Although success can be defined in many distinctly-different ways ~ from monetary and material to academic and adventures experienced, there is a commonality among all successful people: they have exceptional organizational skills. Highly-organized individuals never miss an appointment, are never late for a meeting, never misplace their keys or their phone, accomplish more in 24 hours than the average person, experience little stress, and are, yet, still flexible and resilient. How is it possible to be both highly-organized and a joy to be around? Simple. Highly-organized people keep certain habits.
Habit #1: They wake up early.
For highly-organized people, waking up before the birds is not a burden, a challenge, or an option. They savor the mornings for routines that nurture their mind, body, and soul. Sleeping in until 9 AM every morning or repeatedly hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock just isn’t appealing to them. They devote the pre-sunrise time to meditation, prayer, a healthy breakfast, exercise, stretching, yoga, walking Fido, inspirational reading, and/or journaling. They get up earlier – not to get more stuff done, but to savor time continuing to develop into their best selves.Waking up early creates time to ease into the day calmly and purposefully.
Habit #2: They have a place for everything.
Yes, everything is somewhere; however, for highly-organized folks, specifically where everything is placed is done mindfully. Immediately putting things back in their designated spots enables organized individuals to avoid harried searches at the last minute for keys, phones, shoes, notebooks, important papers, jackets, and other material things that are regularly used. In addition, highly-organized people don’t waste money having to buy what they already have (but can’t find). They know what’s in their freezer, their closet, and their toolbox. Taking a moment to return something to its perfect place both saves time and eliminates undue stress.
Habit #3: They get the hardest, less-desirable projects done first.
Sure, it may initially seem more enjoyable to eat the icing off the cake first, but for highly-organized people, they can withhold that common need for instant gratification. They’ve gotten in the habit of delaying what’s easy or most appealing so they can roll up their sleeves and get the hardest work done first. Mark Twain had it right when he said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Doing the less-desirable task first makes everything that has to be done after it a breeze.
Habit #4: They write stuff down.
Whether typed in a laptop, handwritten within the pages of a leather-bound journal, scribbled on post-it notes, jotted on a calendar, or listed on a whiteboard, highly-organized people take notes and write stuff down somewhere. Keeping track of brainstormed ideas and seemingly-inflexible deadlines and commitments enables the highly-organized person to be free of that stress-inducing mental “to do” list. The highly-organized person never has to return to the grocery store for that missing ingredient they forgot or apologize for forgetting a luncheon. By writing stuff down, no project misses a deadline, no appointment gets missed, and promises made are promises kept.
Habit #5: They are present in the moment.
It’s easy to spot highly-organized people at a restaurant, behind the wheel of a vehicle, or in line at the movie theatre – they’re the ones who aren’t on their phone. Organized people are great listeners, attentive, and look people in the eyes when they’re engaged in a conversation with them. They never seem unsettled or distracted. Highly-organized people are able to live in the moment. They don’t need to be constantly checking their phone (or even have it turned on) when they’re enjoying time with family, friends, or even themselves. When you’re with an organized person, you know you don’t have to vie for their time and attention against some electronic gizmo or gadget. By being present in the moment, highly-organized people naturally draw people to them.
Habit #6: They make time for the important things.
Whether enjoying a family vacation, earning a college or advanced degree, practicing an instrument, learning a foreign language, or tending their home’s garden, highly-organized people always make time for what matters most to them. They’re do-ers, not dreamers. They make time, not excuses. Because they embrace life’s most precious commodity, highly-organized people get it. They understand that no one is guaranteed the next minute – so they embrace every moment of each day.
Habit #7: They use technology wisely.
Wasting hours in frivolous texting, constantly checking emails, hanging out on social media platforms, or talking on the phone about topics already exhausted are not habits in which you’ll find a highly-organized person engaged. Instead, they use technology to their advantage and not as a distraction or energy drain. They designate specific times during their work hours to return voice, text, and email messages – thus never entangling work’s responsibilities with technology-free family time. Embracing technology as a tool instead of a distraction enables the highly-organized person to get more done in less time.
Habit #8: They don’t put off for tomorrow what can be done today.
If it’s a choice between watching a movie they’ve already seen and watching the night sky’s star-filled show, they’ll pick the latter. If it’s a choice between a Sunday afternoon picnic at the park with their family and friends or cranking their elbow at the local watering hole for happy hour, they’ll choose the former. As a result, they rarely – if ever – experience stress, anxiety, or procrastination. They always get done what they planned to get today, and often get a head start on tomorrow’s goals.
Habit #9: They are proactive problem-solvers.
As much as highly-organized people live in the moment and are wholeheartedly present wherever they are, they also are in the habit of being proactive and thinking ahead to avoid or deter potential problems. Highly-organized people have an umbrella handy, available credit on their plastic, and a full tank of gas. They’re the ones with sunscreen, extra water bottles, Kleenex, and hand sanitizer. They’re the ones you’ll want to call if you miss a college class or can’t remember next week’s course assignment. It’s not that they’re compulsive; it’s that they’re thoughtful (and organized). They bring to the party what no one else thought of and what everyone else is so grateful for.
Habits don’t discriminate; anyone can have good habits or bad habits. Highly-organized people are not born that way. Instead, they’ve become that way as a result of choosing highly-effective habits. Which habits are you choosing?
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Next, we’ll cover “Rethink Your Morning Routine”. Until next time, explore our online degree programs ~ all specifically designed for the busy lifestyles of adults.