The year is two weeks old and already resolutions to stay organized are wilting to the forces of human nature, like so many uneaten rice cakes and carrot sticks have before. In the spirit of National Get Organized Month, I’ve come up with a few “best practices” that will take you beyond the Planning stage and into the Doing stage of organization.
Best practice: A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a “best” practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. (Source: Wikipedia)
Use your calendar. Most calendars offer color-coding options to keep track of different goals or projects. They can be used by themselves or together with color-coded emails to pack every entry with as much information as possible.
Another thing to remember is that your calendar can be used to schedule more than just business meetings. If one of your goals for the new year is to exercise more, reach for it by being more organized; use your calendar to schedule your time to work out and treat it just like any other appointment.
Emails are distracting. It’s hard to concentrate on a project when being barraged by emails on any number of other topics. Try compartmentalizing your workflow by only checking your emails two or three times a day.
Make use of social media tools. Business cards are the currency of networking. There are many different scanners on the market designed to help capture the information on business cards, yet in many cases all of that information is already available in digital format on social media sites like Linkedin.
Not only can you connect with people you’ve just met, you can keep current and organized with the people you’ve known for years. I personally enjoy seeing what connections old friends and colleagues have made and what professional milestones they’ve accomplished. Additionally, Linkedin keeps track of various networking events and mixers.
Let your weekend be the end of your week. Part of being organized means making time for yourself. It seems that the boundary between work and home is becoming less clearly defined as time moves on. Some things that I have found helpful in drawing the line between business and pleasure include choosing a nightly or weekly cut-off for calls or emails from the office.
Life is a balancing act. As important as it may be to set up a firewall between your personal and professional life, there will always be situations that don’t fit squarely into the mold. Don’t get discouraged by the occasional chaos that might send a shock through your organizational system. Remember your best practice…and improve it!
Has your New Year’s resolution to stay organized devolved into chaos? Reach out to an expert!
Judy Heft, Principal, Judy Heft & Associates is a professional and personal financial organizer with offices in Greenwich and Stamford. She can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 203-978-1858.