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Habits of Highly Organized People

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There are people who just love to check things off a list. Their idea of heaven is The Container Store. And they know their way around a spreadsheet. They’re the ultra-organized, and to those who prefer things a little less tidy, their ways are mysterious.

But they’re also onto something. More than 80 percent of people polled in an Office Depot survey said being organized improved their work performance. Being organized may lead to feeling more in control and having more mental energy. Not to mention, who really needs the stress of misplacing the car keys one more time?

Let’s kick it up a notch. Being a real estate agent or broker is a constant exercise in organizational skills and time management. Now imagine, like our Masters of Real Estate students, that you are taking classes and studying an additional 10-20 hours a week, outside of all your other obligations. When you have a lot on your plate, organization is key. Life is bound to get busy and when it does, having your thoughts, space, and life in order can be the difference between success and failure.

The good news is that anyone can be (or at least become) an organized person. Here are several common habits from of the most organized people out there, originally posted to LaurenConrad.com.

They write everything down.
Making to-do lists is a given. But for ultra-organized people, it goes beyond that. No matter how good your memory is, you’re bound to forget the small details every once in a while. So, anytime there’s something important you want to remember — from the name of the dentist your coworker recommended to marketing headline that caught your eye while browsing online — just write it down.

They give themselves deadlines.
The most organized individuals know that it’s not just about having a to-do list. It’s about having a specific deadline assigned to each task you want to complete. By checking tasks off by a certain time and date, you’ll avoid leaving anything important until the last minute.

They take breaks.
Stopping in the middle of the day to declutter your desk isn’t a form of procrastination. Taking a few minutes to catch your breath and get your space in order can help you be more productive when you return to the task at hand. So, if you need a breather, go grab coffee if you must, but consider an “organization break” as an even more productive alternative.

They have a home for everything.
Extremely organized people won’t bring anything home unless they know exactly where they’re going to put it. This means being more selective in what you purchase, and also having proper storage systems.

They have a detailed email filing system.
You might think it was a little bit ridiculous if you saw how many different folders I’ve created for filing my emails (er…26). But, the fact of the matter is that having a detailed filing system makes it easy to go back and find old emails in a snap.

They tackle one task at a time.
Trying to do too many things at once can lead to chaos. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a step back and focusing on one thing at a time. Prioritize the items on your to-do list and start either with the tasks that are easiest to check off or the most important. We promise, that your to-do list will be cut in half before you know it.

They have less stuff.
The more stuff you have, the more likely it is to become disorganized. Organized people love to eliminate the clutter and regularly purge items they no longer need. Also, consider donating items you no longer need. It’s easier to part with your possessions if you know they’re going to a good cause.

They delegate.
Asking for help is never a bad thing; in fact, it’s the quality of a good leader. Organized people know when it takes a team to get something done and tend to be just as good at organizing people as they are at organizing objects.

They set their alarms 15 minutes earlier than they have to.
Being an early riser gives you some uninterrupted time in the morning to organize your home, your workspace, your thoughts or whatever else needs it. Not having to rush out the door also ensures that your clothes and toiletries won’t end up strewn across the floor or counter, and will instead be put back in the appropriate place. It’s not too late to become a morning person!

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