If one of your goals for 2014 is to get more organized, you’re in good company. Most polls show that getting organized is a perennial favorite among folks who set resolutions for the new year. Of course, the challenge isn’t in setting the resolution – it’s in keeping it. Here are a few ideas to help you get organized in 2014:
Be super-specific. “Getting organized” is not a goal – it’s a concept, and you can’t achieve a concept. Additionally, there is no endpoint to organization – it’s something that you’ll continue to work on as time moves forward. “Organize my desk,” on the other hand, is a very specific goal. You probably have an idea of what you’d like your desk to look and function like when you’ve finished organizing it. Instead of choosing a general goal, decide which parts of your space or your systems are driving you the most crazy, and write down some specific goals for each. Keep your list somewhere handy – like your FranklinCovey planner or in an electronic form such as Evernote. You can refer back to this list as you make progress to make sure you’re on track.
Do it daily. Once you have your organizing goals written down, then it’s time to start taking action. After working with clients for many years, I can share one universal truth – you can’t get organized in one fell swoop. Think about it – it probably took quite some time for your office, your desk, or your closet to get in the current state it’s in – it likely didn’t happen overnight. You can’t expect to make a lasting change in a day or a weekend. Instead, look at your list of specific goals, and set aside time each day to make small (but measurable and noticeable) progress. Making little bits of headway regularly can help you build the habits that you’ll need to keep your organizing systems and spaces in shape over the long haul.
Get help. Successful goal achievers have a secret – they ask for help. Rather than struggling through on your own, get into the mindset of asking for help when you get stuck. Of course, some parts of getting organized will probably be easy for you to do on your own. Others, however, may stump you. When that happens, call on a friend or coworker for additional motivation, or enlist the help of a professional organizer or productivity consultant. Time and again I’ve seen people get stuck in the weeds when they’re trying to make progress. Simply by asking for help they could have saved themselves time and agony.
What are your goals for 2014, and how do you plan on achieving them?