Once you feel you are relatively organized you probably want to know how to stay that way.
Knowing how to get organized is a change process.
You set up systems that take you from one state – ‘disorganized’, to another – ‘organized’.
Staying organized is all about maintaining easy-to-do habits.
If you habitually put your keys in the same place every time you come home, you’ll know where they are. Next time you need them, you can locate them
Learning how to stay organized means you can have, be or do things easily. You apply minimum thought and time to achieve the results you want.
Sure, it takes some setting up if you haven't got a place for something - and that's a crucial part of the process - but it's equally important to make it easy enough to do.
Use your systems.
Got a good thing going with your current paperwork filng? Do you always know where your cell phone is?
Whatever system or habit you built, use it. Stick to it, tweak it if you want, and return to it when you slip up.
Trust your systems - they'll save you huge amounts of time.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the late, great Stephen Covey proposed the ‘P/PC’ balance. It refers to Production and Production Capability.
Take care of your production capability (your systems and habits), and you’ll produce consistently good results.
Habits slip unless they're maintained. Once you’re organized, support your awareness of them to ensure you keep up the good work.
Visual reminders are effective. Sharing your success with others is even better.
At the time of writing I play in a band. We have a system – meet and practice every Monday evening.
We do this to ensure a good balance between our 'production capability' (practices), and our 'production' (gigs).
We support our awareness by writing it in our diaries. We tell others via our website and marketing.
Some weeks, our system goes down and we don’t meet up. But, sooner or later, we always return to our Monday night ‘production meetings'.
If Mondays ultimately proved to be too inconvenient for everyone we could always 'tweak' it and meet on another day.
- - -
Think about the systems you're currently using to help you stay organized. What works, what could be better, and what could you start?
* * *