How to be organized: 5 essential daily habits
Organized people are not born that way, they are built. We all know at least one person who achieves more without any effort, as if their talent is to be more organized. Yet, we all have 24 hours in a day. Why are some people more productive than the others? They seem to always respect deadlines, they are punctual so what do they do? What secrets do they have? How to be organized? In a previous article about how to be productive, I shared one of the best books on how to be more organized I’ve ever read is David Allen’s book “Getting things done“. Here are some more tips for you on how to me more organized.
Deep focus comes from developing attention
Do you control your mind or are you controlled by it? In the middle of a task, you set your mind to finish it but your attention keeps wandering. You are tempted to check how many likes you received on your latest posts. Tame your mind by practicing meditation. Please, do not assimilate this little exercise to a specific religion. Practicing meditation stems from understanding how your mind works. It is like a little monkey that will keep you distracted if ineffectively trained. Training your mind to focus can be as little as focusing on your breath. Be aware of each inhalation and exhalation. If a thought comes in, observe it and don’t overreact, then get back to your breath. You can practice that for only 5 minutes a day.
Remember that a lack of focus can cause bad habits, negative thinking and even depression.
Specific rituals at the beginning of the day
Morning routines play a key role in your productivity and set the tone or the rest of your time. After accomplishing a few tasks, the way we approach the day changes completely. No wonder why the Admiral William H. Mc Raven recommends us to make our bed first if we want to be successful. This little task gives enough sense of pride to carry on the next task and so on until we attack our important task. These routines can make you who you are. Your morning routine may include meditation, exercise or reading. Successful people also set their evening rituals including a hot bath or some reading in bed.
Tips on how to be more organized: Make a to-do-list and prioritize
We are stressed when we are unclear about what to do next. Following a to-do-list increases our productivity and gets us more organized. We can list out everything we need using our tablet or smartphone. We can also use a simple folded paper that we put in our pocket or in our agenda. The crucial thing here is to make it visible anytime. Tracking our progress then becomes easier. You have to find out which method suits you best. I personally like using a folded A4 paper because I can carry it whenever I want. The feeling of pride after crossing out a task, mmmh 🙂
I then strongly advise you to list what you have to do the next day. It allows us to wake up and start the day at least knowing what to do and what to prioritize.
Set deadlines and cut off social networks
Should we leave social networks completely? It would be difficult so let’s keep them to the minimum. They are indeed an integral part of our lives but they are also the main reasons for our unproductivity.
Another tip is to use the law of Parkinson. There is magic in setting deadlines. Have you noticed you could finish a task rapidly if you only have 1 hour to do it? But if I give you an entire week, you’d also use that entire week to get the same task done. Parkinson’s Law states that a project or a task will swell in relation to the time allotted for its completion. Therefore, evaluate how much time you can accomplish a given task and challenge yourself by shortening the deadlines.
How to be organized: Use the Pomodoro method
In the 1980s, the Italian Francesco Cirillo invented a well-known time management technique. The Pomodoro (tomato in Italian) method incites us to take regular breaks between the different tasks on your to-do-list.
Concretely, it helps having an uninterrupted block of time, without any distractions.
– Use a stopwatch set at 25 minutes
– Have a deep work, uninterrupted during these 25 minutes, focusing solely on the task
– Have a short 5-minute break after these 25 minutes
– Start again
– After 4 blocks of 25 minutes, enjoy and take a 30 minute-break
The time limits used here are flexible but you get the principle. The main reason is that it promotes intellectual agility and allows creativity. Our brain works best with regular breaks as well as our body. In between, do not hesitate to oxygenate your brain with regular deep breaths.