Are you a fire-fighter?. Many clever confident people are held back in the main by a single weakness. They are totally disorganised. This can lead to procrastination, fire-fighting and eventually total failure.
Diagnosis is the first step to recovery. If you can recognise this weakness in yourself, you can take steps to eliminate this disadvantage. If you are disorganised you are at a disadvantage. Look at all of the most successful people in the world. They are all well organised. If they have a difficulty in this area, they employ a personal secretary to organise things for them.
Assuming that you are not in a position to employ an organiser we will have a look at some improvements that you can make.
1. Prioritise. The first thing to do is to look at the work that you have on your desk (or garden, shop, workplace etc.) and decide what must be done first. Decide what you must do immediately or pay the consequences, e.g. pay your suppliers. Then decide what should be done as soon as possible. Then what should be done if you can. Then what it would be nice to do if you can. Then dump the rest. Do not have it cluttering up your desk getting the way of important work.
2. Set deadlines. It is of no use at all setting deadlines and not paying the least bit of attention to them. You must stick to you guns and meet your deadlines no matter what happens. Deadlines prevent fire-fighting. Fire-fighting is when you have left everything too late and are franticly running around, trying to do things that should have been done weeks ago, to prevent certain disaster. Set achievable and realistic deadlines and do not be distracted from them unless something that absolutely must be done immediately comes up and must be slotted into your list.
3. Do not procrastinate. If you find that you have finished a task early start the next one immediately. Do not decide that you have made yourself a bit of free time and put it off until tomorrow just because it was on your, “should be done list” list and not your, “must be done immediately” list.
4. Meetings. If meetings are part of your usual routine that is ok. However, you must make the most of these meetings. Be prepared. Plan what you want to achieve at the meeting and make some phone calls to gauge the support you will get for the idea, and then adapt your approach accordingly. Meeting have a habit of becoming a place for fathers/mothers to talk about their children, sailors to talk about their boats and golfers to talk about golf. In fact, people so often spend too much of the time allotted for the meeting, talking about anything but business. If you are in a position to do something about this try to keep the chitchat to a minimum.
If you do not need to attend a meeting then do something more productive with your time; like driving your way down through you new list of priorities. You will very likely get a memo about the business of the meeting anyway. So unless it is necessary to attend, DON’T.
5. Delegate. If you have people working under you then delegate some tasks to them. People in authority tend to take on more than they should; especially when they view a task as being important. They think, “I better do that report for the vice-president myself,” or something similar. Show some faith in the people who work under you. It will do you both some good. Besides, you do not want to be in the office doing that report when all your staff are out playing golf and the vice-president is wondering why you need to spend so much time getting your work done.
Not everyone can be totally organised. Nevertheless, if you follow these guidelines you will go a long way towards improving your quality of life and work. These guidelines apply to any business whether you are a webmaster and internet guru or just at the bottom of the ladder in a large organisation.