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Organize Your Daily Life (part 2)

How to Organize Your Day...
How to Organize Your Life...

This is the second part on how to organize your life as part of creating wealth habits. Read the first part here.

Key components you can use to organize your daily life:

Inbox (physical and email)

Perhaps the most important part of the entire system. I use it as the door where everything comes into my life. Whether it be bills, correspondence, or a note I write to myself to do something, I make sure I put it all in my inbox. That way I know all is in one place. I then review that inbox almost daily and tackle the stuff in it in one of four ways:

organize your daily life inbox

  • Action – something that requires an action on my part. I then transfer it to my task list and/or calendar (see below).
  • Delete/Trash – I don’t need it, want it or I’ve done it already
  • Read/Review – something I want to review, at some point, but doesn’t have to be now and I don’t want to toss it either.
  • Reference – something that I want to keep because it might be useful in the future. I then have a system to file these things (see below) or else I won’t be able to find them when I need them or will become a pile in my desk.

IMPORTANT: an inbox is not storage, if it’s full it means you have stuff in there you have not dealt with and that defeats the purpose of the inbox! how to organize your life

Calendar

Used to track things that occur at a certain time and/or date. Not used to track things to do unless it is an appointment you make with yourself (i.e. Wednesday at 3pm, work on business plan). Your calendar can be on paper, computer, PDA, whatever… The important thing is you use it everyday to organize your daily life and can take it with you.

Master Task List

This is not a “To Do” list. This is where everything I have/want to do is located and I mean everything (mine currently sits at 218 tasks!) and includes both personal and work tasks. Why? Because there is only one you, there is no such thing as the you at work and the you at home. For this to work you have to collect and be aware of all going on in your life. That is how you can truly separate the important from the mundane.

My master task list also includes my projects (those things that require multiple actions to achieve). A project for me is a rehab on a house., this website, any of the multiple projects I handle at my job, etc. From this list you pick what you are going to work on this month/week/day based on priority, due date, where you are at that day or time available.

I group my tasks into categories: To do at the office, To do at home, Rehab project #1, Website work, etc. Pick categories that make sense to you and can help you organize your daily life and obligations.

How to Organize Files

To organize files I have alphabetical folders in a file cabinet to organize all the reference stuff I mentioned above.

To organize bills and any other paperwork that I need to keep handy but not necessarily need right now I use a tickler file(see sidebar). This works great and I never miss a bill or have to scramble to find those papers I need for that meeting, or the sign-up sheet I have to take to kids soccer practice, etc.

Create a tickler file to organize files – organize bills: Take 12 folders and label them January through December. Take another 31 folders and label 1 – 31 for the days of the month. You will place the piece of paper in the folder corresponding to the date you need it. So if you have the water bill due on the 5th and some notes you need for a meeting on the 8th you would put the water bill on the folder for the 2d (give you a few days if you are mailing it) and the meeting notes on the folder for the 8th. That way on the 2d, when you check the folder for that day you would find the water bill and on the 8th you would find the notes for the meeting you have that day.

Every day you check the folder for that day, move the papers in it to your inbox to be acted on, and then place the folder behind the folder for the next month.

A tickler file is very powerful and can be used for to-do lists, pending bills, unpaid invoices, travel tickets, hotel reservations, meeting information, birthday reminders, coupons, claim tickets, call-back notes, follow-up reminders, maintenance reminders, or any other papers that require future action.

You can keep one at home and one at the office. However, it only works if you check it every day. Also, be careful you don’t put something in the wrong day (like a pending bill) or else you will miss it on the day you need it (been there, done that Smileys ).

How to Organize Your Day - Frequent Reviewing

This is what keeps it all together and allows you to not only organize your daily life but allows you to plan what you need to do to achieve your goals.

Weekly review: Gives you a high level view of everything going on in your life. This includes processing your inboxes (physical and email) to collect, delete, assign, file any new stuff coming in. Reviewing your task list to prioritize, delete, modify, and pick what you will work on that month/week. Scanning your calendar to prepare for appointments coming up.

Daily planning: In order to organize your daily life, every day starts with you reviewing your calendar and task list so you can pick what you will work on today and see what commitments you have. This way you choose what to work on today instead of it being handed to you.

If you want to organize your daily life in a way that not only makes you productive but also makes you effective consider using these suggestions on how to organize your life. They can help you achieve your wealth goals and take control of what matters.

If you have more tips you use to organize your daily life by all means do so by adding it in the comments section or in the comments box below.

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