Let’s talk about time management organization for a second. Some people are naturally organized. Beautifully labeled file folders and neatly kept calendars come easily to them. The rest of us have to work hard to keep all of our deadlines and obligations from falling through the cracks. No matter where you fall on the organization spectrum, I’ve found there are three simple words that solve most organization problems…
Write. It. Down.
I know. Seems obvious right? But I like to keep things simple, and if we distill most time management organization problems down to the core of the issue, difficulties arise when we don’t have a good system for writing things down.
You might be asking, “Where?” and “How?” Then you’re developing a system, make sure it has the following three characteristics:
Writing down your tasks should be simple and only take a moment or two. If you use a paper calendar, that means keeping a pen clipped to it at all times. If you’re using an app or some sort of digital calendar, that means making sure it’s accessible at all times, and only requires one or two clicks to enter an event.
2. One place
Everything should be written down in one place. Writing things down does no good if you have to remember where you wrote it. I recommend having one list for short-term tasks and one calendar for long term tasks. The calendar is where you keep track of long-term obligations and deadlines. You use your calendar to make your daily list of tasks to complete. Remember, your list is not a collection of everything you have to do, it’s a collection of everything you plan to do today.
Whatever system you use, make sure you use it consistently. Every appointment gets written down every time. The moment you start thinking, “I’ll just remember this one, it’s no big deal,” that’s when the system begins to break down and disorganization creeps in.
When I start to feel disorganized and out of control, sure enough, it’s because I stopped writing things down. Keep your organization simple for the best success!
Need help staying organized? Check out The Time Diet task planner! Or watch the instructional video below!