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How to Organize Your Life – 11 Simple Tips

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Admit it… There are moments in your life when you feel like you have no control.  You might be buried under endless streams of paperwork.  Or have an email inbox filled with unanswered message.  Or even simply don’t know how to streamline your life and reduce all your clutter.

The fact is we all have those moments when need to learn how to organize our lives.  In the last few years, I’ve learned a few tricks for making this happen.  The biggest lesson was being able to create a personal organizational system.

Now I can’t tell what will work in your own life.  However there are a few tips that can help you better organize your life.

Hoarder OR Someone with Poor Organizational Skills?

#1- Use Notebooks to Plan Everything

Keep a small notebook and pen handy. Take it wherever you go and jot down ideas or appointments or things to do instead of trying to remember them and then forgetting them later on.  Having an idea capture book is an excellent way to free up your mind to focus on what you’re doing

#2- Use Good Telephone Habits

Establish a time limit for each telephone call and let your caller know this.  At the start of the conversation, just mention something about an appointment or something you have to do right after the call ends.

That way you save yourself lots of stress from trying to end the telephone call. This will also aid your caller in condensing the information they want you to hear. This one sounds meticulous but this prevents you from being stuck on the phone with a “Time Vampire.”

#3- Use Waiting Time

The next time you visit your dentist, waiting for a meeting with your boss or while waiting for your dinner to cook, take the time to catch up on reading or planning. When that is done use, the time to sort, tidy or just think.  It’s amazing how much time you can gain simply by utilizing the time that’s spent on doing mindless activities.

#4- Do it Now!

Organizing your life means ending your habit of procrastination. This habit will only stress you out when you think about that hateful “to do” item on your list. You will end up blowing your “to do” list right out of proportion and it will become almost impossible to accomplish.

Start by tackling the largest or most disliked job first, dividing it up into manageable tasks. In fact, when you get up in the morning, start on the one thing that you’re dreading.  Once this is done, everything else will be a breeze!

#5- Delegate or Outsource Administrate/Mindless Chores

Delegate those tasks that you have no time for or team up with someone who can help you most.  To grow as a person and improve your business, one of the best practices is to hand off any project that doesn’t focus on your ‘core genius’.  There are certain things that YOU do best.  So focus on these tasks and pass off everything else.

#6- Make a Group Effort

Save time and footwork by collecting everything to bring with you to complete errands or to distribute in each room of the house instead of making too many trips. Make a fast list while planning out your route and be sure to plan each stop along the way so you do not have to backtrack and lose time.

To really maximize this tip, spend the night before planning out everything that you need to do.  Then make a list of any items that are required to complete task.  This help everything run smoothly when you wake up in the morning and attack the day.

#7- Schedule in Some Fun Time!

Take the time just for YOU. Day Schedule some time in your and even make an appointment for yourself and keep it.  Even when I’m really busy, I make sure I leave time to read for an hour, go running or watch an hour of my favorite show.  This is good for your stress and has a long-term benefit of preventing burnout.

#8- Make More Space-

Go through your entire file system and then weed out any old unneeded files, possessions, clothes, and assorted items.  This will free up a lot of space in your home.

Don’t be a hoarder!  Keep a regular schedule on your calendar for you to spend time and focus on reducing the amount of clutter that

#9- Deal with it Only Once-

Handle each letter and each piece of paper only once. Read it and file it, redirect it to somewhere else, schedule it in your day planner or toss it. Do not add it to a never-ending pile on your desk in hopes that you will get to it eventually. You WILL NOT!

This also goes for email.  When you read a message, take action on it immediately… even if it means putting in a special file for future reference.

#10- Be your own Post-Master-

Use those handy sticky notes to write errands needed to be done. Stick them to your front door or your fridge, to remind you as you are headed out. The trick here is to not let these accumulate all over the place.  Either take action on these or put them in the daily planner that you keep with you.

#11- Be your own Systems Engineer-

You simply find there is too much time wasted every day on searching for things. Find a new system that works for you and your lifestyle and then apply it to absolutely everything! Use it like clockwork and you will find new time slots you never thought existed!

Bonus Tip #12- Create a Life Plan

I added this tip as a bonus.  One of the best ways to organize your life is to create a life plan.  This helps you decide what you want and how you can get it.  To get started, check out this free report on how to create a life.

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 15 comments }

Chase Tylerson

Steve,

Well, I think you were going for poor organizer, but I would have to go with hoarder. He is organized! Notice your #10 and sticky notes in upper left hand corner. Trash and canned goods seem to be in separate places.

This whole thing reminds me of my dad, who is very organized and absolutely loves the TV show “Hoarders” probably to see how bad those sick folks could get.

Personally I have a lot to do in the “organization” area, but I am making an attempt.

Steve Scott

Chase

Thanks for the comment,

Yeah if you keep plugging away at the “organization” it does begin to get easier. You may be right about this guy being more of a “hoarder”. Regardless there are major issues when things get that bad.

Jo Carey-Bradshaw

Hi Steve,

This is a great topic: I have been that focussed at times in my life that I ran around organizing Everything – and always and every day. I had so many notebooks and pieces of paper that I could take a week just organizing the organization of the organized stuff. The bonus of this for me was that I discovered just how much idea and concept data I had in my head, and working out that I just needed to ‘keep in the reins’ my creativity. There certainly is a fine line between creativity and producing results from it.

One tactic I used was your suggestion of ‘one area’ at a time – and, Before I started, I decided on the limits of what I actually intended to achieve.

Your post is common-sense -full, and your steps are achievable and most helpful.
.-= Jo Carey-Bradshaw´s last blog ..Wealth Creation – Coffee and Internet Marketing =-.

Steve Scott

Thank you very much Jo,

I hope it helped somewhat. BTW I really chuckled with your “organizing the organization of the organized stuff” I sometimes fret about the same thing.

Thanks,

Steve

Matthew Needham

Some really great tips here Steve.

Personally one of things that has helped me become more efficient was buying David Allen’s excellent book – Getting Things Done.

I’d add to your list only do email twice a day….
.-= Matthew Needham´s last blog ..Don’t rely on the CV =-.

Steve Scott

Thanks Matt,

Yeah, David Allen’s book is one of my favorites. Actually I have it listed in my “Steve Recommends” section. Hopefully other people will read it too and follow the advise that he lays out.

Alex

Hey Steve,

Great list that I included some things I would not have thought of.
I love the post master one, or at least the name given because I thought it was going to relate to posting content regularly, but no, ‘Master of the post0it’ LOL Love it mate.
I think number 7 is THE most important for me. I tend to spend my fun time feeling guilty for not working, so I don’t really have that much fun and no one wins

Great list Steve
.-= Alex´s last blog ..The Lifecycle of a Keyword =-.

Steve Scott

Yeah,

For real hard chargers number 7 can be extremely difficult. I think the important thing to remember is that taking your downtime, will actually increase your productivity and creativity. I sometimes have to force myself away from the keyboard, but I often find great inspiration on a run that I never would have gotten sitting there and staring at the screen.

Ben

There’s some brilliant tips here Steve. Thanks.

#1 and #4 are my big two. Your brain won’t hold it all, or at least mine won’t, so write it all down. Then when you’ve got you’ve got your idea, task or job just start doing it.
.-= Ben´s last blog ..2 simple fears that stop your success =-.

Steve Scott

Ben,

Ya #1 is one of the most important ones for me. I get ideas everywhere. and #4 one of the hardest to fight against, the urge to procrastinate is always there.

Bob Hayles

I’ve tried to get organized…really I have. I even tied a string around my finger to remind me to do something, and then forgot what the string was supposed to remind me of…

Actually, perhaps I’m odd, but organization seems to shut down my creativity. I suppose if I blogged on technical things, or wrote strictly informative material like a technical manual, that would not be a big deal, but my writing is stream-of-consciousness stuff on a weird set of topics…yurts, cooking, homesteading, food, and more…and when I get organized my thinking does too, and I can sit and write in that mode but it’s not entertaining, and with the exception of the political section of my blog I live and die on being entertaining.

BTW…when did you burglarize my house to get that picture of my kitchen?

Steve Scott

Bob

Well, I guess I will agree to disagree to a point. A certain freeing of environment seems to really help to me focus and get my creative on. I checked out your site and your writing does seem pretty amusing, so you can’t argue with results. What works for ya, works for ya.

Steve

Bethany@HUncle Dutch Farms

Just found this… timely. I sometimes think it’s insurmountable, but then again I have small children at home and I don’t really have any set work schedule time except between 7 and 8am when they wake up. Every little bit helps though. I love the notebook idea though, I know I write down things to help me stay on track but they are little pieces of paper which then get colored on with pretty pictures…

Steve Scott

Bethany,

YOu are right, having to take care of little kids throws a huge monkey wrench into trying to be organized. NO way around that. Hopefully what you ARE able to implement really helps though!

Good luck!

Bethany@Uncle Dutch Farms

I think it will – I just keep telling myself I have to be a turtle right now but it’s not like there’s some race I’m going to lose! My main frustration is that my online income is directly tied to the realization of our dream to live an independent homesteading lifestyle away from the necessity of a city job, so I do tend to get impatient.

The other thing I comfort myself with this the fact that, even though I’m in my early 30s, I LOVE internet marketing and I get such a kick out of it and love providing people with something they are looking for and getting paid for it – and someday when I die I’ll leave these websites as a legacy to my kids. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it will kinda be like the “gift that keeps on giving” (assuming I can teach one of them to take over for me). I have to keep my vision set long-term or I’ll go nuts.

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