Last week I wrote an article (Productivity Fundamentals: Organizing and Executing) about how productivity boils down to two things: organization and execution. I believe that organizing is a very simple concept, but can be difficult to implement. These are the basic principles of how to organize anything:
Get Rid of the Unnecessary
When trying to organize anything, you need to get rid of the stuff that isn’t necessary. This applies to both household items as well as intangibles, such as tasks. Defining the term necessary is important, because it will give you the ruler by which you will measure items.
My rule for “necessary” for the household items is as follows: if I don’t love it or use it, it needs to go.
My rule for tasks is not fully formulated yet. For example, I know that if I am involved in an activity that brings me no benefit, and causes me to grumble, it needs to go. But as far as mundane tasks, I haven’t come up with a measure.
One of the key things to organizing is knowing what you have and where it is. There are two ways to organize: by use or by like items. As a simplistic example, if you had two pens, you could either keep your pens together, or you could keep one by each phone, where you use them.
Grouping items is much easier if you have already gotten rid of everything unnecessary.
Put Things Away
Organization doesn’t occur if things are lying out in the open. Items must be properly stored so that they don’t get mixed together.
Maintain the System
Any organization system is defunct if it isn’t kept up. Once- or twice-a-year sweeps are not effective when the organization is needed daily. Maintaining the organization every day is the best way to keep things in shape.
Photo by bobafred