Tips to be more organized in a connected world
Is ‘being more efficient’ on your list of resolutions for the year? Being organised can save you valuable time and free you up to do more of the things you love. Good organisational skills are empowering, and help you to stay on top of things. Virtual assistant Chantal Wendel shares some tips to help you achieve this goal.
Be the master of your email
So much communication is done via email these days. Some of this communication is important, some not. It is up to you to prioritise. You don’t have to respond to every email as it comes in! It is also important not to get distracted by ongoing emails.
The first step to getting your emails sorted is to treat your inbox as a to-do list. Ideally your inbox should only contain emails that represent a task for you to complete. This will transform your inbox from overwhelm to overview.
- If you’ve replied to an email, delete it or file in a subfolder. Label subfolders in a way that makes sense to you.
- When an email is an FYI (for information purposes) only, delete or file.
- Should the email need your action in the future, file it. Then make a note in your agenda on the day that you need to take the action. Add the email to the note in your agenda so you know exactly – and immediately – what you need to do.
- To be the ninja-master of organized, make sure your ‘sent items’ folder contains only emails that need a follow-up. Now you have a clear list of items which are on somebody else’s to-do list for now, and for which you still need a reply to be able to continue your projects.
- Find plenty more tips like this here.
Filter your information
You find a website or page with interesting information, you sign up for their newsletter, you follow them on Twitter or Facebook, or both. And now you receive so many newsletters, and follow so many accounts, that you have no time to read them! Sound familiar?
Be critical about which newsletters you receive and which accounts you follow on social media.
- Next time you receive a newsletter that you immediately want to delete without reading for lack of time or interest, press ‘unsubscribe’. (P.S. We hope you still enjoy your Expat Nest newsletter! We love having you here and strive to bring you valuable content.)
- Next time you scroll through your social media timelines and are annoyed by accounts that you never read or enjoy, unfollow them!
- At the very least, make sure you see their news via one channel only – not all their social media platforms.
- If you worry that you may lose track of them by unsubscribing or unfollowing, just bookmark their homepage on your internet browser. When you decide to spend some time seeing what they’re up to, you can find it via your reading list at your own convenience.
If you have the budget, consider which things take too much time – and bring you no joy – and then outsource them. For example, you could hire somebody to clean or maintain your house or garden, or to do your administration. Many supermarkets offer home delivery. If you need more time in your business, you can work with a virtual assistant for tasks you cannot get off your to-do-list.
Sometimes your time and energy are worth more than the cost of outsourcing. This will make a huge difference in the way you experience (free) time available to you!
Your time is precious
It may take a small investment of your time to set up systems that support you to be more organised, but the effort will be worth it! And remember: being organised is about prioritising what’s important to you…
What steps have you taken to get more organised? Which have radically changed your life? At Expat Nest we love to learn from each other – just leave a comment below.
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