Think Tank Thursday: Are You Organized?

Nashville, Tennessee-based Southwestern Consulting is a sales coaching, speaking and consulting firm that operates throughout the U.S. and Canada and in Eastern Europe. Writing for her company’s blog, founding partner Amanda Johns (AJ) Vaden says that following a few basic principles each day will help you learn to be more organized, which is something we should all aspire to be.

“Due to a recent study we completed, 91 percent of all respondents ranked working with someone they deem as ‘organized’ is important. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself when I say, ‘I totally agree.’ Maybe it’s my A-type personality but I fully expect someone I work with to be organized, thorough and follow through on expected deadlines.

When we first posed the question, we wanted to see if this preference or expectation was gender specific but the results show that no, it’s not. The majority of all survey participants want to work with someone who is organized. So what does that mean for you if you are not one of those ‘organized’ people?

Here are five simple keys to getting organized:

Step 1: Create and maintain a schedule. I use my Outlook calendar as well as a paper calendar … just in case. If you think you may forget, put it in your calendar. Schedule everything!

Step 2: Have a daily routine. Do the same tasks at the same time of the day—this creates a habitual pattern which creates mental memory muscles that helps you remember to do certain things. It’s amazing how quickly you can get into a work pattern.

Step 3: Part of having a good daily work routine also means time blocking your schedule so you can maximize your efficiency on certain tasks. In other words, decide upfront when you are going to do your most significant tasks. Do those things first every day.  Block off times in your schedule every day that allow you to have total focus on doing one thing at a time.

Step 4: Don’t multitask. This is not always a strength, in fact, many times it’s the  No. 1 reason we forget to do things or do them at a average level of performance. Be amazing at one task at a time instead of being just ‘goo’” at several.

Step 5: If being organized is not your strong suit, you may want to consider hiring someone to help you. The cost of being unorganized is much greater than the cost of getting a little help.”

Southwestern Consulting, with its U.S. headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, offers sales and leadership coaching, corporate sales consulting and keynote speakers.