Who wouldn’t want to be more organized? Being organized helps to save you time and reduces stress. Most of us can use some improvement in this area, however, it isn’t something that happens overnight. Here are some tips and tricks that help to make your goal of becoming more organized that much easier.
Folders and Files
Keeping files and folders is a great place to start. This might include physical files in a cabinet or bookshelf, or digital and saved files on your computer. Either way, you will want to label them clearly and only have relevant documents stored. For example, have an invoices folder and only put invoices inside. You can further divide this folder into sections depending on the type of invoice, date, and client. This will help you to find the information that you need quickly. You should also try not to duplicate things. If you can save them onto your computer and don’t need a physical folder, then consider eliminating the physical folder. You will be wasting your time maintaining a folder that you either A) don’t use or B) can find the information quicker and easier on your computer. If you are saving files on your computer, do so in a sensible, transparent manner. In the invoice folder, for example, you will want to put the date and invoice number in the title. Setting the date backward ensures that your computer puts them in order from newest to oldest or vice versa if required. For example something like – 2017-12-05 – Invoice 0001 Stationery. This way you know which invoice it is, when it was completed and what it pertains to.
If you can, you should try to automate as many things as possible. This will save you time and make organizing things more manageable. For example, if you can have your emails automatically sorted into a specific folder then it will mean you can avoid wasting time siphoning through them. If it puts all your finance-related things or anything with specific keywords into a finance folder and then anything marketing-related into another, then you know where to look for either piece of information. Automation doesn’t stop there though. Consider using spreadsheets which automatically add or calculate information for you, instead of you having to get out a calculator each time. If you have employees, another idea is to use a generator to make printable W2 forms. This means you don’t have to create them or wonder what they will look like when they are completed. A lot of being organized is just knowing how and when things are happening, but not always having to do them yourself.
Your time is precious, and in reality, you can’t physically do everything. This means that you need to establish priorities. This will mean understanding and having organized all of your work, so that you know which tasks are the most urgent The most urgent should be completed first and then work your way back through the remaining tasks. This process ensures that the essential things get done, and you will feel more in control of your work. Needless to say, a well thought out to-do list is an excellent asset to the goal of organizing and prioritizing your life.