Get Organized Now: 3 Ways to Get Organized


Getting organized can be a huge pain the butt. Tasks pile up, your to-do list gets out of control, you feel overwhelmed with all that needs done, and you dread home office organization. Yet, if you want to have peace of mind and a clean work space, you need to get organized. So how to get organized, then? Well, you’re in luck, because this article features three ways to get organized.

Learning how to get organized is very simple. The point is to get organized so that you then focus on your important task at hand. Or your life. But definitely not focusing on the organizing itself. Getting organized is a means to an end.

So without further ado, here are the three ways to get organized:

1. Productively Procrastinate

You will inevitably procrastinate during part of your week. It’s fine – we all do. We’re only human. But just because you procrastinate doesn’t mean you need to waste time. You should productively procrastinate.

When you want to avoid doing the major task in front of you, take care of some not-as-important-but-still-useful tasks on your to-do list. The ones that don’t require much thought are especially good. Maybe it’s cleaning and organizing files and folders on your computer, or doing some home office organization. Anything that’s been lingering on your to-do list.

While these tasks aren’t the really important ones, they’re still useful. And rather than wasting your time surfing the web or watching cat videos, you can more effectively spend your procrastination time. Plus, you don’t have to set aside special time for getting organized: you simply use the pockets of time for when you feel like procrastinating. Productive procrastination is actually some of the best moments to get organized.

2. Finish Your Current Task Now if Possible

A huge part of disorganization is putting off tasks. If you finish something on the spot, when it’s right on front of you, then you don’t need to organize it, or schedule it, or put it on your to-do list. It’s simply done.

Use the 5-minute rule: if you come across a task that will take 5 minutes or less to complete, finish your current task now.

This way, you’ll avoid piling up a bunch of small tasks that could’ve easily been done on the spot. It’s like physically keeping your home office clean: instead of piling up garbage, you simply throw away that wrapper now. Or pick up clutter when you see it, rather than saving for later.

3. Keep Your To-Do List Short

This one’s forehead-slapping obvious, but that’s because it really works. When you have a short to-do list, you don’t have as many things you need to do. And with less tasks, you need to organize less, either with your tasks or related files and stuff for the tasks.

Now, when it comes to your to-do list, organizational skills require self discipline and being brutally honest with yourself. Only you can keep your to-do list short:

  • Look through your items and decide which tasks ultimately don’t matter
  • Remove them from your to-do list – if you really need to do that task, it’ll come up later, otherwise it didn’t need to be there
  • Before adding a new item to your to-do list, go through the same process – decide if the task ultimately matters

By doing this, you’ll keep your to-do list short. However, if you absolutely, positively can’t shorten your to-do list anymore, then at the very least you need to segment your list. The reason is that you’ll have a much more manageable list of tasks to look at.

It shouldn’t seem like a big deal, but it really is. We’re emotional creatures, and things are all about perception. When you see a big mess o’ stuff in a long list, you feel overwhelmed. But a clean, segmented list is organized and easy to tackle.

You can segment your list by priority, type of task, project-related, or whatever else.

If you have a lot of tasks to do, it helps to have your list organized. Which it needs to be, anyway. It is a “to do”, not a “to gather and look at while deciding what to do”.

Get Organized Now

How to get organized is fairly simple. In fact, you need it to be if you want to effectively get organized and get on with your life. Otherwise, you spend most of your time trying to get organized rather than following these 3 simple disciplines.

The most important thing is to get started. These 3 ways are simple to do, so just start small – you’ll get better as you go on. Your procrastination will become more productive as you spend less surfing the web and more time getting organized. You’ll get better at finishing your current task at hand so you don’t need to think about and do it later. And you’ll keep your to-do list short and tidy.

To recap, here are the 3 ways to get organized:

  1. Productively procrastinate.
  2. Finish your current task now if possible.
  3. Keep your to-do list short.

Your turn: what are your most effective tips that helped you get organized?

 


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Oleg Mokhov is an electronic music artist and design enthusiast. He makes electronic music that's a cross between Four Tet and Boards of Canada.

Discussion

  1. Wolf on the 10th December

    Nice article, Oleg. Will use it.

    • angelee on the 10th December

      very useful indeed.. I find the second one my weakness though!..

  2. Alison Rowan on the 10th December

    I think that productive procrastination is the most helpful piece of advice here. I remember stumbling across the idea a few months ago, and thinking it was brilliant. Brilliant enough to have slipped past my mind for years. The trick is spending that little bit of time to get anything set up that you’ll need in order for the task to be fairly mindless when you’re looking to procrastinate. Spend the five minutes getting the materials together and within reach of your work station so that you can just pick it up as you please.

  3. Ellen Delap on the 10th December

    Our to do lists can get endless! Attack it by using prioritizing your 3 Most Important Tasks. Get your 3 MITs done early, then re-prioritize the list.

  4. Get Organized Already on the 13th December

    Unfortunately, for most people who read articles like this, “just get the task done” is not as easy as it sounds. People have varying degrees of ability to focus. If you find yourself surrounded by piles of misplaced items and just-started easy projects you may want to talk to a professional (as in a doctor or a therapist) about your inability to concentrate.
    Having a professional organizer with you to keep you On Task is a quick fix and will do the trick. But, when in comes to going at life solo, you want to feel competent and capable.
    Many of my clients can tackle huge projects at work, but can’t focus long enough to clean the clutter off the counter (for various reasons).
    You are not alone!
    Don’t beat yourself up. Just start talking about it with your doctors and friends and see what route may work for you.
    Thanks,
    Nonnahs Driskill

  5. Gus on the 17th August

    My essential business app on iPad to organize my work is Beesy. It helps me to organize my day with tasks, toDo list automatically generated. Very useful also in meetings to don’t miss a thing. I hightly recommend it http://www.beesapps.com/beesy-ipad-to-do/

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