Career success through efficient organizational systems: 6 organizational tips from Obama to Gates


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If you are really successful and make a lot of money, you haven't just worked hard. In addition to other factors, perfect work organization also plays an important, but often underestimated, role. Tips for more inspiration through order.

Career success through efficient organizational systems: 6 organizational tips from Obama to Gates

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.

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What helps Obama and Bill Gates keep track of things

Rich and successful people often have special habits. For example, a morning routine, systematic reading of books or a healthy lifestyle. Show that many examples from Barack Obama to Bill Gates. Order can also be an important driving force for change and innovation, because many good ideas emerged from the motivation to make the world a little tidier.

What is often less well known because it is a very personal topic that very few people actively reflect on: The right workflow, good handling of information, good sorting and making accessible of documents, addresses, etc. is also incredibly important success. One who at first glance seems a little obsessed with details and manic. But if you are constantly beating up the invitations to network meetings, you will never get off your sofa.

Rich and successful with the right organization system?

And hand on heart, you probably know the problem: you are happy to start a new task, a new project, are determined to keep track of things - but after a while all kinds of documents pile up on your desk. This is probably because you used your organizational system inconsistently or your system is not optimal. And of course: that alone will not make you rich and successful. But your personal archive can be a tremendous source of inspiration.

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What helps is a sophisticated system of organization that always helps you to remember where the things you need are. At first glance, this may seem cumbersome. But it quickly turns out that it is not when you have found a solution to the typical problems of order. Because: As long as the paperless office has not fully established itself, it is worthwhile to consistently apply a classification system for paper documents. And a clever system of organization.

Most of the time, the blame for disorder is a wrong and bad system

Most people tend, for example, to group and sort their documents thematically, according to interests, for example, or contents that seem to belong together. But this system harbors problems: Have you not already thought for a long time whether a document belongs better to this or that topic or where you would look for it afterwards when you need it?

If you sort your records by areas of interest, projects (which can change and expand), or topics, you will likely have many more potential filing locations and will take longer to search. Because if you think about it carefully, all topics somehow belong together - don't they? And this mental connection can also change, you may not even remember some donkey bridges that you believed to be deadly.

Ideal: alphabetical sorting

It is therefore better to sort your filing alphabetically - either by person, project or higher-level topic. Then, if you forget where you put the documents, all you have to do is search for the relevant letter from one of these three categories.

Example: The contract with customer A about project C on topic W. If you sort your documents by person. then put the contract under A. If you organize according to projects, put it under C. And it would be the worst case scenario if you were a bit chaotic and sort your documents sometimes by person, sometimes by topic or project, don't laugh, there are such specialists. With an alphabetical sorting, there would then only be three ways to find it.

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There is a solution to the 6 typical problems of order:

  1. Problem: You don't know where to sort a document, for example with the projects or the letters. Solution: Create a uniform, preferably alphabetical order system, then you always know where something has to go and where to look for it
  2. Problem: To file a document, you first have to dig out a folder, get on the chair, or go to another room. Solution: You shouldn't need more than 1-2 minutes to take something from the shelf and put it into a system. When you need more time, you lose the desire to sort and you don't do it anymore. Therefore: Change something in the system.
  3. Problem: As soon as you open the file drawer, a mountain of paper swells towards you, and the shelf on the desk is also overflowing. So that the documents do not get lost, put them on the shelf - a new pile is created. Solution: Go through your “archive” at least once every six months and sort your filing at least once a week. If there is no other way, expand your organization system when the space for it is more than three quarters full. You should also regularly throw away unnecessary items.
  4. Problem: you find things that you may not need at the moment, e.g. advertising for a lecture or ideas for a project for the coming year. However, you will probably need them later. Solution: Make a note of such things in a diary or a project management tool, if possible with a time, and start a list “Maybe someday”. This will get the matter out of your head and off the table.
  5. Problem: You will find information material on the desk that you may need later, but did not indicate where to put it now. Solution: Can you sort the information directly into your system? If not, you probably never need the information. Away with it!
  6. Problem:  You come across things while cleaning up that you can't decide whether you still need them or not. Solution: Be rigorous and live according to a basic principle: If in doubt, get rid of it! Most of it can be retrieved anyway. An efficient organization system always helps to keep an overview and to work productively.

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