Organization system or Productivity systems sound super dorky, but they can be the backbone of your life. Your systems dictate your efficiency and even your mood. Before we can get into what, why and how of the organization / productivity systems, let me give you some background about how it started for me.
I was never an organized person. In fact, I was a very messy, careless, forgetful and unorganized person until my middle school. After starting high school, the pressure to get good grades started making me uncomfortable. I knew I couldn’t get much done unless I had a proper system for it. 10 years ago, as a highschool girl, I started using basic organization systems to create my study schedules and to manage my homework and assignments. Ever since I have been a fantic organization system setter. In this blog post, I am sharing the What, Why and How of these productivity / organization systems.
What is an Organization System –
An organization system is a combination of tools and planners that helps you manage your time, tasks and projects so as to improve your working efficiency.
This was hella theoretical, I know! But essentially, an organization system is using some tools to efficiently manage these 3 areas –
- Project Management – Projects are anything that include more than 1 task to complete. It can be work related, personal, environmental or social.
- Time Management – Taking control of your time in a way that makes optimum use of it and makes you feel more energetic, focused and intentional.
- Task Management – Prioritizing, categorizing and tracking your tasks so that you know what needs to be done when and how.
Once you have seamless workflows and systems to take care of your projects, time and tasks, you will get 100 times more productive. This article explains how to use different tools and concepts to implement an organization system.
Why do you need an Organization System?
If you have never created or implemented an organization system before, then you may not be convinced with its utility. I get it if you feel skeptical about the whole concept. And I understand if you want a good reasoning or a logical explanation before you can start out to build your own system.
There are so many benefits to using a productivity system, but I am going to mention the top 3 in this blog post. If you are sitting out there making a pro-con list, then these 3 factors will definitely make the home-run.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the amount of work that you need to get done. Even when there isn’t much work, you may feel overwhelmed by the thought of not knowing where to start, which task to take-up first. You may have projects lined up, making you feel unsure about how to go about starting and completing them.
This happens to the best of us if we do not have an organization system in place. With a good productivity system, you will be able to manage your time, complete your projects and prioritize your tasks – all while maintaining your sanity.
If you are not overworked or you have a good rhythm on your tasks with your basic to-do list, then you may feel like you do not need a productivity system. But here is the thing – if you have a system, you may get your tasks done way quicker and with less energy consumption. You may free up some time to take on more work or to just relax.
Systems help you improve your efficiency, which actually is your productivity and that can be game-changing in your personal or professional growth in the long term.
Focus your energy in the right places
This one is my personal favourite. If you have been a part of Mystigal community, you know that I am trying to live intentionally. A big part of intentional living is to manage your energy in a way that is aligned with your intentions. Having a productivity system can help you prioritize, delegate and eliminate tasks so that you are focusing on the things that matter, things that keep you moving forward.
Even if you are not into intentional living, focusing your energy in the important things can be vital to your growth. David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done, says –
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”– David Allen
This concept changed my productivity routines and systems forever. I make sure that my systems and tools do all the managing work so that my brain remains stress free to create great things.
How to create an optimal Productivity System?
Before I tell you how to create your organization system, there are 2 basic things that you need to understand. These 2 rules will be the corner-stones of your system building process.
- It will be different for people with different personalities and work environments
- Experiment – do some trial and error (at least for a month) before you accept or reject any tool or technique
An organization system is created by having different concepts, tools and techniques to be used and followed in each of the 3 fundamental areas. You will have a strategy for each of these areas and use appropriate tools to implement it.
Time management –
Managing your time in a way that you get the work done while having time to relax and de-stress. There are different time management techniques that are used by people. You need to find something that suits you. Remember – not all techniques suit everyone.
For someone who works well with systematic time management, a good system will look like ->
Technique – Time Blocking
Tool – Google Calendar
How to implement it?
- Time block all working days with necessary tasks
- Have buffer time of at least 2 hours everyday
- Have some time blocked for relaxation
This may not work for everyone. Some people are not good with time blocking. Creative people find it hard to schedule their creativity. They may set deadlines for every task and go with the flow.
Find a way to manage your time. Have your own set of rules and tools to implement it. No way is the wrong way!
Task management –
Do you have a to-do list that is super long and overwhelming? You will always have small and big tasks ahead of you every single day. How you tackle them and take action will affect your productivity. There are multiple task-management techniques such as batchworking, using the eisenhower matrix, the GTD methodology, etc. Try to implement the ones that appeal to you the most and refine them according to your needs.
Technique – Batchworking
Tool – Trello
How to implement it?
- Themed days (Home management day, content creation day, socializing day, designing day, etc)
- Reply to all the emails twice a week only – tuesdays and fridays
- Categorize all tasks based on where they are performed (computer, home, outside)
This system may not work for you if you work at a job where your tasks have less time flexibility. You may want to use the eisenhower matrix in that case. Study different task management systems and see what fits your lifestyle.
Project Management –
The last one is the project management area. You will have to deal with projects in every area of life. For example, you may have a project to deep clean your house, make a financial plan, design a website, plan a trip, etc. How you handle such projects is essential to their success and completion. If you do not have a system, you will not know where to start, how much work is left and when will you complete it.
The internet is filled with multiple project management techniques. You can browse through multiple articles, books or videos to find something you like. The same system may not work for each project, but you can have one or two techniques up your sleeve to see what fits.
Technique – Using Gantt Chart
Tool – Notion
How to implement it?
- Brain-dump all the things you have to do for that project
- Make a list of all the tasks in sequential manner
- Assign start and end dates to all the tasks in a way that it is achievable but efficient
- Check off each task as you go
In similar ways, create your systems where you mention the technique you will be using, the tool and some ground rules for it. Start somewhere and you will evolve as you go.
GTD is a great productivity / organization system that includes all the areas – time, tasks and projects. If you are looking for a tool to implement the GTD system, take a look at my GTD printable planner or my GTD digital planner to make your work easier.