Written on: November 9, 2017
by Elisa Coleclough
How to be organized with your time, productive and happy? Well, it is not an ordeal, it is quite attainable. I can tell you that there are some key points which have worked for me, to be as productive as usual but less stressed. When you are calm and balanced, you make better decisions, concentrate deeper and longer and are able to transmit peace, assurance and confidence to those around you.
Here are my key points:
Set time to work on your stuff. It happens that when you do not book your outlook calendar for having time to work on your daily activities, someone will send you a meeting. If you have time to work on daily tasks without being interrupted, you will be more productive.
Allow always free time. As I said before, set time for your daily work. Well, also leave free spaces in your calendar so that those who need to organize meeting or events know when you are available.
Don’t have back to back meetings. In my personal experience, there have been sometimes in which I have not even been able to go to the bathroom, because there is another meeting I need to rush into. The point is that when you do that every day, the whole day, you are exhausted and you have not even had time to breathe and clear your mind. So my advice is that if you can, do not book meetings one after another. If you have to, set 15/30mins between each other, so you have time to take a break, organize your papers notes, have a glass of water/coffee/tea and go to the bathroom (don’t laugh, I am sure you have had hectic days like that).
Use reminder from outlook or smartphone. The reminders help you prepare for your meetings or events in advance so you always be on time.
Use a monthly planner. There are many online tools, but also there is the classic paper planner or white board in which you can plan your month, or week ahead. Analyze your deadlines and distribute the time in your week/month. If you are working on a very tough task which is a “brain-drainer” you can use leave some space for meetings. Sometimes, having a different activity that cuts, help you come back after a short break to the task you left off with more concentration and fresh eyes.
♠For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned. –Unknown♠
Communicate. Whether you work alone or with a team it is important that you let people know your preferences for meetings or events. Let them know they can check your calendar. My advice is have your calendar partly public (you can hide the details of your meetings). But then people know when they can reach you.
Be present. There is no need to say that if you have agreed to meet or to an event, enjoy that time, pay attention, be present in conversations and interactions (set your phone and electronic gadgets aside). Then after the meeting you can always go back to your tasks.
Don’t be in a hurry. Believe it or not, those people who seem always busy or in a hurry, seem less approachable, emotional intelligent and organized than those who are calm. So take your time to plan, and give everyone their time and space.
Use colors. Either for electronic or for paper agendas, colors can help you organize your day better. Set for example green for your daily activities, pink for team meetings, blue for your meeting with your boss, etc., the colors work perfectly, because by a quick screen scan of your agenda you know what’s going on.
Be prepared. Always check what lies in your next day agenda so you know if there is a special event or you need to bring something or dress in a different way to your usual dress code. You do not want to arrive to an outdoors team event with high-heels, right?
Use it and abuse it. Believe it or not, I have an agenda for my work another for my personal life. In my private life, I plan for gym, running, coffee with friends, special occasions, blog writing, etc. the more I plan the more productive I am and the less overwhelmed I feel. I always have “idle” time in my agenda. If you want to simply pop by and say hi or have a coffee with me. I know I will have time to do it and still be productive and on time.
Finally, I leave you with this inspiring quote:
♥Organize your life around your dreams, and watch them come true – Unknown♥
Tell me, what tools you use? Electronic, paper, colors? How do you organize your work/private life? Looking forward to reading your comments in the box below. Have a great day/week, Eli