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  • Goldie Hartford

Getting and staying organized – strategies from experience - Part 2

More around becoming the conductor of that runaway train taking over our lives.......

  1. Meetings (minutes or attend) find out why you need to be there?

    • When getting invites to meetings ask the requestor what is required from you for this meeting. It really does give people reason to pause and think about who they’re inviting to what and why. If your being invited as info sharing or FYI etc. ask for minutes to be taken and decline the meeting. Review the minutes when distributed and if there does end up being a question or action for you add it to your action item list and move along. Why spent 45 – 60 minutes in a meeting when you may or may not need to and when it can be dealt with by reading minutes.

    • This is also good advice for yourself when creating your own meeting. 😊

  1. Tracking & scheduling your action items

    • There are many tools available to use for what I’m about to describe, some include OneNote, Evernote, Excel etc. use what works best for you.

    • In what ever tool you choose, create a table and have columns for Priority, Task Description, Time estimate, Deadline and status.

    • Always keep this document open; when there is an action item for you add it to this document and assign it the priority, due date and time estimate.

    • At the end or beginning of each day review this list and decide on what it is you must get done and schedule it into your day.

    • The key here is that anything and everything gets listed here, not on sticky notes or in notebooks etc. where it may get lost. It’s in one location, ready to use at any point and provides a high-level overview of what you must get done. The daily review allows you to balance your work with your calendar and to schedule time to complete these items.

    • REMINDER: don’t forget to schedule time to address your emails in Category 1,2,3 😊


  1. Utilize laser focus

    • This means that you dedicate a specific amount of time to one task. It can be 30 min or 45 min or 60 min; I don’t recommend more than 60 min without a micro break.

    • In this specific timeframe you only focus on the one task you dedicated the time block to – no matter what (ok, maybe if there is a fire drill you make an exception). But you get the idea; It’s laser focusing on one item at a time.

    • If you find that everything you have tried doesn’t really suit you or work for you, then I highly recommend doing a time audit. I won’t get into the details here; you can google time audit and find plenty on what this is about. What a time audit does is it helps you really zero in on where you are spending (or wasting) time and give you the ability to create or adjust your process.

  2. White space

One final note, staying organized is an on-going process that requires attention. What works now may not in a year from now or if some type a change takes place. Continuously reflect, review and revise as you navigate this busy world we live in.


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