This is the third in a series of articles outlining the secrets to getting and staying organised. If you haven’t already, I recommend you start by reading the previous articles in the series, which will help you understand why you want to get organised, and determine specifically what to organise. With that information in hand, it’s now time to take action to get organised.
Don’t let yourself off the hook
It sounds simple, but it’s at this point in the process of getting organised that I see people trip up time and time again. They spend a lot of time planning and clarifying but never take concrete steps.
For many people there is a comfort in the planning, talking and philosophising about getting organised. It’s as if the pain of failure can be avoided if no action is taken!
Just get started
As with any other venture, once you start getting into action to organise yourself, you’ll quickly realise how powerful taking even a single step can be.
Assuming you’ve already gained clarity on your organising priorities and divided your task list into bite-sized chunks, take a moment to remind yourself of your motivation for getting organised.
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Now, apply these practical techniques to your task list:
- Schedule regular blocks of time for organisation, and respect these appointments with yourself. (You respect time commitments you make with others, so why treat appointments with yourself any differently?)
- Remember that perfection is not the same as excellence, and that done is often better than perfect.
- Acknowledge that by taking the first action you’ve already climbed the steepest part of the mountain. The second step you take will be easier, the third even more so and it will all be downhill from there.
- Be accountable. Tell someone you’re going to do it, or better still find a buddy to get organised with.
- Make it a habit to work on your organising priority list. (They say it only takes 21 days to develop a habit, so just a few weeks of discipline will set you up for good).
- Build in a reward by associating the action step with something you like doing. For example, if the action is making follow-up phone calls and you love being at the coffee shop, make the calls there while you sip on that well-deserved latté.
- Eat that frog. If you ask me, author Brian Tracy is definitely on to something here. Getting your two biggest tasks out of the way first thing in the morning will set you up for a very productive (and organised) day. And by the way, checking email should not be one of those tasks!
- Once you’re organised, put systems in place that help maintain your good work.
Stop procrastinating. Do it now!
Don’t think we don’t know what you’re doing, procrastinating by reading articles on Flying Solo when you should be getting organised! You know there’s a task you’ve been wanting to tackle for ages, and that you’ll feel better once it’s done.
Go do it, then hurry back and tell us all how good it made you feel to get organised.