Some people are born organizers. They seem to have everything together, all of the time. Other people are not at all organized, and often spend more time looking for things or trying to remember what they were doing instead of actually getting anything done. Most people fall somewhere in the middle. They have it together much of the time but sometimes they have incidents where they misplace something or go off on a tangent and spend time doing things that are not all that important.
In order to succeed in working from home, it is important that you be at least somewhat organized. When your work is organized you get more done, you do it better, and those people that you are in contact with will feel that you are operating in a very professional manner. It does not take a lot of time or money to get organized, either. With some simple tools, you can get it together and keep it together much of the time.
The easiest way that I have found to stay organized is using a day planner. I write down everything that I have to do each day and when I have to do it. Work tasks, personal tasks, appointments, and everything else all goes in one central place. I use a pencil to write in the planner so that I can move tasks around in order to make the day work better. You can use whatever type of planner works for you. I know someone who swears by a large desk calendar, and others who won’t use anything besides an electronic calendar on their Blackberry or iPhone. The great thing is that as long as you choose a system that works for you and you use it, it is easy to know what you have to do and when.
Another tool that helps me stay organized while working from home is a timer. A simple kitchen timer helps me to get a lot of things done. You can use a timer to keep yourself focused on a task for a certain amount of time. For some reason, knowing that you are to concentrate on a task until the timer goes off make sit easier to focus on that task and avoid distractions. You can also use a timer to set a limit on how long you will spend on a task. This strategy is great for things like checking email and Facebook that you want to do and may even need to do that can become giant time wasters if you do not set limits on how long you will do them for.
A planner and a timer are two simple tools that you can use to bring more organization into your work and home life. Using these tools regularly can help you get more of the important things done and can help you to feel like you have everything at least somewhat under control. When you feel organized, you are likely to feel like a success in both your work life and your personal life.
Photo by duboix on morguefile.com.