We all could do with being a little more organized. And no, we’re not talking a Monica-from-Friends-level of organization, but keeping on top of your life makes everything a little better. We all know that life is unpredictable, and organization helps us prepare for the inevitable ups and downs while getting our stuff done effectively and happily. But the struggle lies in establishing healthy, organized routines. If you find it hard to do this, look no further.
We’ve put together some tips for those aspiring to organize their lives a little more, from products to help you stay on top of things, to activities to weave into your routine to change the way you work forever.
Perhaps one of the most widely used organizational tools is the diary. A humble, accessible and easy to use bit of stationery that can help you keep on track of your plans, commitments and movements.
There are a few different types of diaries, from a virtual diary on your cell phone to a physical diary that you fill in. The great thing about diaries is that you can choose whatever format suits your needs.
Alongside recording our plans and commitments in a diary, reminders act as perfect organizational boosts throughout the day. The reality is that in the midst of a busy day, it’s unrealistic to think that we’ll be able to find the time to open up our diary and see what’s next on the agenda. But this is where reminders shine. You can easily use things like sticky notes to put on the mirror, refrigerator or a door to remind you to pick up your dry cleaning or ring your sister.
In fact, you could even invest in some custom sticky notepads complete with your favorite color, pattern or a “Remember to…” title. For those who are more tech-savvy, you can use the reminders app on your phone to alert you when it’s time to ring the doctor or buy that book. You can find more details here.
Another way to be more organized is to simply plan your life more in advance. If you feel like you’re never free to see loved ones or struggle to find the time to fit in leisure activities, planning things in advance gives you the opportunity to find that time. It’ll also help you to align your schedules with loved ones and friends who are also super busy.
To be organized, you need to give yourself the chance to be! Take some time once a week, preferably at the start or end, to have a look at your plans and commitments for the coming week and write down in your diary, planner or calendar, what you’re up to each day. This will help you stay on top of your commitments and plans, as well as seek opportunities to get other things done too.
During this time, it’s important to be realistic about what you can get done and not overload your schedule. Doing so could lead to you being overwhelmed, unable to tick off every thing on your to do list and ultimately, unproductive.
So be mindful of giving yourself some downtime as well as pushing yourself to be as productive as you can be each week.
Calendars are super useful for remembering important dates and holidays, not to mention are a great addition to your wall or desk. They’re also physical reminders that keep important dates at the forefront of your mind. This is because you constantly look at it, even if you don’t realize it, each day. So place your calendar somewhere in your eyeline to get the most out of it.
Whether it’s a quick idea or something you need to tell your mom, writing things down is always the safest option. You might tell yourself you’ll remember it later, but that’s just what a disorganized person would say! Make that extra effort to find a notepad or dig for a pen to jot down those thoughts, because your future self will thank you.
Getting into a practice of writing things down means that you’ll not only have a better chance of remembering your to do list or reminders, but you’ll also have a physical reminder to use when you come to organize your thoughts and plans.
A key characteristic of disorganized people isn’t just that they struggle to organize – it’s that they struggle with following through with what they do plan. Procrastination is the enemy of productivity, and productivity is a big part of what makes organized people organized.
So if you want to become an organized person, you need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Focus your attention on getting things done, starting small, will help you get into a habit of productivity. And once you get a few things done without delaying or getting distracted, you’ll find that you can add things onto your to do list with relative ease.
One of the main advantages of becoming a little more organized is that we can lower our stress levels by simply knowing what’s going on in our lives. A source of stress for most of us is a lack of control, but organization gives us some of this control back. And while we can’t control the world around us, we can dictate what we do and how much we prepare ourselves for unexpected events or changes in our lives.
Of course the danger is always there of trying to control too much in our lives, and we need to be open to things shifting and changing if they need to, but you’ll be able to find that balance with a little practice.
These are just a few of the many tips and tricks to become a more organized person, but they won’t work unless you change your mindset too. Wanting to be more organized will help you bring a good, positive attitude to your organization activities and help you create the productive life you’re seeking.