We all know someone who seems to be on top of everything in their lives – the children are ferried to and fro without any issue, they get to work early (never mind on time), they always look immaculate and they never seem to break out in a sweat.
If that description sounds like you, then hats off to you – and please send your tips into us here at Mothers Who Work Towers; but if it doesn’t read on to see how you, too, can become an organisation machine.
1. Do you actually know what you’re supposed to be doing and when?
Take the children’s school calendar, for example, most are sent out at the beginning of the year and may even be on the school’s website. If you take ten minutes or so to pencil the key dates into your diary at the start of the year, you’ll get an immediate head start.
You can plan your annual leave around important school dates – and even get your holidays booked right at the start of the year, so you don’t have to wrestle with other working parents in your department to spend some precious time with your family.
2. Use an organisation tool
While we live in a digital age and everything seems to be electronic, there are some things that you really need to write down and see physically, so they stay freshen your mind. Using a diary is key for family commitments, because it gives you a snapshot of what’s going on for the month, or the week.
We love Filofax organisers, but are drawing very close to the Moleskin diaries. For one thing, if you really can’t see yourself rolling back to paper-based diaries alone, then you’ll love the Moleskin Evernote series. This ingenious collaboration means that you can write down important dates, notes, journals etc, and then upload them onto the Evernote app, so that you can access them anywhere. You can even share your diary and notes with other people – so it’s great for reminding your spouse or partner about important dates; as well as colleagues. We’ll be showcasing the Moleskin Evernote diary, so please do keep an eye out.
3. Stop procrastinating
The one sure way to let things slip is to procrastinate. If you really can reply to the email you’ve just opened, why don’t you? The more you keep putting off little things, the greater the chance of forgetting to do it at all.
If you’re easily distracted ad need to ‘ignore’ things in order to get through the working day, you will definitely need a to-do list. Write down everything you are putting off for later. Check through the list at the end of the day to see what you need to prioritise for the next day, and you’ll soon get into a good habit of organising your backlog of undone tasks.
4. Stay focused
Multitasking was once a buzzword for the super productive. However, trying to do 10 things at once can have its negatives…and usually this means not getting anything done at all.
So these days, it’s all about monotasking – doing one task at a time. This means that you give each task your undivided attention, producing a better quality of work, and finishing it quicker.
5. Share the love
If you have had the pleasure of being around successful and organised people, you’ll probably have found that they tried to delegate something to you. Before you knew it, you’d agreed to do something for them – even though your schedule is even tighter than theirs.
One of the habits of successful people is the ability to delegate. This isn’t the same thing as palming off your work to other people – it simply means knowing when and how to tell other people what to do, and use your resources properly. So, be it the children, your spouse or partner, or employees, you need to ‘allow’ other people to help you!