Organize Yourself in 2015–Make Organization Itself One of Your Goals


In the ninth chapter of his book on preventing procrastination with the whimsical title “Eat That Frog!”, Brian Tracy says that after you list your goals for the year (a process I outline in the first post in this series I did on 1/1/2015), you need to “prepare thoroughly before you begin.”

1.  Gets Resources Ready Before You Start

As a project manager, I know that after the project plan has been created, I have to make sure that the resources are there in order to get the job done.    That will mean resources in terms of the raw materials and components to assembly the product, if you are in working on a manufacturing project.   And, of course, it means the people to do the job.

Let’s consider each of your goals as a project, with yourself as the project manager.   The main person doing the tasks will be yourself, unless you choose to delegate a certain task to someone else.   Your resources will be the time it takes to do the task, and anything you need to get it done (a computer, etc.).

The important point from Brian Tracy’s standpoint is that you don’t want to schedule a task for 9 AM, to have 9 AM come around and then for you to say, “okay, let’s get my resources lined up.”   They should be lined up beforehand.

2.  Get the Plan for Each Day Done the Night Before

This brings me to a suggestion for doing the planning for each time period–it should be done at the end of the previous time period.   So planning for tomorrow will be done the last thing tonight, rather than the first thing tomorrow morning.

The reason for that is at both practical and imaginative.    The practical reason is that you will get up the first thing and do rather than plan.    Second of all, if you do the plan the night before, your mind will have a chance to process the plan during your sleep, and you may wake up remembering something you forgot to put in the plan, or realizing that something has a lot higher priority than you gave it the night before.    This is the real reason why I try to do the plan the night before.    Not only do I have a virtuous night sleep knowing that the plan for the next day is done, but I also know that my unconscious mind will help my conscious mind out by prompting me the following day if there’s something my conscious mind left out.

3.  Make Organization Itself One of Your Goals

Creating an organizational system that works is so important to me that I include “Organization” itself as one of the 12 areas I have goals in.    The goals I have for the Organization category are in the “production” and “production capacity” areas, meaning that there are some things I do as a practice as far as organization is concerned, and there are some things that I do to study the theory of organization.  Two books I can recommend you start with are Goals by Brian Tracy or Getting Things Done by David Allen.   In fact, the posts I’m doing for the first few weeks of the year are riffs on the chapters of these books, with special tweaks that I have made that I have found helpful.

You should be reading one of these books on a regular basis, even if it is just a promise to read one chapter a week and to do the exercises that come at the end of each chapter.    After I complete the posts based on the Goals book by Brian Tracy, I will outline David Allen’s method.

So if you want to know how to get organized, the answer is the same as the one in the perennial vaudeville joke, where a guy who looks lost asks a native New Yorker, “how do you get to Carnegie Hall?”, and the other guy answers back, “practice, practice, practice …”

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