5 traits of the highly organized

If you’ve ever met someone whose file cabinet is perfectly color-coded and whose to-do list is generally cleared on a daily basis, you may wonder how they do it. While everyone has their own methods for staying organized, there are some common traits highly organized people share. Here are some traits you can adopt to become more organized.

Be ready for anything every day. Organized people start each day by eating breakfast, showering and getting dressed. Don’t lounge in your pajamas all day, even if you’re staying home. If you’re prepared for anything the day may bring—inside or outside the house—it will change your perspective and productivity.

Write things down. Don’t rely on your memory to remind you of important dates and tasks. Keep to-do lists so you can feel a sense of accomplishment when you check things off—and, most importantly, so you don’t forget to do something.

Remember you don’t have to be perfect. You’ll never accomplish anything if you try to be perfect. Instead strive to do your best and to do things well. When you’re struggling, it’s OK to ask for help.

Get things done as soon as you can. Procrastination leads to stress and disorganization. If you wait too long, the pressure mounts and you won’t perform at your best. You will feel much more free without tasks hanging over your head.

Avoid overloading yourself. Don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s OK to say no when your plate is already full. And it’s OK to cancel plans and delegate tasks to give yourself some breathing room if you feel overwhelmed.

— Adapted from “5 Habits Highly Organized People Don’t Have,” Melissa Lamson, Inc.