How I Stay Organized

I recently read this great article in the Huffington Post about the habits of organized people. A colleague from Pennsylvania discussed the actions organized people take on a regular basis to keep from sliding into chaos. I thought it might be interesting to see how I measure up.

1) Goal-oriented: Every year I attend a national conference for organizers I come home with pages of notes and ideas. I take the following week to sift through those papers to make a master to-do list. This list becomes my task sheet for the entirety of the next year.

2) Optimistic: Someone else is probably a better judge of my optimism than myself. But, I'd like to think I am. I will say that I've yet to enter a project that I didn't think was doable or manageable. That seems pretty optimistic!

3) Conscientious: Absolutely! I'm entering other's spaces and their comfort is paramount. Outside of work, I think this characteristic carries through. I plan outings with friends regularly and do my best to stay in touch with those closest to me.

4) Not always open to new ideas: A hard thing to admit, but it's true. The article states, "that working in a messier office environment sparks more creative ideas than working in a more orderly space." Maybe that's why when I'm making a craft or wrapping presents or anything slightly creative I do so on the floor!

5) Decision makers: Unless it's which restaurant to eat at, yes. I can make decisions. If something is working, it's working. We can move on to what's next. There's no reason to keep assessing it.

6) Let go of perfectionism: See above. Many people think organizers are perfect - at least in keeping their space. What's perfect is subjective. When I was younger, I went so far as to keep my socks lined in a particular order in my sock drawer. Now, my socks are all tossed in a basket in the closet. It's perfect for what I need.

7) Capture, calendar, contain: So much! Invitations and events immediately go on my calendar. Notes of who to follow up with and when go on my calendar. Files are orderly and properly labeled.

8) Check in with lists: There is a perpetual list on my desk. Even though my office is digital, for whatever reason I prefer a paper to-do list. There's more satisfaction in scratching something off than deleting a line.

9) Have a do-it-now attitude: At times a fault, I have a hard time relaxing if I know there's still something left to do. It can't get much more do-it-now than that.

10) Prepare: I don't forget deadlines (see #7) or events. I plan out menus a week or so ahead of time. If I have an important event coming up, I prep my outfit the evening before. I put out my lunch bag the night before I need to pack a meal and items leaving out the door with me are set by the door the night before.

11) Ask for help: I'm working on this one! Like many of us, I have a hard time asking for assistance sometimes simply because I want to be able to do something myself. But, the busier I get or the more outside my expertise a project becomes, the easier it is for me to reach out to others.

12) Unitask: Hmmm... I'm not terrific at this! I watch a lot of TV while I work at my desk because I like the background noise. But, it does become distracting at times. Every now and then I'll also have a couple tasks going simultaneously on my desk - one of the surface and one on the screen.

13) Know their best work: Sure do! Those are sometimes the projects I post pictures of on social media or this blog. The article says this also includes knowing when you do your best work - the time of day. I know if I don't work out first thing in the morning, chances are I won't exercise that day. My energy just isn't there.

14) De-stress: Of course - I hope we all do! As I just mentioned, I try to exercise regularly. I love yoga and baking, which relax and energize me respectively. Spending time with friends and family can also be relaxing, just as vegging out on the couch can be - all of which I do frequently!

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