Constantly losing things? Always late for appointments? Desk in a muddle? If you answered ‘yes’, you’re probably in need of the secret to being organised.
Strong organisational skills are a must-have. In my work, I come across many business owners who need a confidence boost when it comes to organisation. According to professional organiser, Amanda Lecaude, being organised ups your productivity, encourages good time management and provides work/life balance. That means organisation is not only great for your business – but for you too!
What’s the Secret?
How do you actually achieve this though? If you think that these skills are limited to ‘born organisers’, think again. While some people are naturally organised, others can learn to be. Organisational skills are learnable and with practice, can become a habit.
The secret is knowing what it really means to be organised. Being organised is more than keeping papers in order or having a place for your house keys. It encompasses mental organisation, such as punctuality and time management, too. Many people think that being disorganised is having a messy desk but it is really much more profound than this. Being disorganised is a mental state.
Organisation is much more than you imagine. In fact, some people don’t even need a clean office or neat desk to be organised. Organising is not about how a space looks but how it allows you to work.
As long as there are systems in place to overcome chaos, then organisation can look very diverse. That’s the secret – making it work for you!
Even the most organised people sometimes end up with messy desks or crazy calendars. The difference is, they have systems which help to get things back in control again.
Time to Get Organised?
People can be disorganised for a number of reasons. For example, busyness, laziness and life-changing events are key times where disorganisation takes over.
It’s important to differentiate general disorganisation from serious health issues such as hoarding, which is recognised as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. If you are experiencing mental health struggles, consider speaking to an appropriate health professional.
If, on the other hand, you’re after some simple ways to boost your organisational skills, remember that habits are built. Practice organisation just like you would practice any other new skill. It all starts with your attitude and then your willingness to put a bit of work in.
Here are some easy ways to embrace the secret of organisation:
- Write it down. If you’re a ‘list person’, use lists to keep track of your to-do items. It may help to clear the mind.
- Keep flat surfaces clear. Try allowing for five to 10 minutes at the start and end of each day to clear your desk space.
- Find a place for everything. Everything has a home.
- File don’t pile. This includes physical and electronic filing. Take five to 15 minutes every day to process mail, or file items.
- Purge and declutter regularly. Tax files don’t need to be kept for 20 years. Refer to the relevant statutory bodies for the duration files should be kept. Also, scan items and save them electronically to free up physical space.
- Set goals. Identify what you want to achieve and establish a plan to get there. Setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based) goals is a great option.
- Prioritise your goals. Order them in terms of daily, monthly or yearly, for example, and select a number you’d like to achieve in the allotted time-frame.
- In the office, don’t replicate excessively. For example, don’t store multiple copies of items in several places unnecessarily.
The benefits of a more organised life include improved focus on goals and, in turn, greater productivity and efficiency. The secret is to make organisation work for you – whatever that looks like. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help!