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How to Be More Organized

We all know people that are super organized... all the time. Being organized might feel like something that you're born with... you either got it or you don’t.

But actually, being organized can be learned and developed like any other skill, and it's worth the effort to learn. Here's why:

  1. When we're organized we're less likely to miss important tasks and tend to feel less stressed.

  2. When we're organized, we know where to find things. Like those daily to-dos, that template we always use, and which emails need to be sent.

  3. When we're organized we have more time and space for brainstorming, creating, and higher impact work.

  4. When we’re organized it can lead to higher paying careers, or to running a business that’s more profitable.

With a few simple tweaks, anyone can be more organized, and improve their daily routine and work, while reducing stress.

What are the benefits of being organized?

Being organized reduces stress and you can accomplish more high-impact work without getting overwhelmed and feeling burned out. You'll find it easier to prioritize tasks and make sure that the most important things get done.

Being organized will help you feel better and happier at your job (or school), thanks to these benefits:

  1. A more flexible schedule. Being organizing and managing your schedule can cut out time wasters, so you have more time for focus and deep work.

  2. Less stress. When you’re organized, you know when tasks and projects are due, and what steps you need to take to get them done. You'll find yourself worrying less because all of your work is assigned and has a deadline.

  3. More space for creativity. You know that task list in your head that keeps telling you what needs to get done? It's taking up a lot of brain space that could be used for more productive work. Getting those things out of your head will give you more space for creative, focused work.

  4. Less risk of burnout. When you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you’re more likely to make hurried decisions. This leads to more stress, and when left unchecked leads to burnout. Often, feeling overwhelmed starts with feeling like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. Being organized gets you back in control of your work, and time. That's how you stop feeling stressed and burned out.

  5. Increased productivity. In a perfect world, every piece of work has a purpose, someone that's responsible, and a deadline for completion. But, we don't live in a perfect world, so having a system reduces the amount of time you spend on meaningless tasks and boosts productivity.

Studies show that 60% of our days are filled with work about work. The 40% left is for skilled work and strategy—the most important aspects of your job. Being organized reduces work about work—things like following up on tasks, switching between apps, looking for status updates, and so on.

When you know where things are, you can spend less time searching for information and more time executing.

Beginning next week, for the next three weeks, I will be sharing simple ways that you can be more organized. Here's the TL;DR:

  1. Week 1: 6 ways to organize your daily work

  2. Week 2: 6 tips to organize your project work

  3. Week 3: 5 steps to organize across teams

Without being organized your work can feel overwhelming—especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you. But like any other skill, you can learn by breaking it down into more manageable steps. Whether you’re looking to organize your daily work, your project work, or your team’s entire system, you'll get the essentials to being more organized at home, work, and business.

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