Small rituals that pay off big time

If you are working at a frantic pace, barely keeping ahead of deadlines and expectations, it can be hard to make the time to get organised.

But finding time to put some small organisational rituals in place will pay you back with breathing space and a sense of control.

Here are my tips for a more zen you:

  • Spend time on a Sunday afternoon (just 20 minutes) planning out your following week. It can work wonders for your frame of mind when you wake up Monday morning. If this is not an option, do it on a Friday afternoon, when you are finding it hard to focus.
  • Forward planning helps you assess how big your week is going to be and helps you prioritise
  • Come in early on a Monday morning to avoid the weekend re-hash chatter from your colleagues.
  • Set achievable goals. Sometimes you cannot get everything done in the week so accept that and work out contingencies, re-set expectations
  • Plan time for the unexpected – you need to expect it.
  • Bite the head off your most urgent task – do it first.
  • Plan six weeks in advance, then work backwards to set deadlines to meet those goals.
  • Clean out your inbox of FYI’s and other clutter – do not be afraid to press delete. Then file what’s left into folders.
  • Don’t be distracted by incoming emails. Turn off preview and schedule four times a day to read and respond to emails.
  • Schedule breaks during the day. Don’t underestimate the power of a break for clearing the mind and helping focus.
  • Go through your emails first thing in the morning, responding and, if required, adding tasks to your day.
  • Don’t wait for an email response to move a task forward – pick up the phone if the matter is urgent.
  • Spend five minutes of an evening before you leave, clearing the clutter on your desk. You will love yourself for it the next morning.
  • Have a long-term goal and add something to your To Do list every day (or week) that takes you closer to the goal.