My life is pretty organized, whether it’s baskets around the house and bathrooms, color-coding spines for my personal bookshelf at home, my career as a librarian where it’s foundation is built from a system of organizing, and of course, my work space. While the office itself is a shared office with my colleague and the larger area is shared with the high school’s resident “tech guy”, my desk is generally a series of folders stacked and labeled. There’s my every day notebook. My agenda. And close to all this, Post-its too.
Every endeavor I undertake is given a folder and when that one wears out another one takes its place. Along the top and side I write the “what” of the endeavor and in goes the material. For many years, this has been my main organizational tool and the notebooks are a necessity. Each conversation that spawns an idea, every question that needs an answer, and every request needing an action is written down and then every handful of pages you’ll see my lists. These are the to-do items that get scratched off or if not completed, moved to the next list a handful of pages after that.
As with my every day tasks, presentations I do start in much the same way. There’s a mental organization and some research then it’s a series of drafts moving toward an outline. And by the fifteenth iteration and the final set of slides, I know the content so well that my notes could be viewed as excessive.
But that’s just me… and Martha Stewart.
So what’s the a lady to do if she’s a list maker? Provide a short list of organizational tips
- Pen and paper, always
- Make to-do lists action-oriented
- Refine and revise your lists as needed. It’s okay to remove something from the list if it keeps re-appearing but not getting done- likely it wasn’t that important to start with
- Set aside time to delete email, pins, documents, and more. Keeping these “spaces” clear keeps you more focused