Time management and organization

If you want to organize your life, you will need to organize your time. People often separate the way they organize material items within a physical space from how they organize the hours of their day. But the two go together. Better time management leads to better organization and better organization leads to better time management.

time management for students

I will introduce two key lessons during this article. First, learn to externalize your tasks, worries, responsibilities and priorities from your mind. Then adopt a strict system you trust for deciding how to spend your time and where to put things.

Empty Your Mind For Better Focus

When you externalize your worries, your tasks, your responsibilities and your priorities from your mind, you clear your mind to focus on each task at hand. No matter how smart you think you are, if you hold too much in your head, you will lose things and you will forget important tasks.

Productive, efficient people externalize as much as they can in an orderly manner so they can feel more free and focused when it comes to the task at hand. So learn to write and update to-do lists and keep a journal of your worries and concerns so issues you cannot process now do not distract you from what you need to do right now.

This leads to greater physical organization as well. Often times, poor organization and clutter results from not being deliberate and conscientious when you put things down or away. You're distracted and stressed so you just drop things wherever and tell yourself you'll worry about them later. But then the clutter accumulates and things become more and more disorganized.

Adapt A System and Stick to It

Develop a well thought-out system and then stick to that system. This goes for both where things go and how you do things. Here are a couple of basic examples, but try to expand your thinking from this foundation.

If you tend to misplace things -- like your keys -- you probably don't have an organized system for where to place those things. But if every single time you walk in your door you place your keys or your wallet in exactly the same clean, organized place, you will never lose your keys at home.

Along the same line, you need to have a strict and well-planned system for your routine tasks. For example, as you process your email, you should always address the quicker tasks right away and not put them off, and then you should categorize the other emails in a way that makes sense to you so you won't forget them but they don't stay up front and untouched either.

Always process your email in the same disciplined and systematic way and always place your keys in exactly the same place. No exceptions. You need systems and habits you trust completely so you move forward with effortless confidence.

These two key lessons -- externalize your tasks and concerns from your mind and develop a strict and trusted system -- can make a profound difference in your life if you appreciate their importance and relative simplicity. By integrating them into your day-to-day life, you will find yourself saving time and reducing clutter with little effort.

time management and organization


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