Dumb Little Man

Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail

Trying to achieve your goals without organization is similar to getting into an automobile without a steering wheel and expecting to reach your desired destination. Unfortunately, too many people do not embrace organization and the many benefits that it can bring. Instead, they rely upon chance and luck.

To be truly able to maximize your potential and accomplish all that you can, organization is a necessity. Organizing your life requires that you adopt a process that you embrace in every facet of your day and adhering to it to create habits that will encourage order.

This organizational process includes analysis, allotment and action. These three A’s can help you to structure your activities and increase your production through increased efficiency.

The First A: Analysis

plan analysis

Before you can truly become organized, you first have to understand what you have to do, and what must be done in order to do it. This requires that you devise categories for your responsibilities such as work, school and home.

Part of a successful organizational plan is applying it universally to everything that you do. Structuring a part of your life and leaving the rest a chaotic jumble will not enable you to maximize your potential.

So, begin your list by writing down everything that you must do on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. While it may seem counterintuitive to look at something that you only have to do once a year, such as your tax return, this will pay dividends by making the task easier and decreasing the amount of time that you have to spend doing it.

Breaking a task into a series of smaller actions that are completed as they occur, such as storing financial documents and receipts in a designated file, is the key to efficiently completing large projects. By doing so, you will save time when it is necessary to compile all of this information. Instead of first having to locate all of the necessary materials, they will be waiting for you.

As you write your list, it is helpful to think about how you might be able to be able to accomplish several tasks at once. For example, combining a trip to the grocery store with your daily commute, or using time spent waiting for a meeting to start to answer emails.

The analysis portion of organization is primarily about all of the things that you must do, and seeing how these tasks might be combined into a single action, rather than separate ones.

See Also: The Dos And Don’ts Of Planning Your Day

The Second A: Allotment

Allotment is the process of determining how much time to devote to each activity and when you will do it. This allows a “big picture” approach that enables you to decide how important each task is.

This way, you avoid spending too much time on the “little picture” activities, and concentrate your efforts on crucial actions. Answering every email instantly, for example, can waste a large portion of your day.

It is also important to allow yourself scheduled breaks. Noone is a machine, and we all need some down time. Allot periods of time throughout the day to review your social media, read and to recharge your batteries.

Your time allotment needs to be realistic. If you schedule fifteen minute blocks of time for projects that require an hour, you will not be able to finish what you have started and your plan will not help you to accomplish anything.

Using your analysis, determine what needs to be done and how long it will take. Be realistic about deciding how much time to allow for your various tasks.

See Also: Top 5 Time Management Hacks To Get You Ahead

The Third A: Action

Action may be the most important of the three As. Even the best plan is worthless if it is not put into motion.

That is why it is important to get into the habit of following your plans and learning to say “no” when others make requests of you for nonessential items. Staying committed to your organizational plan needs to be your top priority. With time, it will become second nature.

Action also requires that you get into the habit of writing lists, either hard copy or digital, to help to keep track of details and tasks that need to be accomplished in the short term. Decide what format you are most comfortable with and begin to make a list at the beginning of each day.

Mark off tasks as you complete them, to mark your progress and enjoy the sense of satisfaction that comes from being efficient and productive.

Organizational formats, storage and other tools are invaluable in accomplishing your goals. If your closet is cluttered, look for storage systems that will help you to keep it clean. If you have a difficult time keeping track of documents, incorporate a new filing system.

There are vast resources available to help. It is up to you to find them and take advantage of what you need.

As well, get in the habit of diminishing clutter by recycling or giving away things that you do not need or use. This can be clothes, magazines or even office documents that have lost their purpose, if they ever had one to begin with.

By working to devise a plan to organize your life, you increase your efficiency by spending more time on the things that are most important. Applying this strategy to every area of your life will help you find more time to spend on the activities that you enjoy as well as helping you to accomplish more. By using the three As you will be able to realize these benefits and reap the rewards of an organized life.

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