There are many organizational needs across a company. Getting organized looks different for every person because we all have created our own unique habits. The key is looking around at what habits you have and to observe your personal tendencies. Take stock of what is working and what is not. There are three common areas of struggle: managing requests, managing time, and managing focus. To take stock of how you are doing in each area, inventory how organized you feel with incoming communication via email, messaging, and other platforms. Studying how productive you feel at the end of the day is a way to assess how well you do managing time and focus.
A great place to start is by simply noticing what your own habits are for a week. What is working well and what is not helpful in your behavior? Examples of thriving are a feeling of well-being, believing your future will have good outcomes, and imagining yourself able to do the work before you. What would you like to change about the way you work? Are you late to meetings or deadlines? Do you feel like you are not good enough compared to those around you? Give yourself a report card in the areas of completion of tasks, stress and well-being in your week, and quality time away from work. Dare yourself to implement one new idea from this article. Decide on one action to foster more ease, order, and confidence in your day.
Physical Order/Emotional Calm
Outside-In: Order your outer world and calm the chaos.
Physical order can help you work more efficiently.
Look around at your work environment. How organized is your space? As you chip away at physical order, be sure to give your senses a work area of calm. Be patient with yourself as you change habits to gain order. Set a timer for 10 minutes at the end of every day to put things right. Need support to get this done? Phone a friend or colleague to help subdue the chaos. Calm environments help promote a calm mind.
Mental Order/More Options for better problem solving
Inside-Out Calm: Take time to set up your systems and follow them for success.
Mental order can help ease the unexpected.
Imagine being able to switch gears from stressed or emotional to CALM. You can flip a switch in your mind to inner calm. Take a moment to breathe deeply and imagine different ways to solve an inner crisis. We sometimes get trapped into thinking that there is only one way to a goal. In reality, there are always multiple ways to get to a solution. Reserve time to think through this week and next. When we take time to think, we can better approach our schedules, meetings, and projects because we are prepared. Feeling prepared increases the feeling of calm professionalism. This is one type of mental order. An approach with multiple solutions often leads to an open mindedness in communication. The goal changes from one way (usually my way), to picking the best solution. Use conversations to foster idea generation and out of the box solutions. See what emerges when you can soften the need to have things one way. This opens the ability to approach others with curious possibility.
Routine: Order your time for better results
What you think, say, and do in repetition becomes the life you live.
Routine can get things done.
Look around at your morning/mid-day/ and evening routines. Are you getting the results you desire in these areas of your day? Are you treating yourself and others in line with your goals and values?
Take an inventory of your day to determine what could use a change:
How satisfied were you with your morning routine before work today?
What did you do to prepare your mind to succeed?
When you are in meetings how focused are you?
How available do you feel you need to be to others during your day?
How often do you take a walk or move around?
Do you know what you or your team need to accomplish in 30, 60, and 90 days?
What feeling do you want to have at the end of the day? I often hear, “I want to feel relaxed and ready to be with my family but I’m so stressed, I take my work home with me.”
What is your leaving work routine?
Every one of these questions can initiate a possible routine. Structure makes order to the things that must get done. A common pitfall is to react to every stimulus that crosses the desk at the time is comes in. Not everything is equal in order of importance. Treating interruptions as fires that must be put out is a day of constant reaction and adrenal stimulation. Use the questions above to zero in on the first area to focus on. Use the ideas below to begin your changes to your day.
Decide, don’t react
A different way to approach work is to decide a system of responses. Always being available to others means the flow of concentration is given away. If you think about your time as money, it would be like opening your wallet and tossing bills to whomever interrupted your work. A different approach would be to respond to needs and demands with a discernment of decision vs. reaction. Examples of reactions are sliding in just in time to meetings or deadlines, feeling surprised when you experience hunger, or feeling things are purposely happening to you. Deciding looks like being able to count on yourself to show up in your life the way you want to live. Clock in with yourself at your determined start time. Facilitate the routine you need to manage emails, tasks, workflow, and delegation with a pro-active understanding of the week. Set times for your needs like movement, eating, and fresh air. When you decide what routine will support what you want to achieve, your family, friends, and colleagues will notice the difference.
Putting it all together: What this can look like for you:
Begin with you. Start your day in a calm and clear manner. Arrive 15 minutes early to set up your day for success. Look through the schedule. Think about what you need to accomplish and who you need to connect with for your goals.
Emails happen all the time. Decide how often you want to tend to email and when. Block time on your calendar to get responses done.
Silence communication when you are focused in periods of work.
Set periods of movement/picking up/clearing your head in the day. This is proven by science to foster better performance.
Make notes as your day goes along in a system that works for you to review. Try to clear your head into a system that works for you. Humans are forgetful. Give yourself a system that makes everything easier.
At the end of the day, write yourself a note to get tomorrow started off with clear direction and ideas.
Getting organized will help you succeed at work and at home. It will help you be more productive and achieve work/life balance. You will be more present for your family, friends and colleagues. It is noticeable when someone is acting with calm and purpose. Reach out if you would like some support and accountability with implementing these changes.