6 Ways to Stay Organized as a Leader


Last week I received my new Passion Planner and it helped me realize how much more organized I am with it.  I use Outlook constantly at work to know what’s going on and when things to be completed regarding tasks.  The only bad thing is that I can’t take Outlook with me when I leave my desk since we’re not allowed to sync it with our personal phones.  It’s okay, not a big deal, but my new planner has helped me check things out when I’m not at my computer since I can carry it with me.  Being organized is necessary to balance projects, tasks, time, and resources.  For a leader, being organized is a basic fundamental element to being a leader.  You can’t get things done in chaos.  You have to be organized.  An organized leader shows confidence, great management, increases productivity, helps balance and to include being organized reduces stress, saves time, money and resources.  Here a few tips to staying organized as a leader.  Don’t forget, there are many ways to stay organized.  This is just a few.  What are your ways of staying organized?  Please share. 

Create lists.  Lists will help you prioritize what needs to be done now and what can be done later.  Plain and simple.  As the first of the year began I wrote almost two pages of single bullet entries of tasks to complete through the week.  It took me two full weeks to complete it, but everything that needed to be done accordingly was done since I was able to visually see what needed to be done. I often categorize my lists depending on what needs to be done.  If it’s a few Calendar changes, an Additional Duty task, or even a personal task.  I make sure I can break them down so I know how to prioritize them.  Using a smartphone may help as well.  I’m old school.  I like to write things down.  Either way, list it!

Timelines. If you’re ever on a timeline to get projects done then creating a simple timeline will help.  Use this in line with your list so that you can accomplish what needs to be done.  Even if you draw out a straight line on a paper and put points between that moment and your deadline you’ll be able to see what you need to do in order as the deadline comes near.  Or use your calendar, of course.  

Take notes. Countless times I’ve had someone come into my office and ask about a specific task.  I’d lose track if I wasn’t able to take notes.  My mind just doesn’t remember every detail throughout the week.  Taking notes is a great way to ensure you have the details you need to get things done.  This also helps when creating lists of things to complete.  I don’t leave my desk without my Field Notes.  I always have one on me just in case I need to write something important down.

Teamwork. Throughout the day I ask my subordinate what he’s working on.  At times he’s not working on anything and that’s when I can leverage his abilities.  If he is busy, I will ask if it can wait or if I can help so that we both can get it done faster.   When we do things together we accomplish more and in a quicker amount of time.  If you’re a team, be a team.  It helps reach our goals.

Values.  Every leader must live by a set of values that move them and their team along.  To be organized means you can’t be unproductive.  One way to know for sure you stay productive is to perform by values.  Excellence is a value/standard that doesn’t have room for laziness or procrastination.  Values guide your performance and can keep you organized.  Ensure you have a set of values that help your life be easier, productive and organized.  

Clean up.  Get rid of things that shroud, clutter or hinder your organization.  No one can work well when things are messy.  Keep a neat and distraction free area.  Use desk organizers to keep documents in order, pens/pencils in a cup/or similar, keep sticky notes, notepads in one place, etc.  Be neat.  A well organized desk often shows how well the person is organized.  No one wants a disorganized team member or leader.  Clean your area for optimal performance. 

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