Getting, and staying, organized matters because it makes your life so much easier and reduces stress.
In Your Job
Being organized is the reason why I can work three days a week at a job that was meant to be full-time. I keep everything in order so I spend a minimal amount of time just trying to refresh my memory about an issue or locating where an invoice might be (I work in finance). My best friends, besides Outlook’s calendar and tasks, is Excel and Word.
When starting my most recent job I started putting together all the notes I was taking into a Word document. This is now my main reference document for all the tasks I perform on an on-going basis. I also have a reference document in Excel that I use daily which contains vendor #s, GLs, etc. so I don’t have to be constantly looking up the information in our finance system. This cuts down on a lot of wasted time.
Even if you don’t work in finance, I think you’d find Excel and Word can help you with your job. You could use Excel to track clients and their contact information, track a project’s progress, or track time spent on tasks if that’s something you need (or want) to do. For processes and procedures, Word works well as you can organize your document into sections and have Word build an automatic table of contents which makes it easy to skip to the section you need no matter how long the document is (mine is currently 59 pages and continues to grow as I add to it frequently).
The best part is that not only does documenting what you do, and how you do it, help you be more efficient, it also keeps you consistent. This helps your coworkers in case they need to cover for you temporarily when you’re out of the office. It also helps your boss understand what you do (since they can’t possibly know everything when managing a group of people). In addition, when you decide to move on, your document can be passed along to your replacement which makes it easier to train them, whether that be you, if they are in place before you leave, or your boss/coworkers. It’s truly a win-win!
Staying organized at home allows you to spend your precious free-time with family, friends, pets, or even by yourself relaxing instead of wasting it looking for paperwork, your wallet, keys, etc. I’ve talked before about the different apps I use like Evernote, Dropbox, and Alarmed to keep myself on track.
Items in your home should have a home of their own, even your wallet and keys. There’s a bin by the door where we both put our keys when we get home. As a result, we never have to run around the house looking for our keys when we leave the house. I also keep my coupons in one spot so I can grab them on the way out. Pretty much everything in the kitchen is kept in the same spot all the time so there’s no wasted time trying to find something. Even my so-called junk drawer is organized!
Our laundry is organized in the respect that we have three laundry baskets – one for darks, one for lights, and one for dress clothes. On the darks bin I’ve clipped a laundry bag where I put booties and socks. That way they don’t get lost when they are washed and dried together. I’ve yet to misplace a sock mate doing this!
I’m sure getting your stuff organized can seem daunting to many people, but the end result is so worth it! The sense of satisfaction you feel when everything is put away neatly and easily found later is amazing. The trick is to make it easy to put stuff back where it belongs so you keep doing it.