“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen, author of Getting Things Done
Why do we have trouble staying organized?
As I begin to take on more projects with Whiteboard Business Partners, I find myself being pulled in many directions. I think about the different goals I have and projects I want to accomplish, and I sometimes wonder how I’ll get everything done.
Photo from Rubbermaid via Flickr Creative Commons
Like many of you, I have a difficult time staying organized. I know my projects, and I know the steps I have to take to complete them. However, I fall too often to what I feel is the most urgent task. I’ve tried many of the popular task management tools, but I still have difficulty staying organized.
How to get yourself organized and productive right now
Getting organized is a mindset. Your tools and procedures do nothing until you get in the right mindset to commit to becoming organized. Through my experience, I recommend three steps for starting the path to becoming more organized.
1. Understand why you want to become organized – Nothing really happens in life until you determine why you want it to happen. I want to become organized because I want to get more work done in the same amount of time I currently work (no more than 10 hours a day, and usually around nine hours a day). You may have a completely different reason why you want to get more organized, but find that reason and do not forget it.
2. Pick your “power tool” – We have a nearly-unlimited supply of applications and other tools claiming to help us stay organized. Pick the one tool that will be your go-to tool. My “power tool” is Evernote. Every aspect of my organizational workflow must work through Evernote. This is the reason why I am likely moving away from Priority Matrix and to Nozbe for my task management workflow. Nozbe integrates with Evernote, and that integration decreases my organizational time.
3. Commit to building your system – This is where I have struggled over the years. I start one system, then change to another system. I finally committed to building a sustainable system and wrote it as a goal in my Pick Four notebook (affiliate link). I perform some work every day on making this a system I can use for the long term.
Getting organized is difficult, but absolutely necessary if you want to become more focused and productive. What challenges are you facing in getting organized? What is one step you can take to begin the journey right now? Share your thoughts below!