If one of your main sources of stress is the sheer number of things that need to be done, being organized should help you feel more at peace. A good sense of organization will also make you more efficient. Simplifying will help you feel less overwhelmed. Everyone has their own personal style, so organize in a way that makes sense to you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Set Goals. Goals give your life, and the way you spend your time, direction. Set goals which are specific, measurable, realistic and achievable. And then break them down into small doable steps.

Plan your day. Using time to think and plan is time well-spent. Planning too many tasks for one day can be a big source of stress. Time management experts often suggest planning for just 50 percent or less of one's time. With only 50 percent of your time planned, you will have the flexibility to handle interruptions and the unplanned "emergency." When you expect to be interrupted, schedule routine tasks. Save (or make) larger blocks of time for your priorities.

Do the right thing right. Management expert, Peter Drucker, says "doing the right thing is more important than doing things right." Doing the right thing is effectiveness; doing things right is efficiency. Focus first on effectiveness (identifying what is the right thing to do), then concentrate on efficiency (doing it right).

Don't waste waiting time. Waiting for other people shouldn't be an active, time-consuming part of your day. For the inevitable times when you must wait, find ways to put even a few minutes' waiting time to good use. While you are on hold on the telephone or waiting for a meeting or appointment, you can make lists, sort mail, go over your schedule, or complete small but necessary tasks. At home, sort the laundry or the mail while catching up on the news, talk on the phone while preparing dinner, etc.

Stock up. Buy small items that you are stopping to get often, such as stamps, greeting cards, change for tolls, etc. Over time, the minutes saved on these little errands will add up. And if you have enough storage space, buy nonperishable groceries and household goods in quantities to last at least for 2-3 months. Your supermarket visits will be reduced to quick trips to pick up fresh items.

Organize your personal belongings. Clean out your closet and be brutally honest. You might even want to invite a friend or family member whose opinion you trust to act as a critic of your entire wardrobe. Discard accordingly. Weed out anything that you don’t love, doesn’t fit, or that you don’t feel good about wearing. If you can’t bear to throw something away for sentimental reasons, pack it away if it won’t be worn.

Limit socializing when you should be doing something else. Cultivate a friendly but businesslike personality while on the job. Remain polite but unwelcoming to those who want to interrupt while you're busy. Being always available to unannounced visitors or coworkers eager for a chat can eat up a major portion of your day. It also helps to limit socializing to areas away from your workspace, so you're projecting a consistent message.

Schedule meetings effectively. If you need to schedule meetings or appointments that have the potential to drag on indefinitely, try scheduling them right before lunch or near the end of the business day. With everyone thinking of getting away for lunch or for the evening, the chance of the meeting dragging on is much less likely.

Clear the clutter. Open your mail immediately and throw away anything you don't need. Try and look at each piece of paper only once. Clear your desk of clutter nightly. Develop a good clear filing system and file your papers daily. There is nothing more stressful than not being able to find essential items when you need them.

Use a To Do List. Before you leave work each night make a list of things that you need to do the next day and stick it on your screen or desktop. It will help you to be up and running first thing in the morning. It can also be very helpful to use a personal To Do List as well.

These are just a few ideas to head you in the right direction. The possibilities are endless. Think of additional ways to get your life organized, reduce your stress and squeeze more precious moments out of your day!

Author's Bio: 

Susan Stewart is co-founder and partner of It's My Nature, an Aromatherapy business based in Florence, Oregon. Providing dried herbs, essential oils and many comfort and stress reducing products. Catering to the beginner with small sizes, recipes and an informative monthly newsletter. See It's My Nature's large, informative website at http://itsmynature.net or a free catalog is available by calling 1-888-445-5051.