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Productivity / Office administration

Better organisation: Setting your organising priorities

If you try to organise your whole business, whole office or whole life all at once you’ll only end up feeling overwhelmed. Here I’ll help you prioritise your organising efforts for better organisation.

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Know why it’s worth it

If you haven’t already, spend some time reflecting on why you want to be more organised. If your motivation to make changes is high, your success rate will be too! 

Everyone has different reasons for wanting better organisation, and although neatness and tidiness are welcome by-products of the process, they don’t tend to be the main motivators. 

Choose your battles wisely

Do you know where your business needs to be more organised? 

When you’re working frantically every day just to stay on top of your to do list, it’s easy to fall into the trap of chanting that old mantra “Gotta get more organised” without taking the simple step of determining where that will have the most impact. 

"Step back from that treadmill you’ve been running on, and take the time to clarify what you want and exactly how better organisation will help you get there."

Step back from that treadmill you’ve been running on, and take the time to clarify what you want and exactly how better organisation will help you get there. 

  • If you need to streamline your systems, which one is most critical to tackle first?
  • Do you simply need to organise your desk and office once and for all, rather than just tidy up?
  • Could you be better organised in the way you handle paperwork, email or meetings?
  • Could you be more punctual and consistent with customer follow up? 

Want more articles like this? Check out the office administration section.

Audit your time

Before setting your organising priority list in stone, try this simple but incredibly revealing exercise. 

Make a list of how you think you spend each hour of your day. If it doesn’t add up to 24 hours, you’ve made an error somewhere, and you need to re-visit it.

Verify your instincts by spending a day or two actually recording what you do on an hourly basis. (You can set your mobile phone or computer alarm to remind you to do it every hour that you’re awake if you’ll be inclined to forget). Add in the time you spend asleep, and if your list now adds up to 24 hours, you’ve got an accurate representation of where your time is going. 

Now, ask yourself honestly. Is this how you want to spend your time? How many of these tasks could be streamlined or outsourced to free you up for more profitable activities or fun with family and friends? 

Make it bite-sized

Now that you’re clear on exactly what needs to be more organised, make your priority list more manageable and less intimidating by dividing each task into bite-sized chunks that you can tackle one at a time. 

This article is the second in a series outlining the secrets to getting and staying organised. In the next article on better organisation I’ll give you some tips to help you take action to get organised

Have you tried auditing your time yet? What did you learn, and how has it inspired you to change your ways?

Roz Howland

, the Productivity Professional runs programmes that will increase productivity in any business. Roz is based in Brisbane, and travels regularly to share her passion and expertise with businesses all over Australia.

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