January is Get Organized Month. It is a new year with a fresh start and a perfect time to get organized.
Here are some surprising stats on how much time we waste because we are unorganized.
- On average, we spend 6 minutes looking for our keys in the morning. IKEA
- The top five items men look for in their homes are clean socks, remote control, wedding album, car keys and driver’s license. For women, the top five items are shoes, a child’s toy, wallet, lipstick and the remote control. IKEA
- The average American wastes 55 minutes a day (roughly 12 days a year) looking for things they own but can’t find. Newsweek
- The average office employee spends 1.5 hours a day (6 weeks per year) looking for things. OrganizedWorld.com
- The typical executive wastes 150 hours a year (almost an entire month), searching for lost information. For someone earning $50,000 a year, this loss is equivalent to $3,842 annually. Forbes ASAP
Click HERE to see more amazing stats.
Make Lists Your Best Friend
A checklist is the easiest way to stay organized. Take some time to create a basic checklist for every area of your business. For people who like to do everything by phone, tablet, or PC, there are a number of good apps out there (like Wunderlist).
Make Use of the Calendar on your Phone
All smartphones come with calendar access. The beauty of putting all of your information onto your mobile calendar is that most of us have our phones with us at all times. They’ll sync to your computer and your tablet so you’re always looking at real-time appointments.
Always Have a Spare Set of Keys
While this doesn’t seem much like an organizational tip, getting locked out of your car, home, or office is the surest way to get off schedule. It is difficult to stay organized when you’re working behind the eight ball.
Schedule Time For You
If you’re making lists and using your calendar, you need to make sure that you set those important appointments for yourself on your calendar. If it’s on your calendar it will be official. If you just try to squeeze it in, it will not take priority.
Keep a List of “Some Day” Activities
Even if it doesn’t feel like it, we all have downtime. From moments that you’re waiting for a client to show up to cancellations you didn’t expect, those stolen moments can be used if you have an idea of what you want to do with them. Since you don’t know when they’re going to happen, it’s important you keep a list of things you want to do “some day.” They can be small activities that take five minutes or they can be large planning sessions. Having activities that take up different amounts of time is perfect for stolen moments.
Create an Expectations Document for your Vendors
Whether you choose to have your vendors sign off on an expectations document or you simply use bullet points from the document when you’re having an initial conversation with them, it’s important to make sure that all of your vendors you’re working with understand your expectations from the beginning. When you’re auditioning several vendors at once, when you’re stressed out, when you’re extremely busy, all of these things leave you wondering what you told one vendor and what you told another. If you have a list or reference sheet you know that every initial consultation will be similar in what you convey to them. This will save you a lot of questions about whether you were clear on your expectations.
Go to the Cloud
If you’ve been considering going paperless in your business, you need to take it to the cloud either permanently or by using periodic, automatic backups with a product like Carbonite. Cloud storage ensures that all of your files are backed up and independent of the device.
Always Have a “Notepad”
Again whether you’re a paper person or you prefer apps, an organized person will always have something within hands reach to record thoughts, ideas, and things they need to check on. As much as this may annoy your significant other, you need something to record your thoughts even if those thoughts come in the middle of the night. Select something you’ll feel comfortable using because if you have to force yourself to use it, and you hate using it, you’ll eventually tire of it, and give it up.
Use a Read Later App
If professional development is a major priority for you in 2017, one of the best things you can do to organize your life and your professional development is to use a read later app. There are many out there and these simple apps virtually “clip” articles for you to read later. These read later apps often have the ability to make the materials available off-line too. That can come in very handy during stolen moments as you travel.
Get More Sleep
It is impossible to remain organized when you are extremely sleep deprived. If you’re functioning on less than five hours of sleep a night repeatedly you can expect that your mind is not operating at full capacity. If you want to make organization a top priority in 2017, you need to also make sleep a priority.
If you are trying to get more organized in your life and in 2017, you need to slow down and do a little preparation work. Once you have the framework in place, it’s easy to build the structure around it. Structure will keep things running smoothly and will give you a great sense of organization and pride.