How To Be Naturally Organised...
How organised are you?
Habit of Organisation?
Why is it, that some people seem to have great organisational skills, and others don't? That some people are always on time for appointments, hand in assignments early at school, while others are always a little late, and scramble to hand things in on time?
I have a theory that organisation is simply a skill, or more-so a habit that is learned in life. If our parents are organised, then we learn those skills from them. (Of course, you can have various routes in Psychological development that completely reverse this, and some people tend to do the complete opposite to what is learned, but I won't go into that!) If however, we have parents who are unorganised, then it is likely that we will end up being the same. The problem with this is when we accept this as fate, or a part of our personality and live with it. You do not need to live in an unorganised world. I put it to you that organisation is a habit, and that all habits are developed over time. And as habits are created through repetition of behaviour, then it is possible that you can, in fact, learn how to be organised. I will show you how to create the habit that will last a lifetime in 4 simple steps:
Prepare, List, Review, Repeat....
You will need a few tools before you start your little experiment. A watch, a diary, a notepad and a calendar. Most of these things will be relatively cheap to come by, and you can also find printouts of the diary and calendar if you prefer that option!
Some people prefer to utilise technology, using phone diaries and planners and alarms... I like to keep things simple, as the act of physically checking a list each day is what forms the habit.. It can be all to easy to forget to check your phone, especially as you look at it loads each day. Plus, one malfunction and all of your information is lost!
Firstly, you need to write any important dates and times down. Brief notes on your calendar, and more detailed descriptions in your diary. Start with things you are already aware of, such as birthdays and anniversaries, then begin sorting through mail/ email/ facebook to remind you of various appointments/ shifts at work/ events that are important. In order to begin forming a habit, you must do this daily to begin with, even if there is nothing to write in the planner, as it begins the routine of checking your schedule.
Next, you need to prioritise the things that are important and need to be done during your day. Personally, I love to use to-do lists, as it visually displays how much or how little I have to do in a day. Be realistic, and remember to allocate a certain amount of time to a task, otherwise you may end up "sticking" on the first task. Its up to yourself whether you want to use reminders or alarms on your phone or stick to paper and pen.
Now, ensure that you check your lists, planner and diary at least once a day. Perhaps put a reminder on your phone to do that? I'd put all of these items together so that its easy to check them all at the same time. Also start using your watch, and become aware of the time. In doing this, you will become aware of the true time that activities use up, therefore are able to better plan ahead for the next day.
Essentially, that's all there is to it. lather, rinse and repeat, so to say. Repetition is the key here, so ensure that you check and add things to your planner daily, as soon as they arise. Each week, look over things that are upcoming this week and next, so that things don't creep up on you. Pay particular attention to expensive events that you have to budget for, as saving a little towards these each week is better than having a lump sum expense at the time.
While there are many other methods of organisation, I would say that if you can master the above steps, then you are well on your way to being an organised person. Saying that, you need to find a way that works for you, and I'm not saying that this will work for everyone, hence why I have named this as an experiment!
© 2012 Lynsey Harte