Ever feel like you’ve constantly got an enormous list of things to do and find yourself rushing around to get it done, but you’re still not making any progress with it? Here are some of our top tips on how to become more organised.
Write out a ‘to do’ list
Whether you do this on a physical piece of paper, a whiteboard, or an app on your phone, take the time to make an actual list of all the things you need to get done. This way it’s not floating around in your mind, you won’t miss anything, you can see everything you have to do laid out so it’s easier to organise what order you want to tackle things, AND you can cross them off as you go.
Which tasks are most important?
If there are things that urgently need doing, start with those and work your way down to the things that can wait a while. If everything needs doing and it’s all equally important, try starting off with the smaller tasks that will take less time so you can have the satisfaction and motivation of crossing off a few things.
Plan breaks into your day
Trucking through your to do list without stopping may seem like a good idea, but it may lead to burnout and looking for reasons to procrastinate later on. Plan mini breaks into your day, or – even better – use them as rewards for completing tasks. For example, once I get the first draft of my report done, I can go outside for a 10 minute walk.
If you get bored doing one task for too long and you are able to break it up, give yourself a set time to continue working on it and set an actual timer so that it will go off to remind you when to stop. Then get back into it again later on after you’ve completed or worked on something else. If you get bored or tired doing a particular task, you’re more likely to start slowing down or looking around for distractions.
Be brave. Ignore distractions!
This may mean turning off your cellphone and your computer so there are no games, Twitter or Facebook to distract you, and turn off the television. Only have in front of you whatever it is that you need to do to complete the task at hand and it will help you stay focused.
Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – David Castillo Dominici