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How to Organize Your Day to be More Efficient and Successful

Updated on September 6, 2013
Organizational Flowchart
Organizational Flowchart | Source

Want to be more successful and efficient throughout your day? Try these 10 easy-to-follow tips to organize your busy day. The first 5 are preparation steps, and the last 5 are action items you can do throughout the day to manage your time more efficiently.

#1. Plan Ahead – To make sure you are prepared for the day ahead, be sure to update your paper calendar or electronic calendar, and include details for any meetings, lunch appointments, doctor appointments or deadlines. If there are details you’ll need to refer to throughout the day, add a note or reminder on your cell phone (and set it to remind you as needed). If you prefer to write down your notes or reminders, use an index card rather than paper or post-it note. Sometimes if I use a post-it note or small piece of paper, the paper becomes torn or folded and is difficult to find. An index card is perfect because it’s sturdy and handy to find in your purse or briefcase.

#2. Check the Weather – Be prepared to dress for success by checking the weather report. The weather channel on your TV can be handy, or a shortcut to your favorite weather website on your computer or handheld device can help you quickly check the weather and be prepared so you’ll know how to dress, and when it time to bring an umbrella. You’ll be better off knowing ahead of time if it is going to be a rainy bad hair day.

#3. Get Clothes Ready the Night Before – You can save lots of time in the morning if you prepare your clothes at night. Sometimes just finding that matching tie or those certain pair of shoes can cause a delay. The more prepared you are, the more time you will save.

#4. Make a List – Whether you have a busy day ahead or a relaxing day ahead, make a list of the things you need to do, along with a couple of things you would like to do. In my home office, I used a dry erase board and I update it at the beginning of the week for each day of the week. Be sure to note any appointments or major milestones for the week, including meeting times and due dates.

#5. Pack a Lunch or Snack the Night Before – To save time and money, pack a water bottle, fruit, salad, sandwich, etc. the night before. If you don’t like packing your lunch, just pack a drink and snack, but plan how much time and money you will spend on lunch each week. Pick at least one day a week to treat yourself to special breakfast or tasty lunch (Friday’s a good day for that.).

#6. Follow Your List or Schedule Daily – The more organized you are, by using a To Do list or electronic schedule, the more productive you can be. There will be times when this may not be feasible, and interruptions may occur, but if you write down what you want to accomplish, and refer to your list each day, there’s a better chance you will accomplish those tasks.

#7. Check-Off Your Accomplishments Throughout the Day – When you complete a task, mark it as completed, or cross it off your list. This will help you to feel better about what you accomplished so far, and keep you motivated to accomplish more.

#8. Give Yourself a Break – Remember to take a quick break or two throughout the day to rejuvenate yourself. Stand up and stretch, eat an apple or other healthy snack, take a quick walk outside, or just walk away from the computer to rest your eyes. Remember when you use the computer, you blink less and your eyes may tend to get dry. As a quick remedy, look away from your computer screen from time-to-time and blink which produces tears and keeps your eye lubricated.

#9. Read Daily Quotes or Positive Thoughts – How do you stay motivated throughout the day? Post inspirational thoughts and messages on your desk to glance at throughout the day. Do you have a favorite positive quote? Print it in a fancy font and tape it to your computer. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

Know what you want and continue to want it.You will get it if you combine desire with faith. The power of desire when combined with faith becomes invincible.

~by Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them.

You can even go a little further…is there a favorite poem or a creed that you want to follow? I recommend the “I promise myself” creed from “The Secret” (see below). I printed it and framed it, so I can refer to it whenever I need it. It’s helpful to read it at the beginning of the day to get motivated.

#10. Plan for Tomorrow – As the day winds down, start planning tasks for tomorrow, next week or next month. Be sure to keep your electronic calendar up-to-date with any meeting dates you may have notes in your notebook. Synchronize your electronic calendar on your smart phone with a Google calendar. There may be some tasks due today which are not completed. Think about what you can do to make sure any uncompleted tasks are completed tomorrow and what’s next on the horizon to be completed.

Jack Canfield: Planning Your Day:

© 2012 Amelia Griggs

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    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      3 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks, daisyjae, I appreciate your comment. I'm overdue to clean my desk and get organized for the new year. Thanks again for stopping by. :-)

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Nice tips on planning your day. I need to get organized.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks for stopping by, timisle0425, and glad you found the hub helpful. :-)

    • profile image

      timisle0425 

      6 years ago

      Enjoyed the read!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      A planner sounds great! I tend to be very detailed so organizing may work differently for everyone. Thanks for your comment and glad you found the hub helpful. :-)

      Regards,

      Easylearningweb

    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 

      6 years ago

      Haha, unfortunately this is more organized than I'll ever have time to be

      :( the most I do is keep a planner with me where I write down assignments that I need to do. It's a start though. Thanks for the info, voted up!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks, quizbomb! Organization is definitely the key, and the TV is a bit distraction, so I guess we should add a little TV watching to our list and then we can more easily fit it into our schedules.

    • quizbomb profile image

      quizbomb 

      6 years ago from Lancashire, United Kingdom

      Yes I agree with the other comments - organization is key in making the most out of your day and probably the most important for me is the list idea. It's so easy to waste time sitting in front of the computer when you have lots of specific tasks to complete and so having that list really helps you to keep focused.

      Overall - great hub - - that's a vote up from me and consider yourself followed :)

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks for your kind words and comments, fayegiblin! I'm thrilled to know that I made a difference and influenced you to be more organized. I'm also glad to hear that you are a believer in the power of positive energy...the more believers we have, the more we will spread the positivity!

      Regards,

      Easylearningweb

    • fayegiblin profile image

      fayegiblin 

      6 years ago from Stockport

      Fantastic advice and starting today you have inspired me to get better organised.

      I totally love your fave quote:

      Know what you want and continue to want it.You will get it if you combine desire with faith. The power of desire when combined with faith becomes invincible.

      I'm also a great believer in the power of positive energy.

      One of my favourite quotes is:

      Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. - Confucius

      I will pop that on my desk wall tomorrow - thanks for the hub, its great!!

      Regards

      Faye

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Yes, I agree, Christine. We must stay on the positive path always!

      Thanks for your comment. :-)

    • Christine Andrews profile image

      Christine Andrews 

      6 years ago from Lancashire, UK

      There's nothing better than to know one is slowly advancing on the path one has set by choice, and to accomplish goals :-)

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks for your comment ChristiyWrites! I will be sure to check out your hubs as well. :-)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a great hub, thank-you. I have linked to it in my latest hub about staying healthy as a freelance writer. Thanks!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Glad you like the hub, Angela Kane, and happy that you find it helpful! :-)

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks for your comment, oceansnsunsets. Glad you liked the hub!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 

      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Wow, these are somewhat simple, but very important steps to follow in a day. You are right, that this would help our days be smoother and happier, and we would accomplish so much more perhaps. Voted up and useful and awesome.

    • Angela Kane profile image

      Angela Kane 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Very good advice, I am always running out of time because I am unorganized and the ideas in this article can be put to great use in my daily life and schedule. This is a very good hub and very well written.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks, jainismus. Glad you like the hub. :-)

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      6 years ago from Pune, India

      @easylearningweb,

      Thank you writing this great Hub.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks, Lady_E...glad you liked the hub. :-)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      This is excellent. I particularly like the point about the weather. Sometimes, I have everything ironed and ready to wear the next day, only for the weather to change. E.g, I don't like wearing skirts for rainy weather.

      Great Hub.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Great idea, nifwlseriff. :-) Sometimes on my dry erase board, I add a happy face if something is complete and went well, and a sad face otherwise. I like to use colors as well (green for completed, and red to flag urgent to do items).

      Thanks for your comment!

    • nifwlseirff profile image

      Kymberly Fergusson 

      6 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      And if you use a physical calender, every day you complete the 'must-do' tasks, put a star, sticker or something else to remind you that you met your goals. Helps with motivation, and sometimes even procrastination! It also helps to prevent over-stuffing the to-do list.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks for your comment, bejing driver. Glad you liked this hub. :-)

    • beijing driver profile image

      Xin Ping 

      6 years ago from Beijing, China

      Good idear for you what to do next.

      high recommend

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Very true, gregorium. In both business world and at home, we can consider planning as much as we can, but leave some room in between. Thanks for your comment!

    • gregoriom profile image

      Deninson Mota 

      6 years ago from East Elmhurst, NY

      Good advices even though not always things happen as planned. But if planned you can keep things in order not doubt.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Dale, I guess we have to be open to change since even with good planning, you can't always predict what will happen. Thanks for your comment.

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 

      6 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      I certainly agree also, LoriSoard! We can not be too concrete or it could go badly as well!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Good point, LoriSoard, we definitely need to "plan" for distractions during our busy days. Thanks for your comment.

    • LoriSoard profile image

      LoriSoard 

      6 years ago from Henryville, Indiana

      Planning ahead is key. Nice job on this hub. I would add to be flexible even with the planning. Something almost always comes up that diverts your attention.

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Good point, midnightbliss! Glad you found this hub helpful. :-)

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      planning the day ahead really reduces stress and you become more organized. very useful information

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thanks htodd, thanks for your comment and glad you liked this hub!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      I think you hit the nail on the head, Brielise, when you say, it's just whatever gets done gets done... that's how I feel when I don't plan anything. But when I make a list, I sort of feel like I must follow it... and then more gets done.

      Glad you like the hub!

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 

      6 years ago from United States

      Wow,That is really very interesting ..Great post

    • brielise profile image

      brielise 

      6 years ago

      Great hub! Right now I don't have a job so it's hard to stay motivated sometimes, meaning I'm not always efficient or successful. I rarely plan things out - its just whatever gets done gets done. I think if I planned a little more and saw what I got done in a day I might feel a little more purposeful. Thank you!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      So true, Dale...when I organize my day, I get so much more done. I guess you can say, Disorganization = Confusion.

      Glad you liked the hub! :-)

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 

      6 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      Well done outline and most informative. I have found such planning makes my day go much easier. Waking up and being unorganized results in a day of confusion for this Virgo!

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Glad you liked the hub as well and found it helpful, sabrani44! I like your smiley face hubpage image. :-)

    • easylearningweb profile imageAUTHOR

      Amelia Griggs 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Thank you for your comment and kind words, Nicole S! I'm glad you found this hub useful. Comments like yours make my day! :-)

    • sabrani44 profile image

      sabrani44 

      6 years ago

      Great hub, it was very helpful. Will definitely bookmark this!

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      Awesome hub! How has this not gotten any comments yet? You did a great job - and touched on some awesome points. Thank you for the useful hub!

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