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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

5 Keys for Getting Organized


You've heard me quote Peter Drucker saying: "The only way to get the future you want is to create it." This quote suggests you have more control of your life and over the events of your life - specifically your time - than you may be giving yourself credit for.
One of the ways we're able to create the future we want is by having an organized and productive environment. We look to the future, but we live in the present. The more organized your working environment, the more effective you'll be in the present, allowing you to shape and mold the future.
Consider doing the following:
Keep your desk and surrounding work area organized.
Don't leave things lying around and don't allow papers to stack up on top of your desk. Almost everyone has a filing system but few have a retrieval system. As a result, we stack. Here's a simple but powerful retrieval system you can use for filing just about everything: File by name, by subject or by company.
Stay up to date on time-sensitive matters
Not everything is an "A" priority. Some things require immediate action and some don't. For those items that do need attention now, commit to taking that action as soon as you possibly can. If it requires a phone call - make it. The same is true with an email response. Hint: Facebook posts rarely take precedence - over anything.
Use efficient routines.
By definition, a routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed. Creating routines is one of the most effective ways I know of to control your day. Do you have a morning routine in which you read something inspirational or motivational to get your day off to a great start? How about en evening routine that allows you to set fifteen minutes aside before you go to bed to evaluate the day? How about creating an email routine that says you'll only check email on the hour?
Create checklists.
Speaking of routine, try creating checklists for those things you do on a regular basis. If a pilot needs a preflight checklist to make sure he's flipping the right switch and pushing the right button to keep his passengers safe, maybe you need a checklist or two to make sure you're taking everything to work you need to take or making those important calls you need to make.
Batch similar tasks.
Control your day and create a desired future by batching similar tasks. Try returning all your phone calls at about the same times every day - say at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Review materials or prepare your reports at a particular time. As I've already suggested, return calls at specific times, so you can stay focused on completing those "A" priority tasks.
You really do have more control of your day than you give yourself credit for. Remember, time management is really event management, and everything is an event. Taking charge of your day is how you create the future you desire. Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday.
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