As the time for New Year’s resolutions comes and goes again, one concept that will appear on various lists in differing forms is the desire to ‘get organised’.

The odd thing about this is that it is something that everyone from the highest CEO to the lowliest team member will often feel they need to do. It doesn’t matter how well or badly your life is going, it will always help to be efficient in the way that you work.

Get organised

Perhaps for one person this means spending more time with their children, while another is worried about their lack of career progression and another is frustrated by not achieving creative goals outside of work. Either way, the feeling of not moving forward due to what seems like your own inability to concentrate is truly frustrating.

Of course, everyone is capable of getting more organised. Perhaps there are some clever Joes out there that just need a Filofax and a biro to do so, but in this always-on, non-stop age there are many that just get overwhelmed by it all and maybe assume they are just a disorganised person. Be that as it may, there are a million ways of making your life more structured; below are just five…

Five steps for getting more organised

#1 Diary/apps: If you don’t have a diary or an equivalent app that allows you to plan your week/month/year, then this is very much a fundamental step. If something is not written down then it is so easy to forget and thus let it fall through the gaps – for instance, think if ten New Year’s resolutions but do not write them down, then try to recap them a couple of days later. At least one will disappear from your brain!

#2 Limit your goals – Not as negative as it sounds. Essentially, don’t chase after too many things at once, otherwise you are not giving enough time to any. Some schools of thought suggest having only three goals at any one time. This can be transposed to more niche areas too; so, for example, if you are chasing more than three different types of jobs you are probably spreading yourself fairly thin.

#3 Analyse your day and spot opportunities for improvement – If you need to be more productive, then look for times during the day when you can get things done. Vital phonecalls can be done on lunch breaks at work, reading work-related research may be happily digested on your commute and the growing popularity of podcasts means that you can learn even while driving or walking.

#4 Don’t do it all alone – It is very easy to get twitched about not achieving a goal if you doing it alone, so make sure you talk to someone about it. Furthermore, if you need professional advice then seek it straight away while the inspiration is there – don’t wait until you feel more ‘ready’. Strike while the iron is hot!

#5 Play the long game – You will not go from being useless to all-conquering in one month, so plan your goals to be realistic and achievable. You want to give yourself milestones to reach so that you can look back at what you are achieving, but accept that getting organised is a lifelong battle to get things done…