How to Be More Organized

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A reader asked me how he can be more organized, so here are a few ideas:

1. Figure out what’s truly important to you. Of all the things you do in your day, what is important to you as a long-term goal? Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) talks about making sure you’re spending most of your time in the “Not Urgent, But Important” quadrant to make sure you fulfill your long-term goals. Too much time in the “Not Important, Not Urgent” and “Not Important, Urgent” categories will lead you to feeling frustrated at the end of your day (and week, month, and year).

2. Once you’ve figured out what’s important to you, each day select one thing you’re doing that you can cut out of your day because it doesn’t take you closer to what’s important. This can be TV, talking too much on the phone, or spending too much time online. What can you eliminate from your day?

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3. Now pick one thing to focus on each day that takes you closer to your goal. Is it exercising everyday if you want to lose weight? Is it writing a few pages in your novel? Is it making your lunch so you can save money for your vacation? Small steady acts will lead you to your bigger goal.

What do you do to get organized? Do you have tips you can share with others?