How to Make Good Habits Stick: Guest

Being organized boils down to the series of good habits we incorporate into our day. The rituals we go through each and every day inevitably become the habits we acquire. Getting organized requires creating and maintaining good habits to keep systems in place. For example, do you rush out of your office at the end of each day and leave it in chaos? Creating a habit of cleaning off the surface of your desk can not only help you feel more organized, but it will also increase your productivity. Here are a few steps to follow when you're ready to make a change:

Start Small: Work on one habit at a time. Putting too much on your list will only sabotage your hopes of making it happen.

Write it Down: Write down the good habit you plan to acquire and put it somewhere you can see as a reminder of your intention.

Be Accountable: Having an accountability partner always helps to ensure success. Schedule set times to check in and confirm your progress.

Have Urge-Defeating Strategies in Place: Try the "Only Two-Minute Rule." When you're rushing out of the office, commit to spending two minutes on straightening up. You'll be amazed how much can get done with two minutes of clear, focused time.

Give it 30 Days: Experts are firm in the fact that it takes at least 30 times of consciously repeating the task in order to even start acquiring a new habit.

If You Stumble, Don't Quit: We all stumble from time to time. Use this as an opportunity to go through the checklist again. This will help to ingrain the good habit even more!

Turning your focus from what you're not getting done to concrete action steps you can take will help you get started in acquiring the habits you need to be more efficient and productive.

Monica Friel is president and founder of Chaos To Order -- the Chicago area's premiere organizing company since 1990. Friel manages and trains a staff of professional organizers who specialize in everything from household clutter to corporate chaos.

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