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5 Favorite Things

We Asked Karyn Nixon

Give Us Your Five Favorite Ways To Stay Organized.

As executive assistant in the Augusta-Richmond County mayor’s office, Karyn Nixon knows a thing or two about staying on schedule. She’s finessed a system to keep her on track 24/7.

1. Keep a list of what has to get done. Glance at Nixon’s desk or her car and you’ll see Post Its everywhere reminding her of projects and errands alike. She also keeps a notebook close at hand to jot down major initiatives.

2. Don’t procrastinate on the list. “Add to your list when you’re thinking about it. If you don’t write it’ll be gone in five minutes when something else distracts you.” And make sure you understand the steps needed to complete each item.

3. Identify your priorities and realize that change is inevitable. For Nixon, family comes first. And, “I take responsibility pretty seriously. If you charge me to do something, it’s going to get done.” But as Nixon knows from experience, schedules change. “Just keep going,” she advises. “And that goes back to the prioritizing. It might change this part of it, but does it change the whole big picture of it?”

4. Delegate. Even though she gets up around 4:30 every morning, she wouldn’t be able to get everything done without help, crediting her family in particular for their support. “I’m so Type A it’s frightening,” she says with a laugh. “I have a hard time with delegation…[but] you’ve got to get help—people working with you and for you who can carry out what needs to get done.”

5. Learn to say no. “That’s huge. You can’t do everything. If you try to do everything, you won’t do anything well.”

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