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When I was in college in the mid-eighties, I attended my first time management course. The instructor told us to write down our schedules for the entire day, including the specific time we would work on each task. I dutifully wrote up-to-the minute agendas, detailing what I would do that day…”from 8:00 to 8:30, I’ll do this…from 8:30 to 9:10, I’ll do this…”

Back then, I could pretty much keep up with it, and the day usually went as planned. When something unexpected arose, it was fairly easy to adjust my plan. Then things started to change: Technology exploded—voice mail, email, and the Internet entered the scene—and the productivity game changed forever. Today, if you attempt to write out every minute of your day, the schedule blows up in the first five minutes. You could spend more time revising your plan than simply doing your work!

Indeed, it’s become harder to be productive:

  • We are busier than ever before, since we have more to do, with fewer resources, and less time to do it.
  • We are more disorganized than ever before, as we receive information from multiple sources and have more data to track and organize.
  • We are constantly communicating with more people, more quickly, through more mediums, so we have more conversations to recall.

Being productive today requires many different competencies, one of which is beingorganized. If you excel in this competency, you have systems, rather than piles of paper and piles of files. If you’re organized, you can find what you want, when you want it, in thirty seconds or less. Being organized means controlling the paper, email, reading material, and inputs into and out of your office and life. Organization is your ability to sort, filter, and process all types of information effectively. It’s how tidy your office and home looks, inside and out. It’s how in control you look and feel, inside and out. Being organized will give you more control over your life and time. You must find the time and the self-control to achieve organization through proper systems.

This Amazon Shorts Productivity Pro® TIP series focuses on improving your personal productivity by organizing three critical areas: Time, Information, and People (TIP). This series is written for anyone responsible for improving personal productivity—in yourself or others. Whether you’re a corporate worker, a small business owner, a government employee, or a stay-at-home parent, this series will help you improve your productivity with specific, actionable, practical TIPs for success.

Each of the three sections in the Productivity Pro® TIP series is comprised of three key components, for a total of nine key areas. To be truly productive, you must create, manage, and maintain systems for each of the nine components of organization. Including this introductory article and a concluding article, the Productivity Pro® TIP series has eleven total assets.

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