The Power of Organization – Simplicity at its Best

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How Organized are you?

Tax season is fast approaching. Some of you are starting to sweat the idea of finding all those individual business receipts you so eloquently stored in the filling cabinet in your home office. Wait, you mean you don’t keep all your expenses on an excel spreadsheet? You don’t use Quicken for business? First of all, this isn’t an article on how to prep for doing your taxes (that’s another day), but you can see how having a system in place can greatly enhance whatever chore that needs to be tackled.  Above all, there is so much truth in the power of organization. I’m going to teach you organization skills that will hopefully change your life for the better.

Doesn’t this look organized?

Most people classify themselves as either being a naturally organized person, or not organized at all. Many will say there is organization within their chaos. The proudly organized people claim to be Type A, and the polar opposites, a Type Z (which does not exist).  Which leads me to ask, how would you classify yourself?

Getting started

The first step in learning organizational skills is to be honest with yourself. There are many different areas of organization we could tackle (and will in the future), but today, let’s just focus on TODAY. I once heard Les Brown say (motivational speaker) “people don’t plan to fail; they just fail to plan!” So how do you plan your day?

Most of us do OK with our smart phone calendar, a paper wall calendar, leaving notes to ourselves, or asking Alexa®, Echo®, or Siri® to remind us of things or to add to our lists. Some of us just depend on family members as our backups. However, some people may need extra visual cues to help them remain focused or motivated. This is why I teach the color system.

The Power of Colors

Some professionals are familiar with the Franklin Planner® and various systems they have for coding order of importance to keep you on track. That system ended up being very productive for many people, but for me, it felt like more work to stay on top. I’m not dissing that company or their system, it is fantastic for those who use it and love it. It just wasn’t my bag. On a whim one day, I naturally started color coding my monthly budget. I never intended on doing it. What I learned was, I felt more engaged with the budgeting system and ended up referring to it consistently. I’ll share more about this organization system in the near future.

Meanwhile, I’ve learned to use the color system for keeping track of my daily events. This is not a research evidenced based system, I’ve only used this system myself and it has worked so well, I decided to share it with all of you.

How it Works

Compared to other organizational daily planner systems, this one is really quite simple. First, I use the basic primary colors of red, yellow and green. Yes, creative, I know, simplicity at its best. Anyone who drives are familiar with red meaning stop, yellow means slow down and green means go. I carry over the same concept when organizing my day. 

This color system can be used with any media of your choosing. It is especially easy to use with a smart phone calendar. Here’s how to use it:

All scheduled appointments or events you write in RED (or if you’re using a smart phone, highlight with RED. All “things” that need to be done by the days’ end, highlight in YELLOW. Finally, as a way to work towards long term goals, you include the small baby steps towards the long term goal as highlighted in GREEN.

As seen in the example below, a doctor’s appointment and piano recital on Tuesday are highlighted in RED. Errands of grocery shopping and post office are highlighted in YELLOW. Finally, it’s on the calendar to pull out 3 pairs of shoes from the closet to decide if they are a keep or a donate (working towards long term goal of cleaning out the closet). This is highlighted in GREEN. As simple as this system may be, it is a great organizational tool. I made this example a printable if it’s needed to help get you started.

Free Printable

Simplicity at its Best

In conclusion, this system is so easy it almost sounds ridiculous. But how many times does the day just get away and next thing you know chores weren’t done and the appointment was missed! Using a simple organizational system is truly powerful. I highly encourage you to give it a try in your household. Color coding the day can make a big difference. It is also surprising how quickly a long term goal will be reached when you’re able to chip away at it bits at a time.

If an old school daily planner is more the preference, check out this item at Amazon. It’s currently on sale, and is one of my favorites.

Please leave a comment and let me know if this worked for you! Future articles will continue to target different organizational ideas and techniques in all aspects of life. Come back later for more!

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