Organize For Success

We all know the expression, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This is especially true in the digital age of the work environment. Come up with a plan and organize your schedule around that plan.

Douglas C. Merrill has 11 principles of organization we want to share: 1 ) Organize your life to minimize brain strain.
2 ) Get stuff out of your head as quickly as possible.
3 ) Multitasking can actually make you less efficient.
4 ) Use stories to remember
5 ) Just because something’s been done a certain way doesn’t mean it should be.
6 )Knowledge is not power. The sharing of knowledge is power.
7 ) Organize around actual constraints, not assumed ones.
8 ) Be completely honest, but never judgmental of yourself.
9 ) Know when to ignore your constraints.
10 ) Know exactly where you’re going and how you’ll get there, before you start your engine. 11 ) Be flexible about how you achieve your goals.

For principles one and two, use to-do lists and Calendars (Google, iCal or paper calendars) to minimize the effort put on your brain. You will find yourself less stressed about “what was I supposed to do?” and more focused on the task at hand.

The third principle regarding multitasking is a judgement call. Try to objectively look at yourself and the work you are multitasking. If splitting them up saves more time, well… Time management is another reason why we organize. Time is the most precious resource we have, so use it wisely.

Using stories is a great way to sell your product or service. It also eliminates some brain strain for your potential customer to remember you by. Use principle four to help you organize your work life as well. According to Merrill, “you can embed the information in a story in a way that will make it easier to recall later”. This will help when you’re stranded without your BlackBerry, Android or iPhone and need information asap.

Number five on the list could have a 200 page anecdote attached to it. Merrill gives the example about paper day planners having worked for years, but now there has been a technological shift that makes this form of organizing nearly obsolete. Why let the possibility of losing your paper day planner cause you a lot of trouble, when you can have your portable digital day planner synced to multiple computers or even synced in the “cloud”.

Knowledge is not power. The sharing of knowledge is power, sits at number six on Merrill’s principle list. Definitely debatable, but Merrill’s thinking here is you’re less stressed “when you share knowledge rather than hoard it”. He states “two people collectively know more than one; three know more than two” and so on. “Delegate what you’re not good at to others and trust them to do their jobs.” The flip side is when you’ve isolated yourself with no help and no technology to assist you and there is only the man/woman in the mirror to staring at you.

The seventh principle is to organize around actual constraints, not assumed ones. For example, if you are confined to a wheel chair, that is no excuse to not succeed at your business, be a world class chess player or become the best at whatever you are actually capable of. However, you can’t organize your life around competing at the triple jump in the Olympics either. We all live with certain physical disabilities that limit what we can achieve in life. Do not create more obstacles to stand in your way. Organize around actual constraints, not assumed ones.

“When we’re not honest with ourselves, we complicate our lives”. Merrill’s eighth principle to be completely honest, but never judgmental of yourself resonates for people who want to be

introspectively honest without beating themselves up over it. Logical Mix advises to assess your situation and fix your situation, without stressing out about it.

Know when to ignore your constraints is ninth on the list. The tenth principle is to know exactly where you’re going and how you’ll get there, before you start your engine. We’ll leave this up to your soul searching abilities.

Putting yourself in ‘must do it this way’ box, may not help you achieve success as a company. That is why Merrill’s final principle on the list is to be flexible about how you achieve your goals. Merrill closes with words of wisdom about organizing and planning: “Be clear that you want to get from point A to point B. But also recognize there are a number of different routes you can take to get there”.

A lot of the ideas in this marketing tip came from Douglas C. Merrill’s Getting Organized in the

Google Era written this year. Logical Mix highly recommends this book for those looking to organize their lives in our new digital age. You can always contact Logical Mix for any positive internet exposure advice and any extra organizational tips you may need.

Logging out, Logical Mix

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