The Road to Efficiency is Paved by the Organized

To improve efficiency, you have to be organized. 

You can lose a lot of time due to disorganization. The longer it takes to find what you need ends up wasting your most valuable resource – Time. The more stuff that you have the more work it takes to find stuff.

Without organization you work on what is in front of you, rather than by priorities. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible to be efficient with resources if you don’t have those resources organized.

Improving your skill at efficiency and organization takes working on competency at Time Management, Prioritization, Scheduling, Optimizing, and Delegation.

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you did it, it is not all mixed up.

A. A Milne

Build the habits that make organization simple.

  • Value your time. You don’t waste what you value. Get the most out of the moments you spend. 
  • Schedule but don’t over schedule. Lots of little things that still needs to get done will eat up time. Don’t over commit and schedule every minute of your time. Work ahead of Schedule – set deadlines ahead of when it needs to be done. Treat this deadline seriously.
  • Unclutter your life – Remove what doesn’t add to your life. Everything has it’s place. Before you add, subtract, and always know exactly where anything will go before you bring it home. 
  • Keep Track – write it down. Notes, planner, post-its. You can’t organize if you don’t write it down. Record those commitments.
  • Do – You can’t just keep adding to your to-do list. The key to all of this organizing and efficiency is to take action. Knock out the most important priorities and celebrate those wins, especially the small ones. 

Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.

Barbara Hemphill

To become a more organized person, there are four areas to concentrate on first.

Organizing your space

Your environment is important. You adjust to your environment. It has an affect on your mood. Declutter your mood.

Clean up your house, your car, your desk. It isn’t just about being clean. It’s about having things where they belong, where it is most efficient or beautifies your space.

Give yourself something nice to look at.

Organizing your work

Have a system of organization for keeping track of your work.

As in all things, simplicity is key.

Keep like things together. You need to be able to find what you need in a moments notice. For example, for every meeting you have on the calendar – you need everything at your finger tips. Whether going traditional and using a folder system or going electronic with One Note, Evernote, it’s important to have a system where everything can be accessed at any time.

Organizing your priorities

First step in organizing your priorities is knowing your goals. What is important to you?

Have a system for prioritizing. A, B, C – Whichever system works best for you, it needs to be able to allow you to simply separate the Urgent from the Important.

Be realistic in what you can accomplish. Knock out what is the most important. Keeping everything organized means knocking out more things off your list each day, than you are adding to your lists.

Organizing your resources

Know what you have at your disposal. What resources do you have?

Delegate. Not everything has to be done by you. Even if you are a single contributor without direct reports, you have others in your life.

Nothing says you can’t ask fellow co-workers to help put their talents to use. If it is something that plays to their strengths, and they can deliver quality more efficiently then you can, then give it away and ask for help.

You can ask your partner or family for help. Or if you have the resources you can outsource and pay someone to do the things that need to get done but may not need to get done by you.

Wrap Up

Efficiency is about doing the thing right.

Effectively is about doing the right thing.

To work efficiently and effectively, we must start with the foundation of organization. Haphazard creates a lot of mess. Being organized is a personal skill that threads it’s way through our lives in different ways. Build your reputation by working through these core competencies on your path to improved efficiency.

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