In today's world we all perform multiple roles - having different goals. There are numerous things which we have to do, want to do and would like to do. In order to accomplish all that we aim for, sustain our goals and maximize use of time and resources, we need to be great organizers of time. Being organized should become a habit. Spending a minimum of 5 minutes every day towards that will yield tangible results - you can start with the pointers listed below.
Define your goals with timeframes. Keeping your eye on goals helps weed out unnecessary activities and keeps you focused; ensure you do what you want to and not what you are led to.
Have one organiser to track all appointments, commitments and deadlines to ensure no slippage and nothing gets missed out. At the start of the year, mark out important dates (like anniversaries, subscription renewals) on your calendar and check for these at the beginning of every month.
Learn to say ‘No' to the activity not the person, when needed - what is critical to another need not be critical for your goal. When an activity can be done as effectively by another, entrust (to the right individual, with clarity on objectives, resources&timeline) or automate (like online bill payments) without hesitation. Get your family/team members also into the organising habit as early as possible. Knowing the value of your time makes delegation and saying ‘No' easier. Assign a monetary worth to every minute of your day (based on your annual earning).
When an activity keeps getting deferred, recognize why and solve the right issue - boredom, exacting standards, inadequate resources, unclear purpose or an overpowering task? Review the time spent on your activities against time allotted every week - it will give you a grasp on wastages, identify scope for improvement - bad stuff out, good stuff in!
Prepare a to-do list daily, working your priorities into the day's schedule. Differentiate between immediate and crucial activities - what is urgent may be top-of-mind but what is life-critical has to be done on priority.
Tidy up. Get rid of obsolete post-its, journals and things you don't use daily, see more of your work surface. Arrange furniture allowing easy movement and reach to regularly used and important items. Organize your data/paper files in an accessible manner using the same logic for both, and ensure that this remains up to date, ensure that your kit is just right for you and that you are comfortable with it.
Close yourself to all possible means of interruptions. Email box/disable incoming mail tones and access these only at pre-set times, screen unnecessary calls. Emails and calls made in the morning give the receiver the whole day to action and revert. Voice messages left must contain necessary details for closure on the activity.
Travel tension-free by starting on a packing list as soon as you start planning your trip - have a list of work items, personal items, for any dependents travelling with you, a copy of the planned schedule and important contact details. Ensure that a copy of the itinerary and telephone details is available in your luggage and also with a person who is not travelling with you.
Working with the above will help you achieve your goals, stress free, and take control of your time and life with a smile!