“Organization will set you free.” – Alton Brown
I’m a ridiculously organized person. Every year, I can’t wait for new calendars to come out so I can start filling them in. So it’s no surprise that Alton Brown’s quote about organization is one of my faves. Of course, Alton was talking about being organized in the kitchen but it also applies to our personal and professional lives.
Organization isn’t confined to calendars and cooking. It’s not solely about the pieces of paper on your desk. Organization can – and should – also refer to your time.
In the busy, crazy, technology dominated world, finding a way to organize our time is equally important. Managing our time well can help us be more productive. It can possibly keep us from feeling overwhelmed, stressed or burned out. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years to help me manage my time.
- Decide those times that are off limits (whether it’s family time, exercise time, or just me time). At my house, Friday night is pizza night. Mr. Bartender and I are on a quest to make good pizza at home. (Side note: if you have recipes, please share!) The point is…Friday night is off limits.
- Put important tasks on a schedule. I’m often asked about how I write for HR Bartender. My answer? It’s on my editorial schedule. If I want something done, I put it on my calendar. It doesn’t have to be completed right away. But when it’s on my calendar, it gets done.
- Build in time to fall behind. There are days I have to respond to a last minute client request. Or a project that I thought would take one hour but takes two. It happens. Don’t fill your day so full that blowing your schedule creates a panic.
- If you can’t meet the deadline, don’t say “yes” to the task. Before saying “yes”, find out the deadline. If you can’t make the deadline, let the requestor know. Maybe they will change the deadline for you. Saying “yes” and not delivering is a poor reflection on you.
- If you say yes then fall behind, renegotiate the commitment. This is one of my biggest peeves. When a person commits to something, other people are relying on them. And even the best plans get off track. Instead of ignoring the obligation, try to renegotiate the commitment. Or find someone else who can help.
Building a few small boundaries can have a huge impact on the way we feel. We can carve out time for ourselves. We can make sure those nagging projects get accomplished. We can say “no” every once in a while.
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Organizing our time is important to our well-being. How do you organize your time? Leave your success tip in the comments.