Life hack

How to be organized

February 21, 2019 By Hitesh Bhasin Tagged With: Marketing careers

Hectic life can easily lead to messy and disorganized lifestyles hence beware because the road to success is forged via organized infrastructure. It makes life easy in the long-run as you can avoid last-minute problems quite effortlessly. A person is not born with organizational skills as it is an acquired habit that needs discipline and planning via learning and practicing diligently.

Remember disorganization and clutter can become overwhelming whereas being prepared and organized gives you a feeling of control that can enhance your working efficiency. Be dependable and organized and you will be able to make viable changes that will prove a great help in bringing order into your life.

Table of Contents

1) Don’t postpone

How to Be Organized

The habit of procrastinating is something you need to avoid if you want to be organized. Do not wait to do a job simply buckle up and do it. Some people have a habit of running away from chores that they find difficult and hence go on postponing it for a later time.

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Do not be that person as you will never be able to lift yourself to complete it in the given timeframe. The best way to stay organized is by maintaining your focus and being determined in meeting the deadline successfully.

2) Maintain a clean workstation

Disorganization demands a high price from an individual as it gives rise to stress, blocks creativity and prevents productive behavior. Working amidst chaos is nearly impossible whereas an orderly and clean space can enhance both mental and physical labor. One way to be organized is by maintaining a clean workstation so that you can find things easily and it encourages better work productivity.

3) Write everything

How to Be Organized

An important way to be organized is by remembering things and jotting it down as soon as possible in a proper diary. You can write about anything you deem important like a grocery list, things to buy, birthdays, anniversaries, meetings and important occasions. When you write things down you are giving it an image that will help you in remembering as well as recollecting if you forget things. You to-do-list is an important tool that enables you to take a step back, see, remember and organize your schedule accordingly.

Keep your diary or list where you can easily see it as a remembrance. Cross out the items that you have completed and keep a daily check so that you can cross further items easily and quickly. Write important dates and events in it and keep it updated regularly.

4) Maintain a planner and schedule

Is it possible to remember every detail? I am sure your answer is no because it is simply not possible. Organized people are smart because they are always on the look-out for doing things in a way that will save time and energy. Keeping things structured is the way for productive behavior. It is important to create and maintain a planner and put it in a place where you can easily look at it every day.

Maintain one for your home and one for your office. Make a habit of going through it daily in the morning as well as night to make changes accordingly. You can set reminders on your phone so that it can let you know in advance. Give yourself deadlines so that you can maintain a proper schedule. Maintain and stick to a proper planner as it is an important way to be organized.

5) Put everything in place

How to Be Organized

You need to train yourself and put everything in its proper place if you need to be organized. Remember to create and maintain a separate space of every small and big thing hence take out the necessary time to move things accordingly. Throughout the day many things are removed from their place and sometimes you are unable to keep them again at once. The night time is very important and you must put back all the scattered items in their place once again so that everything looks organized in the morning.

It is important to assign every item a place of its own and keep them again in their designated place. You must take special care of everyday items like mobile, car keys, house keys, and iPod and put them in the same place so that you do not get flustered and waste time in remembering where you have kept them that day. This will help you to stay organized and save precious time so that you are not late.

6) De-clutter your wallet

The wallet is one of the most important items a person has and if you want to be organized then the first step you should do is de-clutter your wallet. Make it a part of your daily routine so that it becomes an ingrained habit. The night time is the best for this activity as you can easily let go of the things you will not need the next day and arrange them in accordance with priority for the days to come.

Go through your debit and credit cards and put them in order or preference. Keep the ones that you use regularly at the front and the ones you do not need at the back. Remove the extra change and store it in a jar. Place the paper notes in an organized manner. File away any receipts that are of use and shred the one that you do not need further.

7) Take care of personal chores

How to Be Organized

Sometimes the smallest thing takes the maximum time to accomplish and you can easily stay organized by making some changes in your life. Go through your wardrobe and decide on your next-day dress the night beforehand to make your life orderly and save time in the morning. If you are a female plan the breakfast and your Tiffin so that you do not have to think about the item that needs to be prepared in the morning.

Refresh and repack your office bag and gym bag and go through your planner to know about the important details about the next day. One important way to be organized is by falling in the habit of doing things beforehand as all these activities will make your morning less hectic than usual.

8) Get rid of clutter

Make a conscious effort to determine the things that are of no use to you. Will you need some of those later on? If not then throw the ones that are useless and donate others that you think are worth it. If yes then put the stuff in a box and put them away in a storeroom so that your space does not look disorganized. You will be able to make space for new things as you have got rid of the accumulated items.

Last Updated: September 25, 2020 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Ashley Pritchard, MA. Ashley Pritchard is an Academic and School Counselor at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, New Jersey. Ashley has over 3 years of high school, college, and career counseling experience. She has an MA in School Counseling with a specialization in Mental Health from Caldwell University and is certified as an Independent Education Consultant through the University of California, Irvine.

There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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It can be really frustrating to feel like you’re always forgetting your homework or losing your pencils, but you might not realize how much it’s affecting your school performance. Fortunately, those problems can usually be fixed by a little organization. When you keep your work area, schedule, and even class notes organized, you’ll almost certainly find that it’s easier to keep up with your schoolwork, and you might even see an improvement in your grades!

How to Be Organized

u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.

Ashley Pritchard, MA. Academic & School Counselor Expert Interview. 4 November 2019.

  • Try putting color-coded pocket folders inside the binder to keep track of papers that don’t have holes punched in them. For instance, you might use a blue divider, folder, and notebook for math.
  • Any time you get a piece of paper for class, put it in your binder right away. That will help keep you from having a lot of loose, crinkled paper to sort through at the end of each day.
  • Figure out the organization method that works for you—you might want to have a section in your binder for graded papers and one for assignments that are ready to turn in, for instance. [2] X Research source

How to Be Organized

u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.

How to Be Organized

u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.

Ashley Pritchard, MA. Academic & School Counselor Expert Interview. 4 November 2019.

  • If your notebooks and folders are color-coded, consider using the same color pens to write down your assignments. For instance, you might write all of your math assignments in blue and all of your English assignments in red.
  • Include other activities in your planner as well. That way, it will be easy for you to see which days you’ll be busiest, so you’ll know how to plan your studying for each week. [5] X Research source

How to Be Organized

u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.

Ashley Pritchard, MA. Academic & School Counselor Expert Interview. 4 November 2019. For instance, you might track everything in Google Calendar. You could also use apps like myHomework Student Planner, Trello, or Power Planner to help you manage assignments and to-do lists. [7] X Research source

  • Your school might provide an online assignment manager that you can use, as well.
  • When you’re trying to decide between a paper or digital planner, think about which one you’re likely to check the most often. For instance, if you already have a paper planner but you forget to look at it most days, you might do better with an app you can put on your phone.

How to Be Organized

Wondering how to become more organized at work and at home? If you feel out of your depth, or a bit overwhelmed, you’re probably unorganized. Even if you think you are, you might not have a system that truly works. Trust me, those things go hand in hand. A clean, organized life, and a tidy, organized mind, are one in the same.

Some people struggle with it more than others, but there is so much that proper organization can do for you. Becoming ridiculously organized doesn’t need to be a full day’s work. It can take just ten minutes to sort yourself out and get yourself organized. Ten minutes.

That’s actually all you need to create a system that will stick with you for life.

What else could you achieve in ten minutes if you just set a timer and put your mind to it? You will be so much more organized and clear-minded, you could write that book you’ve been meaning to, you could work out, you could do SO MUCH.

If you want to become ridiculously organized, here’s a quick hack to make it a reality, rather than a dream…

0 – 5 Minutes

Organize your life

Start with a five-minute timer and take every bit of unaccounted for clutter off your surfaces. Put it down in the middle of the floor and decide if you’re cutting it or keeping it.

Be fast, you don’t want to run out of time. So just say the first thing that comes into your head within one second, “cut” or “keep”. Everything that you cut can be donated or discarded, everything that you keep should add beauty and value to your life.

Arrange it however you like, but make sure it doesn’t oppress you. Too much clutter, too many papers, too much of anything will bombard you and make you feel trapped and unorganized. In no time, you’ll learn how to become more organized at work and at home when you clear your clutter!

You can repeat this for every room in your house, and even at work, however, for the purposes of this ten minute cleanse, let’s say you’ve just decluttered your desk in five minutes. You’re probably already feeling pretty clear-minded. But it doesn’t stop there.

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Balancing a job, workouts, laundry, bills, and a social life makes it easy to let lots of stuff pile up—constantly. And we hear you: Whether it’s our inbox, desk, closet, or well, pretty much anything (and anywhere), the clutter can start to feel overwhelming. But we’ve got your back. We combed through the greatest and latest organization advice to find the easiest and most effective mess-mastering tips so you can control the chaos—once and for all.

How to Be Organized

  • First, clean out the pantry. And we’re not just talking stale cereal—toss those grimy Tupperware containers and cloudy water bottles too.
  • Store supplies close to where you use them. Translation: Keep plates and cups close to the dishwasher/sink area and pots and pans near the stove.
  • Group “like with like” in the cabinets: Coffee mugs, wine glasses, and cereal bowls should be stored together neatly.
  • Stash smaller kitchen utensils or food items, such as packets of ketchup, oatmeal, or protein powder, in labeled plastic containers or spare bowls.

How to Be Organized

  • First things first: Clean out the closet. Trust us, this is the hardest part! Start by donating anything you don’t wear often (unless it’s a special item, like a wedding dress or ball gown).
  • This clever tip makes the process a lot less painful: When you wear an item of clothing, place its hanger back on the rod facing the opposite direction. By the end of a season, you’ll know the items on hangers facing the original direction can go.
  • Another closet hack we love: Put everyday items at eye level, place less-used items (pants in the summer, tanks in the winter) on the lowest shelves, and store any special occasion items up high.
  • Consider investing in furniture that offers additional storage, like hollow ottomans or a bed frame with built-in drawers underneath (or use flat boxes to stow out-of-season clothes and extra accessories under the bed).

How to Be Organized

  • First things first: Get rid of the old. (See a pattern here?) Mascaras and eyeliners have a shelf life of about three months, while powder and foundation can last up to two years. It should be easy to tell when perfume or nail polish goes bad, but if you’re not sure, toss after two years. And sunscreen only lasts about one year.
  • When it comes to medication, throw it out if it has changed color, texture, or smell, even if it hasn’t expired.
  • Finally, stash extra toilet paper, towels, and hair dryers in a basket on the floor and use divided containers (silverware trays work great) to keep makeup neat and organized.
  • Toss unnecessary papers (like menus, old receipts, and magazine clippings—Pinterest can serve as your virtual corkboard) and only keep important docs such as financial statements, your lease, or tax returns. And remember: Most paper bills can be transferred to electronic versions.
  • Keep personal papers (like those love letters) in a shoebox or plastic container.
  • Store desk supplies according to how often you use them: Frequently used items belong in the top drawer on the side of your dominant hand; move “might-need” items to lower drawers.
  • Finally, plug all cords into one power-surge protector under your desk and secure with twist-ties.

Take Control of Your Tech

Back Up Files

Dropbox: Place docs, photos, and videos in your account, access them from anywhere, and restore all your your files in a snap (free for a basic account; starting at $8.25 per month for more storage).Carbonite: Back up all of your home office files to this cloud service to keep them safe, secure, and easy to retrieve (starting at $60 per year for unlimited storage).iCloud: Sync photos, emails, contacts, and calendar for access on up to 10 devices (free for 5GB of storage; starting at $1 per month for more storage).

Organize Your Photos

Gooogle Photos: This Google-based site lets you organize, edit, upload, and share photo and videos with friends and family (free).Flickr: You’ll get 1TB of storage for free (which can hold some two million photos) with no limit on picture resolution (free; starting at $50 per year for pro version).SmugMug: Safely store, share, and even sell your photos online in this site’s visually appealing, user-friendly format (starting at $4 per month).

How to Be Organized

Ever look at those super-organized homes and wonder how they do it? The truth is, there is no magic button or shortcut to getting your home organized. It just takes a bit of planning, dedication, and the right system. And while a closet may be organized differently than, say, a pantry, there are a few key tips you should follow no matter what you’re organizing.

To help you tackle any home organization project, we enlisted the help of professional organizing expert Rachel Rosenthal. Whether you’re finally hoping to get your closet organized or you really need to clean out those kitchen cabinets, these tips can help you get there.

Here’s how to organize nearly anything in your home.

Stay Realistic About Your Organization System

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The key to a well-organized home is a plan and the dedication to stick with it. Anyone can plan out an intricate organizational system, but if it doesn’t work for you and your family, it’s pretty much pointless. According to Rosenthal, it’s important to “be realistic about how you and your family functions and create organizing systems based on the way that you live.”

Sure, a complicated closet system or shoe storage plan sounds nice in theory, but if your family really just needs a basket by the back door for shoes, then it’s better to stick with simple.

Declutter the Space

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Getty Images / Siri Stafford

This may sound a little “chicken or the egg,” but before you can organize any space, you need to make sure you only have the necessities. A cluttered home will only be more difficult to organize, so focus on keeping the stuff you really need and donating what you don’t. Dedicate a day (or probably a few days) to going through junk drawers, closets, your basement, and kitchen pantry, and focus on just those items you’ve worn, used, or eaten recently.

It’s easy to wonder if you may wear that prom dress again one day (spoiler alert: you won’t), but a well-organized home requires a reality check towards everything you own.

Stay on Track With a Calendar System

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One of the biggest reasons an organization system fails is because life gets in the way. Between work and social events, most of us rarely remember to keep our closets organized by color or to purge the pantry every month. Rosenthal suggests scheduling your days, even those mundane daily tasks.

“Block off times in your schedule for everything from working out to grocery shopping to even laundry,” she says. “Try to be strict with your schedule and get tasks done when you say you will to avoid feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.”

Add a Drop Zone

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While your end goal should always be to keep things organized, there are simply times when you need to toss something to the side and deal with it later. And that’s okay! Consider creating a drop zone for all of those items you need to organize but simply don’t have time to do so yet.

For mail, Rosenthal suggests you add a paper drop zone near your front door for items such as bills, RSVPs, magazines, and more. Consider a few vertical files, separated by urgency: one for must-reads, one for magazines and cards, and another for to-be-shredded or filed in your office. This way you are one step closer to organizing those papers, but it’s simple enough that you can stick with it when you walk in the door.

Consider a drop zone anywhere you have an intricate organization system that takes a bit of time to keep up with. A basket for to-be-sorted clothes or bin for books that need re-organized can help you avoid cluttered surfaces.

Go Vertical With Your Storage

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No matter how many closets and pantries you have, it never feels like enough. And if you are lacking storage options, it can be difficult to stay organized. One way to maximize your available storage is to think vertically. Rosenthal suggests getting creative with the spaces you rarely use. Whether it’s under your bed or atop your cabinets, there is likely some underutilized space you can tap here.

“If you have extra floor space, consider adding storage ottomans,” she says. “Vertical shelving or plastic drawers keep anything from extra clothing to snacks controlled and contained.”

Organizing your home doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By taking it one step at a time, you can create a system that works for you and your family, and maintain order in every room of your house.

How to Be Organized

A lesson I learned out of college, was to lie about being organized. Lying about being organized will not get you far as an assistant, but it will get you the job and then far enough.

Something I did not realize was that in every interview I had out of college, they would ask ‘are you organized?’ The truth is no. But, the answer was yes… if I ever wanted to move out of my parents house, that is. I think it is automatically assumed that all females are organized, and to be honest it’s a stereotype I wish I fit.

I would define my level of organization as I was always the kid growing up that had the biggest folder. It wasn’t loose papers in backpack level (aka the most unorganized person you know), but it was all shoved into one folder that was 5 inches thick until I threw everything in the garbage level. This was very disappointing for my severely type A organized mom who raised one son who was a loose leaf in a backpack student and one 5 inch thick folder daughter. And, to be honest I was just as confused as my mom how this happened. We are still waiting for our 23andMe tests to come back.

I realized early on out of college that in order to get a job all people wanted was someone to organize their shit. How hard would it be to be organized? *said naively*

After answering yes to this question in an interview right out of college, I was granted the job as an Executive Assistant. AKA glorified office manager and assistant to everyone in the office and their mothers… quite literally included people’s family members. During my two weeks leading up to my start date, my google searches during this time included (not limited to) how to be organized for dummies, how to organize other people, how to organize myself. I realized quickly that this was a plan I wouldn’t be able to stick to. I needed to learn how to pretend to be organized.

So, here comes the list on how to get away with pretending to be organized in your first job for the unorganized type, like myself.

Step 1: Always act like someone else in the office is asking for something. Quickly close facebook when someone approaches and act like you’re so busy with someone else’s request. GOD RUTH you have no respect for the office manager. Especially when someone asks you to organize the office closet- push that shit off for weeks because you are ‘drowning in work.’ The more busy you are perceived to be, the less people in the office will bother you with requests, and thus the less amount of things you will have to organize.

Step 2: Make sure to remember one thing that is super specific that someone asks for but something you know your boss would forget in weeks to come. I know this is a niche step, but trust me here. For example- in passing, my boss asked me to give him an irrelevant file on a random far away date. I knew he would forget about this file but this was my way to further my pretend organization skills. This task went straight to the top of my list. I think this granted me an extra 3 months at the company. So, If you do this effectively, you will be praised to the fullest on your organizational skills and debunk any question your boss had in their head of you being unorganized.

Step 3: When you are asked if you are working on something even if you completely forget what they are talking about your answer is ‘of course.’ Immediately this task goes to the top of your list (see step 4.) The good thing is they hired an assistant for a reason so it takes time for them to remember something that they asked for as well.

Step 4. Keep a to-do list. Just one. I have been asked multiple times if I have a to-do list. In my personal life, and in my work life. Yes I have a fucking to do list was I born yesterday I just have them in 7 different notebooks and phone notes. I am still learning this one, but apparently a single one works.

Step 5: Be a solid B level assistant. Because, remember, it is more annoying to find a replacement for you so a B level assistant is just fine for a solid amount of time. If you start doing A level shit, they will continue to expect that of you. Which will be the demise of your pretend organization plan.

This is the guide to how to pretend to be a good assistant and last a total of 8 months in the role and then get fired when they realize you actually are the least organized assistant they have ever had.

Imagine! What it would be like to be organized.

Can you imagine it?

Stop imagining it and let me help you to organize every aspect of your life.

So, where should you start?

Well, they say that it is “all in your head” and “they” are right.

The first step is to adopt a positive mental attitude because, you do not attract into your life what you want, you attract into your life what you are!

You are what you believe and think about.

In order to be organized, the mind is where you start.

Do you have dreams?

How to Be Organized

Setting Smart Goals

The section on Personal Goals is your starting point.

A goal is a dream with a specific plan.

In this section you will learn how to turn your dreams into their physical equivalent. You will learn how to set goals, how the mind works and how to program your mind.

In order to facilitate your navigation through all the subsections, I have put together a flow chart which will guide you through each step that you need to follow to complete the process. The flow chart is interactive. Click on the flowchart block and the corresponding page will open up in your browser. Request your free goal setting steps flowchart via the link at the bottom of this page.

We are living in a world which is dominated by communications of every kind. Through the continuously evolving technology of our smart phones, tablets and televisions, we are able to instantly communicate with anyone in the world through social networking sites, text messages and e-mails.

This is a great thing even though, it means becoming more and more isolated from real human contact. Abstaining from physical contact and opting for virtual relationships instead, is our choice.

What is not always our choice, is the continuous bombardment of news and advertising media invading our personal space. The problem is that, for ninety five percent of the time, we are only receiving bad news which, because of our body’s basic architecture, translate into keeping us in a state of fear.

This section will teach you how to eliminate probabilistic fears.

The next logical step is to help the rest of your body be organized.

Health Related Fitness

In this section, I am going to list the elements that, in my opinion, make up health related fitness and which have worked for me over many years.

You might be confused if you have been reading health related articles. What was viewed as being bad for your health six months ago is being hailed in current health articles as the best thing that you can do to ensure your wellbeing. The funny thing is that they all claim to know the truth about what is and what isn’t good for your health.

But clearly no one really knows.

What we do know is that, you will enjoy perfect health when the old cells in your body are replaced by new healthy cells. It takes about 14 months for all the vital organs to be replaced and every 7 years you have a brand new rejuvenated body.

That, is the definition of abundant health.

Mind Body Connection

This is where you will be introduced to one of the smartest things in the universe, your body. You will learn how to harness your, self healing energy.

Underneath your dashing good looks is a network of electrical passages linking all fifty to seventy five trillion cells to the master control centre of the body, your brain.

Your brain is built of billions of cells called neurons and neuroglia. Each of these cells sends electrical energy to all the other cells of your body. A typical neuron creates about ten thousand connections to neighbouring neurons. Given that there are billions of neurons, it follows that there are as many connections in a cubic centimetre of brain tissue as there are stars in the milky way galaxy. This brain of ours vastly outperforms anything that we have ever dreamt of building.

So when you are feeling blue, remind yourself that you are the smartest thing in our known universe.

This mind body connection is achieved by a web of nerve fibres, one hundred times smaller than a strand of your hair, connecting the brain to every part of the body.

Now you are ready to learn how to be organized with your hardware, whether you are using it for home or business.

Your Computer

Do you struggle to find stored documents?

I will show you tools that you can use for organizing computer files into ordered folders.

You will learn how to organize outlook or your best email client so that no email will ever be mislaid.

We will create an e book library where you will store all your eBooks. While on the subject of eBooks, don’t forget to visit my eBook shop.

Yes, you will see how to organize music files into categories that make sense to you.

Can’t find those photos which you took on holiday? I will show you how to organize photos and even give you some digital photo tips. I use a free photo editor which performs all the functions which I need.

You will find out how best to execute a computer file backup and computer file recovery should something go wrong.

Whether you use your computer for your business or your private use or both these tips are going to help you be organized.

Next we will be organizing your home.

Your Swimming pool

It is important that in order to be organized you live in an organized home.

I will have home organization tips to help you sort out every part of your house and I have started by giving you some swimming pool ideas. The swimming pool product mentioned in this section is only available through this web site.

I know that it is difficult to know where to start, when you life is surrounded by clutter both physical and mental.

But you can do it!

I have helped many family members and friends and I can also help you to be organized.

I am currently putting together several new pages loaded with free hints and tips on how to sort out your office or study and how to be organized when it comes to your travel, whether for business or pleasure.

I am certain that they will help all aspects of your life. It has certainly helped mine!

For many, figuring out how to get organized at work can be a daily struggle. Papers pile up, sticky notes multiply and emails flood your inbox faster than you can sort through them. This holds especially true when you are focused squarely on your ONE Thing. When we channel the majority of our energy into our most important work, we can sometimes let tidiness slide.

How to Be Organized

Organization is a key component of productivity. When clutter accumulates, our attention diminishes and performance can suffer as a result. When your brain, time, workspace and projects are organized, it becomes easier to streamline both your actions and thoughts. We looked into some of the most effective ways to get organized, in every sense of the word, so that productivity will come naturally.

Follow the tips below to help get yourself in the right mindset so organization becomes second nature at the office.

Organize Your Brain

Get Enough Sleep – Sleep deprivation does a number on our grey matter. Anyone who has experienced a restless night can tell you that mental acuity diminishes with every hour of sleep we lose. Aim to get around seven hours of sleep each night and consider working in power naps during the afternoon to reenergize at the end of the workday.

Make an Effort Not to Multitask – Going back and forth between various tasks does nothing but slow our brains down and cloud our judgment. Trying to do two or more things at once can even release the stress hormone cortisol in the brain, which can impact your ability to concentrate and make decisions.

Take Breaks – David Levitin, a neuroscientist and author of The Organized Mind, suggests that people should take breaks at work to allow the brain to daydream. It’s during these periods that our brains are most creative and it helps give us a productivity boost.

Organize Your Time

Start with Goals – When organizing your time, the first thing you should do is identify your goals. Goals help us focus our energy and serve as a starting point for identifying what we need to get done. Download our free Long-term Goal Worksheet to help pinpoint your top goals for the next year and beyond.

Outline Your Priority – Once goals are identified, your priority will become clear. Your priority is the most important task that you need to complete in order to accomplish your most important goal and move things forward.

Time Block Each Day – A lot of emphasis gets put on time blocking in The ONE Thing because it works. The concept is simple – create a schedule for each day squaring away time for every task you need to complete. This creates deadlines and puts time limits to tasks, making it an automatic time organizer.

Organize Your Workspace

Have Everything You Need Within Reach – Take a careful inventory of everything you use on a regular basis to get things done at the office. Keeping these items at your desk or on your computer will maximize productivity and make organization easier.

Get Rid of the Non-Essentials – Clutter is a distraction. We’re not saying that your desk needs to be a fun-free zone, but cutting out non-essentials will make a workspace more functional and productive. If you haven’t used something in the past six months, get rid of it or store it away somewhere off your desk and out of eyesight.

Put Paperwork in Its Place – Piles of paperwork are one of the biggest organization pitfalls. Instead of letting paperwork stack up, create a filing system that is based on the one-touch method. Make different files for each project or client, and when a document comes across your desk either act on it, trash it or file it away. Once the project is complete go back through the file and get rid of anything that isn’t essential.

Organize your Virtual Workspace – Your e-mail is its own workstation. Organize it the same way you would organize your paperwork – files and a one-touch system. Apply the filing system to your electronic files as well. Another strategy to consider is to develop a time block for checking your e-mail only two or three times a day so it doesn’t become a time-sucking distraction.

Organize Your Projects

Throw Out Your To-Do List – To-do lists trick people into thinking they are organized and productive. While having things down on paper can help with organization, to-do lists often bog us down with a lot of non-essentials and don’t help us focus on prioritization. Instead, create success lists that are stripped down and purpose-driven. The 411 worksheet is a template for making weekly, monthly and annual success lists.

Keep Current Projects Front and Center – Having all of your current projects out in the forefront can help you stay focused on the tasks that matter most right now.

Map Out Milestones – When you are handed a project one of your first tasks should be working backward from your desired end point to create milestones. Like high-level time blocking, this will help provide you with vision and a sense of priority in the short and long term.

The ONE Thing is an all-around resource for getting every area of your life organized and focused. From asking the right questions to getting other team members on board, it is a blueprint for maximizing what gets done when you’re at the office.

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How to Be Organized

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The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results By Gary Keller and Jay Papasan (Hard Cover)

How to Be Organized

Gary Keller

New York Times Best-Selling Author

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How to Be Organized

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Organizing your home life and work life is tough enough for everyone. Those who work at home, though, encounter special challenges in keeping both their family and work obligations in their rightful places as the two realms mingle under one roof.

Everyone’s style and ability for organizing differ, so a one-size-fits-all approach definitely doesn’t work. However, these resources cover the types of things you’ll need to consider as you go about organizing your work-at-home life.

Organizing Your Time

Time is a precious commodity. Making the most of your time by eliminating the commute tops the list of reasons to work at home for many work-at-home parents, Yet, time saved in one place can be time wasted in another if you don’t take control of it.

Setting Expectations

Effective time management for work-at-home parents starts with creating some ground rules for both your family and for yourself. One of those rules should be to set your working hours in advance. This will keep you from working too much or working too little, whichever is your tendency. It brings better family balance because everyone knows what to expect.

Minimizing Distractions

No matter how good you are sticking to your ground rules, there will be distractions when you work at home. They will just be different from those that eat away at the day of your counterparts back in the office. Learning what they are for you and how to deal with distractions is an important skill.

Choosing a Calendar System

Use a calendar system that can be shared with all members of the family. Google Calendar works particularly well because it is so free that children can each have their own, but parents can have access to them. Likewise, children see what’s going on for everyone else.

For a calendar that everyone has access to, there’s also always a paper calendar hanging in the kitchen. The problem is this type of calendar is that you don’t have it with you when you are at the doctor’s or at a school function and need to add to it. Somewhere between the electronic and old-fashioned paper calendar is a weekly printout of all upcoming events hung in a prominent spot. Creating this every Sunday night will also help you spot conflicts in the family schedule in the coming week.

Organizing Your Spaces

When your professional and personal lives occur in the same location, you need to take care to organize that physical space in a way that is conducive to productivity for both parts of your life.


A dedicated workspace is essential to anyone who works at home. Ideally, your home office should be a room (with a door) that is not used for any other purpose. Most of us, though, just don’t have that kind of extra space in our homes, so we have to compromise. It might be in a corner of a room, a bedroom or the dining room. What’s important is that this particular space is dedicated to that one purpose. Setting up your laptop on the kitchen table does not qualify as a home office!

Design your home office space with your weaknesses, routines and your job’s and your family’s needs in mind. Are you easily distracted by children vying for your attention while you work? Choose a space far from their play areas. Are you trying to do double duty by watching children while you work? Put yourself nearby them. Will you need quiet for teleconferencing and phone calls? Pick an out-of-the-way room with a door, like a bedroom.

Whatever area you choose for your office, you need, at a minimum, a desk, chair, computer, and some shelving or other storage space. Take time to make it an inviting space, decorating it with pictures or mementos in the way that you might a cubicle in the office. You should enjoy being in this space.

Don’t let others use the space when you are not, and don’t use it yourself for activities outside of your professional work. Don’t pay your bills there or fill out forms for your kids’ school. Keeping those professional and personal obligations from melding together starts with maintaining separate spaces.

Family Spaces

Keeping that workspace dedicated and separate is a lot easier if you have the other spaces in your home well-organized. Create a family information hub. Choose a space where you accumulate family-related information, e.g. mail that comes in, papers from school, etc.

If you do use a paper calendar or a weekly listing of events, this is where it should be. If your kids are in school, make your life a bit easier by having a basket for them to deposit all the papers they bring home from school. You should also have a separate basket for bills and other paperwork.

Pick the area where you will organize and process this information. It could be in the same area where it is accumulated, or it could be near your dedicated workspace. Just don’t mix it with your work-related papers. In this case, it’s okay to pull out your laptop and use the kitchen table but create a space where all the needed items belong when you are not working on them.

You may be tempted to use your work computer to complete these tasks. Just like many of us don’t have extra rooms that can be exclusively used as home offices, we can’t all necessarily afford extra computer equipment. If at all possible, use a tablet or another computer for personal use. If you are an employed telecommuter, you may have already agreed that company equipment is not for personal use as part of your telework agreement. If you are a freelancer or home business owner, it may seem more efficient to have just one computer. But, consider buying an inexpensive netbook or reusing an older computer. When you mix the personal and professional use of your computer, before long, others in your family will be using it as well.

Interviewers often ask job candidates questions about specific skills, like organization, to learn how well they’ll respond to responsibilities in the workplace. One of the most common questions interviewers ask is “How do you stay organized?” In this article, we discuss why employers ask this specific question, how best to answer it and see example answers.

Why do employers ask “How do you stay organized?”

Employers commonly ask questions related to organization because it is an important soft (interpersonal) skill that promotes productivity and efficiency. People who are organized use their time, energy and resources more wisely than those who are disorganized.

How to answer “How do you stay organized?”

Follow these steps to provide a thorough answer for specific questions about how you stay organized:

  1. Describe what works for you
  2. Explain your time management strategies
  3. Demonstrate your level of organization
  4. Give past examples
  5. Be honest

1. Describe what works for you

Before answering, think about the many tools you use to keep yourself organized at work. For example, you may have specific apps installed on your phone that remind you to complete a daily task, or you may keep a journal handy to write down your to-do list throughout the day. Some professionals download browser extensions that help them complete specific tasks more efficiently. By describing the specific ways you use these tools and how they help you accomplish work-related tasks, you’re demonstrating your level of organization.

2. Explain your time management strategies

When you’re organized, it saves the company time and money. That’s why interviewers appreciate candidates who incorporate time management strategies into their daily work routine. You may describe how you save time by focusing on one task at a time to produce higher quality work. If you work quicker with fewer distractions, you may explain how you avoid checking emails and answering phone calls when working on high-priority assignments.

3. Demonstrate your level of organization

There are several ways to show your organizational skills throughout the interview:

  • First, arrive on time with everything you need to proceed with the interview. Bring a briefcase or bag that contains copies of your polished resume, samples of your past work, a list of questions to ask the interviewer and supplies like a pen and paper for note-taking.
  • Next, answer questions thoughtfully, taking care to address all aspects of every question.
  • Last, leave on a positive note by thanking your interviewer for their time. Be sure to follow up with them after the interview with a sincere note of thanks.

4. Give past examples

When answering questions about organization, think about what you did to stay organized in past roles. Give specific examples of methods you used and how it impacted your work routine. You may also describe how staying organized benefited your previous company.

5. Be honest

Let your interviewer know that even when you take the initiative to stay organized, things don’t always go as planned. The key to answering the organization question effectively is to convey that despite the unexpected, you remain consistent in your methods and adapt to changes easily. Showing that you’re flexible helps interviewers understand your personality better.

Example answers

Here are some examples of how you may answer questions regarding organization:

Example 1: Helpful tools

“I use a variety of digital tools to help me stay organized and remember important events. Most of the time I use an online calendar because it makes sharing my calendar and work projects with others so easy. In the past, I’ve also used different work management platforms to help me accomplish goals and meet deadlines. I enjoyed using the features that simplify the tracking and reporting process. I even downloaded the corresponding apps on my phone so I could monitor activity remotely.

Of course, I always have a notepad with me to write down quick reminders and to-do lists. At the end of my shift, I make time to transfer the details of my handwritten notes into my online calendar. This ensures that I don’t miss any important details from the day.”

Example 2: Time management

“Over the years I’ve noticed how important it is to keep track of your time at work. Although multitasking is beneficial in many ways, I’ve learned that when it comes to challenging work, it is better to focus on one project at a time rather than try to do too many things at once.

When I’m working on a tight deadline, I start my day by making a list of priorities. Then I approach the most challenging work first, then move onto other tasks that don’t require the same level of concentration. This helps me work more efficiently throughout the rest of the day. I also make a point to silence my phone and turn off email notifications during deep work to help me avoid distractions.”

Example 3: Demonstration

“I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me today, and I look forward to answering any questions you have for me. I brought extra copies of my resume in case you need them. I also brought my creative portfolio which includes some of the artwork I created for a recent ad campaign.”

Example 4: Past examples

“When I worked at Inner Circle, I was responsible for organizing company meetings and events. When my manager started requesting more frequent gatherings, I decided it was time to develop a quick system for booking venues and vendors. Once I had this system in place using some of my favorite apps and online tools, I was able to book everything in advance within a matter of hours. My manager was so impressed with my efficiency that he promoted me from marketing assistant to event director.”

Example 5: Honesty

“There are times when priorities change throughout the day and I have to reassess my goals. Some days I don’t get everything done that I had hoped, but I’ve learned that it’s okay to start fresh the next day. It’s all about having a positive attitude and a willingness to adapt to unexpected changes.”

How to Be Organized

Do you have a plan for applying to college?

With our free chancing engine, admissions timeline, and personalized recommendations, our free guidance platform gives you a clear idea of what you need to be doing right now and in the future.

If you’re a high school student who is preparing to apply to college, there’s no doubt that you are busy. You are probably thinking about important standardized tests to take, worrying about your GPA, juggling a slew of extracurriculars, and of course, anticipating the college applications to come. It can be a lot to maneuver, especially when you throw in all of the normal high school social events and milestones on top of everything else.

Luckily, you don’t have to feel like you’re being buried beneath all your responsibilities. There are some simple ways to stay organized and schedule your time effectively. In fact, by employing basic time management skills and organization systems, you’ll be better prepared to prioritize your work and visualize the bigger picture ahead of you.

To learn eight tips for organizing your schedule and managing your time, read on.

Get a Planner and Keep It Updated

There are many formats for assignment books, calendars, and day planners out there. You should have a look through what is out there to help decide which will work best for you. Take a field trip to the office supply store and browse through some examples. Keep in mind that most students find it helpful to have at least a weekly view on the page spread so that you can see an extended visual of your responsibilities.

If you can’t find a planner format that works well for you, you can go ahead and create your own template or search for one online. Templates exist for just about any format, so they aren’t difficult to find through a basic online query. Once you find one that you like, print out enough pages to cover the school year and put them in a narrow binder.

As soon as you have your planner, go through the entire school year and write in days of the week and dates, if this isn’t already completed. Then, go through and add important dates. These might include SAT or ACT deadlines, competitions or special events, or family commitments. Usually, these are non-negotiable priorities, so having them in your planner first will help you to shape the remainder of your schedule around them.

Also go ahead and copy these important dates onto your family’s calendar. It’s important that everyone in the family is aware of such significant deadlines and events. This way, there will be no surprise double-bookings or confusion later on.

Add a couple sentences about digital options too i.e. Google Calendar, which can be convenient for students who keep their entire life on their phone/computer.

Finally, be sure to keep up with your planner. Make sure you have all of your commitments in it, regularly updated. While it can be hard to commit to writing everything in a planner rather than rely on memory, especially if that’s what you’re used to, keeping track of your schedule in one place is absolutely necessary to staying organized. You should use it to track assignments, sporting events, club meetings, study groups, and important social events. Being able to see all of your important commitments will make prioritizing easier and more straightforward.

Make a To-Do List Every Night

In addition to your planner, keep lists of what needs to get accomplished on a daily basis. Each night, before you go to sleep, write a list of things that need to happen the next day. Cross them off as you complete them during the day. If anything on the list does not get completed, it should become an immediate priority for the next day.

Sometimes it can be helpful to include smaller tasks that you know you’ll accomplish on this list. It is satisfying to see your accomplishments get crossed off and your list of remaining tasks dwindle. Including things like making your bed or filling up the gas tank on the way to school ensures that you’ll get a few things crossed off right away and might help to incentivize your further productivity.

Reward Yourself

As you chip away at longer assignments or tasks, be sure to set small rewards for yourself at certain points in your progress. For example, if you are writing a lengthy English paper, tell yourself that after you finish three pages, you can watch one episode of your favorite show or take a break to make a cup of tea.

It’s important that as you do this, you set finite rewards. If you tell yourself you can play video games, make a time limit in advance. Do the same if you’re going to take a break to call a friend or have a snack. Without firm time limits set in your mind in advance, it’s tempting to get carried away with “just five more minutes” again and again. Avoid falling victim to this time suck by setting firm limits in advance and sticking with them.

Schedule Specific Times for High Priority Tasks

There are always some commitments you’ll need to take care of on your own that are very important but not very exciting. If you know that you need to tackle a big task, and you’re not looking forward to it, schedule time specifically devoted to it into your day.

For example, if you’ve created an SAT study schedule that includes 9 hours of SAT study time each week, create a weekly overview of specifically when you’ll tackle this study time. Don’t let it stack up until the weekend when you realize that you haven’t met your goals. Instead, schedule a certain time each day that you’ll study for an hour during the week, and then a two-hour block for each day on the weekend.

Similarly, if you have a prolonged assignment and you tend to procrastinate, break it down into smaller pieces and schedule time for each piece. Write your schedule in your planner to make sure that it doesn’t conflict with anything else.

Finally, be sure to schedule time for yourself and your friends too. If you have an especially busy week, try to schedule a lunch date or evening movie with some friends. You will be more productive if you feel refreshed and fulfilled.

How to Set Up an Organizational Structure

Neat desktops and orderly desk drawers only scratch the surface of what good organization means. Instead, getting your employees organized often means going behind the scenes and tackling office organization from the inside out. It can also mean incorporating a bit of creative thinking, as well as traditional and obvious measures, in your approach to getting employees organized.

Stop Multitasking

Although it may seem that multitasking is a good way to get more work done, working on multiple tasks at one time both decreases productivity and thwarts your attempts to get employees organized. According to the American Management Association, the net decrease in productivity can be as high as 75 percent. Establish a clear rule requiring your employees to prioritize activities and tasks, and work on the highest-priority task or activity first. This not only improves productivity and reduces stress, but also results in better organized workflow.

Set Up an Information Repository

Identify and set up a central location, such as a Web-based application framework or shared network drive, for storing forms, document templates, copies of company policies and any other information employees share or access frequently. Having one location for storing commonly accessed information makes for easy access and helps keep everyone organized. In the same way, a central, shared company or department calendar both informs everyone about what’s happening and assists employees in creating daily and weekly plans.

Meetings and Communications

Set clear expectations, delegate tasks and give advance notice about changes when possible. Letting employees know what you expect and what you want them to work on allows for advance planning and better organization. Hold weekly or monthly individual and group meetings to assess progress on meeting assigned goals. Address good organization directly through workshops, featured speakers and working with employees who struggle with improving their organizational skills. Encourage note taking during meetings to reduce the chance that forgetfulness will affect good organization.

Allow Time for Planning

Require employees to set aside 15 minutes for planning at the end of each day. Include an additional 15 minutes every Friday afternoon to review the next week’s schedule and prepare for the upcoming week. Helping your employees improve their planning skills also improves organization by allowing them to prepare materials or information in advance. Advance planning can also help employees see where they might be trying to fit too much in a workday, which indicates a need to reprioritize daily goals or ask for help.

How to Be Organized

With all that you have to balance, getting organized in college can sometimes seem like both a hopeless and useless task. After all, what kind of person can create order out of so much chaos?! You might be surprised, however, to learn just how easy it can be to get organized during your time in school.

First and Foremost, Have a Time Management System

Whether you’re a super senior or an incoming first-year student, time will be your most precious commodity. Just when you need it the most, it will seem the most scarce. And you will rarely if ever, feel like you have enough of it. Consequently, having a good time management system that you use is critical for getting organized, and staying that way, during your time in school. After all, how are you supposed to know what you’re supposed to be doing if you aren’t even sure, well, what you’re supposed to be doing?

Write Down All Your Academic Responsibilities

When you first get your syllabi at the beginning of the semester, find a quiet table at a coffee shop, get a cup of coffee, and sit down with your calendar. Put everything that’s on your syllabi into the calendar: when classes meet, when things like required films and labs are scheduled, when midterms are, when classes are canceled, when finals and papers are due. And when you think you’re all done putting everything in, double-check your work and do it again. Once you have everything inputted into your time management system, you can rest assured that you’ll know about all required course assignments well before their deadline. Sometimes, just knowing what’s coming down the pipeline can account for 90% of your organization prowess.

Go Through Something Once a Week

It sounds strange, but you’ll likely be surprised at just how helpful this rule can be when it comes to staying organized in college. At least once a week, go through and organize something. It can be your backpack; it can be your bank statement; it can be your desk; it can be your email. You undoubtedly, however, will find something that slipped your mind or that you’ve been meaning to get to. And if you hadn’t have gone through that item, you would likely have forgotten all about it.

Have a Budget and Check-in on It Regularly

A major part of being organized in college is staying on top of your finances. Even if most of your costs, like room and board in the residence halls, are taken care of through the financial aid office, staying on top of your money situation is still important. Being organized means knowing what’s going on in your college life at any given point in time. If you aren’t sure how much money is in your account, you aren’t organized. So stay on top of your budget and know where you’re money has gone, where it is, and where it’s headed.

10 Ways to Stay Organized When Studying

How to Be Organized

10 Ways to Stay Organized When Studying

Have you ever struggled with studying? Is staying organized and tackling information for exams a challenge? If so, there could be a simple solution. Maybe you need help with new organization techniques which will not only make studying easier, but more enjoyable. Staying organized while you study is a great way boost your retention levels and increase your overall test scores. What are some of the best ways to stay organized when studying? Keep reading below to find out.

1. Learn the Cornell note taking method to organize notes

The Austin Community College shows that there are many benefits to note taking. According to their website, note taking keeps you alert, engages your mind, helps you emphasise and organize important information, and it creates a condensed record for study. If you are unsure of how to begin taking great notes, you can use Cornell notes to start. This method involves dividing a sheet of paper into three sections. One section is for general note taking, the other is to emphasis key points, and the final is to summarize the info and highlight the key points after class in order to review and reflect upon what was discussed.

2. Use binders and notebooks

Using binders or notebooks is a great way to organize your notes. If you sit down to study, but it takes hours just to organize the information you have, it will be hard to focus on learning the material. Binders help keep your notes organized and separated by subject, which will also help speed along the process of finding information later. Use tabs with labels for important information so it is readily accessible.

3. Write the date and topic of your class discussion at the top of your notes

Before you can become an organized studier, you must first learn how to take good notes. Taking notes is essential to reviewing for tests and quizzes later, so if you are not already taking notes this is a great place to start. At the beginning of each class or lecture, put the topic and date of each lecture at the top of the first page. This will make it easier to find information later on when you are reviewing.

4. Create a schedule for studying

Set aside time each week for studying by making a schedule. You can make it so you study a certain amount of time every day, or only study on certain days. The idea is to make it a routine so you get into the habit of studying regularly.

5. Use a calendar to plan

By using a calendar, it will be far easier to plan out exactly how much time you should set aside to study. Start by counting backwards from the day of each exam so you can see how many days and hours you have to prepare. Working in study time around other competing schedules will ensure that you give yourself enough time to get ready for your exams and will make studying less stressful.

6. Organize your workspace

Find a place to study. It can be anywhere you feel you will perform the best. Some people prefer using their own homes but others like to go to a public place, like a library. Just choose a dedicated location where you can study with ample time and little distraction. Make sure this workspace is organized. It should be clutter free and have the supplies you need to study effectively.

A list of things you should have include:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Note Cards
  • Different Color Highlighters
  • Tabs
  • A Stapler
  • Plenty of Paper
  • Anything Else You May Need

By keeping these items stocked up, it will reduce the time you spend looking for things you need when you should be studying.

7. Use color coded flash cards

How to Be Organized
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Using flash cards is a tried and true method of studying. It appeals to a wide range of learning styles and is quite an effective way to increase the amount of information you can recall and memorize for tests. By color coding flash cards, you can keep them organized by subject or even by individual subject categories.

However, technology is changing how you can create flash cards. There are many digital resources available and quite a number of flash card apps you can download on your smartphone or tablet. Check out this list of awesome flash card apps.

8. Eliminate distractions

When you are studying, staying focused can be challenging. Eliminate as many distractions as you can so that you can stay focused on your work. Stay off your cell phone and social media until later. Some people like noise while they are working, but the TV can be very distracting. Instead, try listening to film scores or instrumental music or a white noise app. This will have the same effect but will not be as intrusive as TV shows and advertisements.

9. Divide information into sections

Attacking a large portion of information at once can be overwhelming. Break down your notes and subjects into smaller groups. For example, if you have a list of terms, try dividing them into groups of ten and study only ten words at a time. Once you have mastered these words, move on to the next ten. Continue this trend until you have learned all the words you need to know. Use your study schedule and calendar mentioned above to decide which subjects to study on which days instead of trying to study everything all at once.

10. Set a timer and take breaks

When you are studying, it is very important to take breaks. According to Psych central, taking breaks actually can help improve your overall focus. If you have trouble focusing on studying, try setting a timer for 30-50 minutes and study until the timer goes off. Then, set the timer again for ten minutes and take a quick break. Once the timer goes off again, set it for another 30-50 minutes and so on.

In conclusion, staying organized when you study will help you learn more and get better grades. However, it starts with taking good notes and maintaining a system to organize them. If you can’t find your notes or if you don’t have any to begin with, studying becomes increasingly more difficult.

Let us know what you think in the comments below! Do you have any other tips to staying organized when studying?

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today we’re continuing with our summer retrospective. yesterday, we reposted your favorite blog post from May: a day in the life | my living room refresh. apparently, you all like seeing my home, because your favorite post from June was how to stay organized | a look at my kitchen. it’s not totally surprising, though, as many of us spent a majority of our summer at home.

hopefully everyone was able to catch up on those home organization projects that we never seem to find time for under normal circumstances. but at the same time, i personally am looking forward to fall. not only am i looking forward to cooler days here in Athens, but Georgia football is about to start up again. and although we won’t be able to go to the stadium, i am looking forward to tailgating in my backyard. what are you all looking forward to most this fall?

a look at my kitchen

happy Monday, ladies! as my regular readers will know, home design and decor is one of my favorite things. a key component to this that often feels like a chore is organization. to me, organization comes before decorating because having a well organized home is the foundation of home design and decor. it provides the blank canvas that makes home decorating such a pleasurable experience. we’re starting a new series this week: how to stay organized. today, we’re doing a deep-dive into my kitchen.

outfit of the day

what to wear when you’re tackling chores around the house? i am wearing a comfortable outfit today – white (similar) relaxed chinos from Talbots and a sleeveless drapey top from Anthropologie . and to add a little bohemian panache to this ensemble, a woven belt also from Anthropologie .

How to Be Organized

How to Be Organized

while it’s not the outfit i’d wear if i were tackling a big project, it’s perfect for reorganizing some cabinets and drawers in my kitchen. i can reach high up or down low comfortably.

How to Be Organized

kitchen organization

today we are tackling the kitchen and pantry. this room feels most like a chore for many of us when it comes to organization. so many gadgets, utensils, spices and canned goods get shoved to the back and forgotten about for who knows how long. but trust me, opening those cabinet doors to a clean, organized storage space will reinvigorate you and relieve a cloud of stress you may not have even realized was there.

How to Be Organized

How to Be Organized

How to Be Organized

i don’t have a proper pantry, so storage in my kitchen can be very challenging. it’s as important as ever for my cabinets to be well organized, so i can see everything that’s inside without having to root around for something. i employ a few handy shelving items to help. I keep my dry and canned goods in a blind corner cabinet and a two-tiered lazy susan means that i don’t have to reach far into the corner for that can of chickpeas.

How to Be Organized

in my spice cabinet, i use a tiered spice rack so i can clearly see my spices (organized alphabetically) – even the ones in the back are clear and obvious.

How to Be Organized

thoroughly weeding out what is outdated or mostly empty will open things up dramatically, giving you the opportunity to think about what shelving or organizational tools you’ll need to get. many dry spices do not have the shelf life you may imagine they do, most should be used within 6 months of opening for optimal freshness.then the fun part of rounding out your spice collection or your can food stores can begin. so be brave and toss out that 3 year old jar of marjoram and replenish.

How to Be Organized

utensil drawers can become a nightmare. they tend to resemble a junk drawer if not regularly tended to and especially if everything is thrown in without a caddy of some sort to keep things organized. and even then, it’s worth reassessing the usage and frequency of usage of many kitchen gadgets and utensils. like cleaning out a closet, consider the last time you used an item and if you can’t remember the last time you used it, make it a goodwill donation or toss it if it’s in bad shape.

How to Be Organized

with just a few strategic organizational pieces, you can transform your pantry cabinets into a source of inspiration and calming ease of use. what are your biggest organizational hurdles? i am here to help! i have rounded up a collection of fantastic organizational items to help get you started to to inspire you to go a step further in your kitchen organization.

How to Be Organized

How to Be Organized

here are many items to get you started. here’s to monday ladies, let’s make it a great week!

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It is no secret that being productive and organized at work leads to positive professional outcomes. Being organized and productive can help you feel less stress and greater satisfaction at work. Increased efficiency and better communication are just two of the positive side effects of employing organization skills in the workplace.

While you must find a system that works for you, there are some strategies that can help anyone become more organized and productive.

We have put together 5 top organization skills that will enable you to increase efficiency, maximize your workspace, effectively use information, and employ timely communication skills.

  1. Use Your Time Wisely.

The importance of time management cannot be overstated. Time is the one resource that cannot be replenished, so it is best to use it wisely.

Improve your time management by setting reminders. Technology makes setting reminders easier than ever! Between phone alarms, calendar reminders, and smartwatch cues, we can effectively manage our time. In addition to this, note and prioritize your goals, eliminate distractions, and say “no” when necessary.

  1. Write it Down.

Writing notes is one of the best ways to be organized and productive. Mueller and Oppenheimer’s classic study indicated that writing requires the processing and rephrasing of information, which makes a lasting impression on the notetaker’s memory. This results in an increased ability to recall what is required of you to be productive for the day.

Keep a calendar, planner, notebook, or set of post-it notes along with plenty of writing utensils in your workspace. When an important commitment is brought to your attention, you will have what you need to record it. Keep notes that are brief, detailed, and legible to help you stay organized.

  1. Work Ahead of Schedule.

Why work up to the deadline when you can work ahead of schedule? Use this form of time management to set gradual deadlines that are at least three to five days earlier than the official deadline. This aids in being more productive and avoids last-minute communication with colleagues about tasks that require immediate attention.

If you need to respond to pending inquiries in your inbox by close of business, set your deadline just before lunch. Or, if you must submit your contribution to a team project by Friday, set your planning tools to remind you to meet gradual deadlines then aim to submit it a day early. The key to getting better at working ahead of schedule is viewing your final deadline as a last resort. Instead of working up until the very last minute, work toward an earlier deadline that gives you space to walk away from your work and return to it later to apply finishing touches.

  1. Keep a Clear Workspace.

The space in which you work affects how you work. Working in an orderly space will help you reduce distraction and keep a clear head and keep track of all your notes and calendars. You can extend this idea to your digital workspace. Just a physical files on your desk will hinder your productivity, so will stray files on your computer desktop or having tabs open that you don’t need to look at. Taking a little time each day to do some basic housekeeping will help you stay organized, productive, and on task.

  1. Customize Your Approach.

For maximum efficiency, customize your approach to work for you and the way you operate. Some people organize assignments according to the order in which they are due while others tackle tasks in order of difficulty.

To customize your approach, consider the ways you work best一do you fare better with visuals, words, or a combination of both? Perhaps you are more audial and would benefit from leaving voice notes for yourself or listening to soothing sounds while you work. You can do some trial and error and be mindful of what helps you work best.

How to Be Organized

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The modern home is far bigger than the home of just 30 years ago – and far more cluttered! How can that happen? Basically, our demand for stuff is outstripping our ability to buy space – no wonder self-storage is one of the leading growth industries in the United States.

Questions about runaway consumerism aside, what all this excess stuff means for most of us is more time spent maintaining our living spaces to keep some semblance of order in our lives. Most of us don’t want to spend our evenings and weekends – and more for work-at-home types – knee-deep in clutter, never sure where anything is, and constantly stepping over all those things that, for one reason or another, we just had to have.

We fight a constant battle against clutter around Chez Dustin. Besides my partner and I, there are her three children, all under 13. Plus, her brother and his two kids have been staying with us while he sorts out some family matters, forcing our usual border-skirmishes against clutter to escalate into an all-out war.

That’s why I asked you, our readers, to share some of your tips in one of the contests in the Great Big Summer Giveaway. I had a blast going through your tips, tricks, and advice for keeping the home organized, and today, I’m going to present the cream of the crop.

“Do you have a pen?” my friend asked.

“Yeah sure, just go into my purse,” I said.

But what my friend found wasn’t a pen, but approximately 5 handfuls of receipts, a small notebook and 4 lipsticks/lip glosses. There was at pen, at some point, in this fashionable garbage pail that I call a purse. And even worse, I had actually downsized from a larger satchel to the smallest purse I could get without it being a clutch, because I had noticed that the former just attracted stuff like a junkyard magnet.

Let’s be honest: We put lots and lots of stuff in our purses, without even thinking about it. My most vivid memory of my friend Adrienne isn’t the time we tried to find the best burger in Manhattan, but the time she upended her tote en route to a lovely restaurant in an effort to find her wallet. There, on a perfectly smooth marble step, she went through 3 (hardcover) books, a makeup bag, two journals, packs of gum and a water bottle. I had to ask her how it all happened.

“I’m not really sure. ” she said.

And that’s another thing. A messy purse isn’t a time capsule of the day you decided to throw in the contents of your junk drawer. It’s a work in progress. A teeny tiny taxi receipt, tossed into a purse, will soon become. well, five handfuls.

Though I know I wasn’t alone in this, I had to see just how much I was carrying on an ordinary day. Out came the scale. Then, I made all the Stylelist, Huffington Post Style and Stylelist Home editors around me weigh their bags. And then I made them show me everything that was in there.

How did everyone fare? See the slideshow below.

How to Be Organized

TOTAL: 56.5 lbs
Average: 6.27 lbs

Altogether, our bags weighed 56.5 lbs. But the average purse (around Huffington Post Style, Stylelist and Stylelist Home) weighs about 6.27 lbs. This weight did not include the laptops that normally went into many of these handbags. And even though many editors pared down the contents of their purses, there was still room for improvement. While one can argue the need for a few lipsticks, it’s harder to argue the need for an empty pack of gum. Or a two-month-old jury summons.

So how can we lighten the load? “I make a point of tossing those anything made of paper every morning before I leave my house, keeping important receipts and notes in my wallet or in my notebook,” says Stylelist intern Jada Wong, who had the most well-organized bag in the bunch.

The receipt issue seems to be a big one. Stylelist Home cleaning experts Stacey Platt and Sarah Nina Hayon collectively had this to say:

Rather than haphazardly tossing things into your handbag, take an extra minute to put cash or change in your wallet, receipts in their designated place, or a colleague’s business card in your planner or notebook. Aim to have nothing floating at the bottom of your bag except larger items like your wallet, eyeglass case, or planner.

From looking at everyone’s stuff, I could see that the better organized bags had a few things in common. Such as:

– They tended to have light-colored linings. This made random junk easier to see than a chaotic pattern.
– They definitely did not contain a book or magazine. Having a book or magazine just seems to invite more junk inside.
– It was a paper-free place. No business cards, no tissues, no receipts. If necessary, they went inside a checkbook.
– Their wallets were larger. in size. My small wallet (given to me by my late grandmother) can’t hold a dollar inside unless I fold them twice. Which I never had time to do, so any currency ended up tossed inside the bag. A check-sized wallet neatly holds cash without an origami time-out.

Now, what about me and my messy purse? Truth is, I was pretty tired of carrying around my 4.5 lb bag. So I completely started from scratch, filing away important receipts and throwing out everything else. I only carry my phone, wallet (with cash inside) and a lipstick. OK, two lipsticks. But only because red lipstick is really important this season. I also keep a small (very small) envelope as a temporary holding spot for receipts.

So far, this minimalist approach has worked. My purse hasn’t gained a pound since.

For extra credit, check out these great organizing articles: