Are you wasting too much time trying to figure out where your things are, or what to do with your day? If so, organization can help you stop wasting time.
“For every minute spent in organising, an hour is earned.” Unknown
Do you organise your life? How do you organise it? Is it just limited to organising your desk or does it goes beyond that? The world today is a pretty stressful place to live in and it seems that time is too little and we have much to accomplish. In these circumstances, it is of paramount importance that we are on top of our game.
Organising is a major productivity booster as it saves you time, de-clutters your mind, helps you focus on the tasks at hand and gives one the feeling of being ‘in control’ resulting in -the timely completion of the job on time and even do more.
There are a number of actions that we can take in order to organise ourselves and our lives. This could be done through the use of check lists, time tables, calendars, planners, notebooks and lists. Let us take a look at 10 tips through which we can better organise our lives and as a result boost productivity.
1. Wake Up for Fajr
As a beginning, start waking up for Fajr prayers. First of all, you would be fulfilling a major religious obligation which, unfortunately, many of us do not fulfill. Secondly, waking up early will give you a good couple of hours of extra time in the morning enabling you to accomplish more. You can read the Qur’an, exercise, have a nice breakfast and also give some time to your studies while you are still fresh.
2. Manage Your Time
Managing time is very important and this could be done by breaking the larger tasks into smaller steps or actions which you need to take to accomplish each task. Divide it into time blocks and try to accomplish each step in the stipulated time. Moreover, also set deadlines for each task in terms of minutes, hours or even days so that you know how much time you have and manage accordingly.
3. De-Clutter Surroundings
A cluttered surrounding means a cluttered mind. Be it your home, your office, your private work space your inbox or your car, it is important that all spaces are de-cluttered. Seeing a mess around you tells your subconscious mind that there is work to be done, which results in pre-occupation of your mind. This hinders progress even when working on something totally unrelated, resulting in increased levels of stress. In simple words, you need to feel and be in control in order to accomplish your tasks in an effective and efficient way.
4. Prioritise Work
Prioritising work cannot be stressed enough. Try to maintain lists or checklists of the work that needs to be done. You can either have a separate list for different aspects of your life e.g. for office work, for the household chores and for the work you need to get done on your car. There are things that need to be done immediately and others that can wait. Therefore, list all these little projects in order of importance, ending with things that are not urgent and can wait, which will enable you to complete work on time.
5. Take prompt action
Do not delay things. Try to finish them off as soon as possible. The more you pile up work, the more cluttered your mind will become hindering your progress since your brain would be pre-occupied with all the pending work. For example, when I am working in the office and I see any emails filling my inbox, I immediately take action by replying to them, forwarding them or whatever needs to be done. If I let the emails pile up, I think of them and do not concentrate on the project I am working on already.
6. Designate Days
I personally designate specific days for whatever I need to do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. E.g. I have a specific day each week for cleaning my room, washing clothes, doing groceries, maintaining my car, working on finances, personal care or writing articles. This automatically tells me what I need to do on a specific day which enables me to do everything on time, which otherwise would seem like an overwhelming task.
7. Centralize Schedules
Keep all of your schedules, appointments, and lists in one place. Do not use loose paper and instead schedule appointments on your Outlook calendar or keep your check lists in a specific folder so that you know where to make any updates and do not miss any meetings/appointments.
8. Designate Areas
Designating areas for everything will enable you to find what you are looking for and when you are looking for it. Have specific shelves, containers, drawers and trays for the different items of daily use. A little example of this would be that I have a medium sized container and as soon as I enter my room I use it to keep all my keys, wallet, mobile phone, card book and watch so that I do not lose them and know where to find them when I am in a hurry to leave the house.
9. Avoid Time Killers
A major organiser and productivity booster is the avoidance of the many time killers we have these days in the form of technology. Avoid excessive use of the television, Internet, iPads, smart phones and other gadgets which, once we start using, eat up hours and hours of our times. Limiting their use can really leave us with ample time which we can use in constructive activities.
10. Track Progress
Finally, boost productivity by tracking your progress in all parts of your life. Track your work progress, educational development, hours of exercise, household chores, family time, personal tasks and even the good deeds you do and your spiritual growth (use the QamarDeen application). This will tell you how you are progressing, where you stand and what needs to be done in order to increase your productivity even more.