The bottom line is, life isn’t perfect, things don’t go as planned and they can (oh no not again!) spiral out of control. That’s being human and humans have bad days. It only becomes a sore point when chaos becomes a habit. And, constant undesirable habits, like entanglements that are really hard to climb out of and break away from, turn into a migraine.
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Organized people move through the world differently. They have a different way of thinking, and they navigate the day with assuredness. When chaos hits, they shift gears. If a task is overwhelming or time-consuming they forge ahead because they know all too well that disorganization can multiply and the price of procrastination is unthinkable.
Organization is a mindset. A skill. And just like any other skill, whether it’s solving a Rubik’s cube or whistling with your fingers, it takes consistent daily effort to cultivate.
So, just what does it take to cultivate the habits of highly effective organizers? Actually, it can be very difficult for many people especially when organization doesn’t come naturally to them. It takes a lot of hard work. Such as trying to identify what keeps you from being organized. It means trying different techniques until it becomes a process.
15 Habits of Highly Effective Organizers
Here are some of the consistent traits of highly effective organizers.
They Guard Their Time like a Sacred Vault
When you want something done quickly and effectively, ask an effective organizer because they sure do know how to manage their time. Effective organizers know that the greatest currency in life is time. Therefore, they make time for the things they need to do but also for the things they want to do. They realize that doing things that need to be done efficiently gives them more time to spend on things they enjoy. Such as celebrating birthdays or other milestones, talking to or spending time with friends and other fun things. As you develop the habits of an effective organizer you realize that if something is important to you, you find the time for it.
Recommended Reading: How to Avoid the Blunder of Time Traps
They Run On Time
Effective organizers know to expect the unexpected and plan for it! You may run late because you get stuck in traffic (which totally happens) but an effective organizer anticipated the traffic and compensated for it by leaving 15 minutes earlier. If you want to develop this habit start setting alarms or reminders on your phone. Better yet, set these for 15 minutes earlier than needed to prepare for the unexpected. Being early instead of on time is far preferable than being accidentally late. This habit will have you feeling calmer, more relaxed and completely in control.
Obstacles are not a Problem
Adding on to my point above is being aware of the possibility of obstacles and distractions. Now I know these obstacles are usually not your fault but allowing them to derail your progress is. We live in a world that throws a series of distractions and unavoidable obstacles at us every single day. Effective organizers know this and don’t let these things take them hostage or sabotage their time. They know that it may not be their fault but also that they can turn it around and find solutions. This differentiates the super organized from the super disorganized.
Prioritizing is Their Bible
Effective organizers understand the value of prioritizing and stick to their priorities. Sure, sometimes priorities change as what becomes most important can change. Their well-managed to-do lists focus on important tasks and non-priorities are expertly scheduled for later. A smart habit to develop as you become a more effective organizer is to be able to distinguish between priorities and regular tasks. This takes some effort but once you get it right you’ll realize how overwhelming it was to try and focus on 10 things at once. If you’re not sure which items are most important, ask yourself, what’s the most important thing for me to get done right now? What must get done and what can wait? Your priorities will then come to mind.
Procrastinating is Not an Option
Procrastination is just not an option for super organizers and they’re unlikely to put off something until tomorrow that can be done today. Effective organizers aren’t easily swayed from taking action. They’re human and may have doubts but they push through. The keyword being action. Any action (no matter how small) can help you to overcome procrastination and organized people know this. To develop these habits imagine yourself in the future. Think about how you’d feel then if you’ve done what you need to compare to how you’d feel if you didn’t do it. This change in perspective can really drive you to take action in the present.
Those who can organize effectively have an uncanny ability to focus on one thing and focus well. They know that multitasking isn’t effective and certainly doesn’t mean organized. An effective organizer knows how to stay mentally focused on a single task so that it can be done quickly and well. Practice being mindful and paying attention when doing a task instead of trying to do everything all at once. Cultivating this habit will help you complete tasks faster and much more effectively.
They Live by Systems and Routines
An effective organizer knows how to create systems and routines that work for them. They develop a personal navigation system that helps them identify priorities and manage tasks without getting overwhelmed. Similarly, they know to keep things simple when it comes to systems. You can develop this habit by finding simple solutions to organization or time management problems in your life. Also, make sure that the systems you create work for you (not just because it works for others). Becoming more organized is about working with your personality and lifestyle rather than against it.
Follow a to-do list and Leave a Buffer in case of Last Minute Surprises
A to-do list can be super handy when used in the right way and organized people know this. Their to-do lists aren’t covered with an endless amount of tasks that just keep piling up. They may schedule a bunch of To-Do’s but their priorities come first. They tackle the big and hard stuff and then on to the rest. This technique also allows you to leave a buffer of free time in case of last-minute surprises.
Recommended Reading: The Amazing Power of the To-Do List
Effective organizers know that minimalism creates peace of mind – so they minimize. A cluttered home and life just won’t do and they manage their belongings to avoid the chaos. One way to cultivate this habit is to regularly take stock of the items in your home and simplify it when needed. Recycle, donate, or give away items you no longer need when you first get started. Thereafter, make sure to take one item out for any new item that comes into your home. This helps you to maintain your minimizing, simplifying, and organizing efforts long-term.
They Keep Up
An organized person knows that organization requires continual upkeep. They understand that systems need to be maintained and managed to function optimally. Effective organizers take time to catch up on things before implementing and maintain simple systems that work for them. One way you can develop this habit is to create different organizational systems that are easy to manage and that fit your lifestyle. That means putting things back in the correct place after using it, archiving emails to clear your inbox each day or actually just filing away papers so you know where to find them again.
They Check Emails and Messages Daily
We live in a digital world and our lives are constantly filled with emails and messages and an endless number of notifications. Effective organizers understand this and have a dedicated time-slot to read and reply to emails or answer other messages. Instead of letting these communications distract or overwhelm them, organized people expertly manage their time to include this activity. This allows them to stay up to date with emails and messages while clearing their inbox daily. Instead of reading and answering emails as they come in, create a habit by scheduling time for this activity so that you can give your full attention to it.
Organized People Surround Themselves with an Army of Support
As an organizer myself who has helped plenty of disorganized people, I know all these things are easier said than done. Organized people know that no matter how well their systems work, life happens and can derail all their efforts. Surrounding yourself with an army of support in terms of family, friends, influencers, and professionals can help keep you accountable. As you become a more effective organizer, you’ll realize that a support system helps you to build good habits and keep them up.
The Organizers Golden Rule: Have a Place for Everything
You’ve probably heard the saying “a place for everything and everything in its place?” Well, that’s something that organized people take to heart and it serves them well. Once they decide where an item goes, they make sure to put it back there after use. To get into this habit start small by putting a bowl near your front door for your wallet, keys, and sunglasses. This is a super simple system that prevents you from losing the things you use most often when walking out the door and builds the habit of putting things in their place.
They Choose Simple Solutions
Effective organizers know that simple systems work best when it comes to organization and that more complex systems get too complicated to maintain. But how do you go about choosing simple solutions for complicated organizational issues? Well, you use organizational tools and products to help simplify your life. This is a habit that requires some preparation and a good understanding of what you need help with. Just buying any organizational items won’t help and could lead to clutter issues. Rather, carefully select things that solve specific organizational problems. Putting a bowl near the entryway like my point above is one example. Other ideas could be using baskets for storage and aesthetic or installing hooks on the back of a door to hang coats and jackets.
They Plan for the Coming Day
Most effective organizers like to follow a set routine and if that’s not possible they make sure to plan for the coming day. This takes place once priorities on the to-do list for the current day have been checked off. Being prepared is a big part of being organized and as you become more organized, you’ll realize it’s one of the best habits to cultivate. To start doing this, plan out tomorrow once you’re done with your tasks for today. Also, stick to a well-structured routine as much as possible.
Cultivate the Habits of Highly Effective Organizers
As you start to incorporate these 15 habits of highly effective organizers into your life, everything will change. Organizing, minimizing, and simplifying will become second nature to you and an important part of your life. You now know that being a highly effective organizer is just about cultivating a series of good habits that serve to make your life easier.
What habits of highly effective organizers do you have?
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