I used to waste a lot of time looking for things I need. There are things that one should have handy yet there were times that I find myself looking for these necessary things and getting frustrated because its all buried under clutter.There are times that I miss paying some bills simply because I can't remember where I put it or I mix it up with previously settled bills. For a work at home mom that proved to be almost disastrous for me.
Time which I could have spent updating my weblogs or writing articles were simply wasted looking for stuff. And to top all that, I can't follow my schedule because I simply get caught up with things I should have taken care of first if I was more organized.
So I decided to take control and have a good look at myself, my habits and what I need. I made a list of things I need handy. Then I made sure I organized my workspace, home and myself in a way that I could easily get what I need, follow my schedule and stop wasting time. Here's some tips I have for those who'd like to get a little more organized.
1. Have a daily calendar. Make it a habit to update it. Note down your appointments, bill payment duedates, things to do etc.I find it effective to update it every evening and first thing in the morning. Find out which works best for you.
2. Having a notebook for details of your activities and projects will also be very handy. List down things you need for every activity. In my case, I have a lot of web projects and keeping track of them with no notes is hard. So I have a separate notebook for this and each web project has its own sub-heading and there I list all important things I need to remember like usernames, passwords, rss feed urls etc. You can apply similar technique to other activities like picnics and list down what you need to bring and all other important information.
3. Have a folder or filer for all your paper bills. An accordion type envelope is my favorite since I could easily segregate the paid and the current bills. Don't mix other paper with this to avoid clutter and them piling up. Throw out and put on recycling bin paper that you don't need to keep.
4. Filing systems you create should be simple. Don't create too many sub-categories and sub-headings that you get lost just looking for something. Have it alphabetical or based on date whichever is more applicable.
5. Make your own daily to-do list and place it where you can easily see it. I also find it useful if I place a schedule deadline for each task.
Most importantly, make being organized and on schedule a habit. It's easy to fall off and be disorganized again but the main technique is to be consistent and do things on a daily basis and after some time being organized will now come naturally to you because you have developed the habit already.