I have worked for years and years in businesses of various types. Often I have noticed that individuals are totally disorganized and their work is negatively affected by that. It is therefore very important that you include good organizational skills as part of your everyday life.
There are four things that really help people to become more organized:
1. Desire - First of all you have to decide that you want to be more organized. I have heard many people "brag" about how they can live in a mess with stacks of files all around them but truly believe that they are just kidding themselves! Plus, their "mess" places confidentiality at risk!
2. Environment - You need to have specific tools that will help you. Good office furniture such as filing cabinets, bookshelves and desks will provide you with the spaces you need. I remember a Home Economics teacher from my high school who told us over and over again "Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place". You will also need to have office equipment such as stapler, hole punch, paper clips and file folders that will allow you to sort and store things appropriately.
3. Planning - Make sure that you have a system in place that not only works efficiently but also can be repeated over and over again throughout the years. For example, I have a very simple plan for doing my documentation and invoicing. I don't leave the office until it is done! If you do things each day, it will be a habit that rewards you. You don't have to remember things long-term and can rest assured knowing that your billing will be done on a regular basis so income will also be received on a regular basis. Plan to succeed.
4. Time - Put your time into the things that will move you forward. Visiting or surfing the internet might be interesting but, if you are neglecting the things that will help you and your business, then the enjoyment will soon fade. Often, when I invest an extra hour into the tasks at the end of the business day, I am able to accomplish so much more than I at first imagined could be done. There is a wonderful feeling that comes with being able to go home knowing that you have tied up all the loose ends and can face tomorrow as a truly fresh start.