This is especially beneficial if you’re the head of a department or the boss of a company.
There’s no reason for you to do everything by yourself and leave other employees doing a lot less because you didn’t give them adequate work to do. The more often you delegate tasks, the more you can free up some of your time and trim down your excessively long list of responsibilities.
5. Have A Designated Place For Items
Be it in your home or office, give everything a home. This means every single thing you own and use throughout the day should go back to its proper place once you’re done with it.
When you know where everything is, you can save time and effort and stay organized as well. If you’re married, don’t just rely on your wife to do all the tidying up. By actively organizing the items you need on a daily basis, you can declutter not only your space but also your life as you won’t have to waste time wandering around your house or workplace searching for things. No one wants to start their day getting frustrated over misplaced objects, right?
As you can see, it’s not that simple to be organized if you’ve spent most of your life being the exact opposite. It takes consistent effort to make plans and change one’s habits to be able to balance all the facets of your life. But once you become more organized, you won’t have to compromise one or more of your responsibilities in favor of another, and your work-life balance will eventually become more stable. Follow the tips above one at a time, and then you’ll start to enjoy the positive changes they’re going to create in your professional and personal life.