How to Stay Organized

People are under the impression that I work really hard. The reality is - I'm really lazy. But - I still manage to get a lot of stuff done, so people think I work hard. I don't. I'm just really well organized.

I was recently asked for my top 3 tips to staying organized So here goes.

1. MS Outlook. Is my number #1 tool. Not only do I organize my emails, but I use the calendar and the tasks as well.  I like that it is all integrated into one application. If I get an email that I don’t need to work on today – I can drag it to the tasks and set it for a future date.  I can email follow ups directly from the task. I can drag a task directly to my calendar. I love the drag and drop functionality of it. Bonus is – it’s cloud based so I don’t have to be at my desk to access all my notes, schedule, tasks, etc.  Most people are not aware of all you can do in the Outlook system – and are shocked when I tell them.  The result is – I rarely overbook myself and I am able to keep track of tasks to be done and schedule myself according to my needs. 

2. USE IT!!!!! It isn’t enough to have the tools – you have to use them.  I start every morning going over my – to do list in my computer (MS Outlook).  What is realistic for me to work on today – what isn’t. And I adjust my schedule accordingly. If I have a bunch of stuff to do and I have 2 meetings, I push off what I can’t get to – to another date – confident- it’s not going to get lost on a note somewhere on my desk underneath a pile of stuff. It’s in my dashboard. If someone calls about something, I can search my task list – and find it and move it up if necessary. I find this helps me not keep too many things in my head. I can just focus on what is on my list of things to do – today.  I also look at and arrange tomorrow’s work.  It’s the first thing I do every morning. Most days – I get through my to do list or reschedule my to do list.  I have very little stress relating to this topic as a result – because I USE MY SYSTEM!!!!

3. Making sure family business – is in my business calendar.  My business and personal calendars – are all on one calendar. I don’t keep separate calendars. This helps me prioritize family events and not accidentally – book something when I should be doing a family thing. Work life balance – requires me to treat my personal life – as a business priority – if that makes sense. The right tool  - allows me to do this.

It takes time to get organized, but the benefit of putting in that time, is a lot less stress. Do the work so you don't have to work so hard.

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