Being organized can increase your productivity and sense of well being. Don't wait for New Year's to start. Here are some simple strategies to get you started today.
Organization is a skill that takes time and effort. Most people wait for the New Year to try to get organized, but why wait?!
Whether it’s investing in a new planner or honing in on new habits, organization is needed to live an effective life.
1. Set a Goal
Goal setting is the first step to getting organized. By creating your own set of priorities, you’re eliminating what doesn’t serve you and welcoming positive energy.
The trick here is to start with small, attainable goals as opposed to one major one. If you have a major goal (organize my bedroom) break it into subgoals (organize my dresser). This will help you eliminate feeling overwhelmed and allow you to celebrate small victories.
2. Hold Yourself Accountable
It’s easy to miss the gym or slack off on your passion project when there aren’t any real consequences to your actions. Instead of leaving your progress up to chance, hold yourself accountable to actually doing what you set out to do. This will help you to stick to your schedule and stay organized.
Many people turn to social media these days as a way to encourage themselves to be accountable. Posting the dreaded "before" picture on Instagram with promises to follow up weekly. Others find support groups on Facebook.
3. Reward Yourself
In order to meet your goals and stay motivated, you have to reward yourself. Celebrate even the smallest of victories and reward yourself with self-care “treats” when you meet your goals. This will keep you excited about your goals and tempted to continue.
No, self care treats does not mean a dozen donuts or a shopping spree for cleaning out your closet. 🙂
4. Set Alarms
One of the best ways to stay on top of your to-do list is to set alarms. Whether it’s on your phone or setting traditional alarm clocks, having that little reminder will help you stay on track. Set your bill schedule, deadlines and other important information so you can always stay in the know.
Most of my life is in my Google calendar so I can access it on the phone or computer. It is easy to color code the different aspects of my life (room mom, blog, family, etc.) so I can mentally sort them at a glance.
5. Invest In a Planner
Planners have become all the rage. People use them as scrapbooks, journals and more. Keep your life organized by investing in a good planner. This will give you a visual of what you need to accomplish. You can write out your feelings, create monthly vision boards and keep track of your events. Writing out your responsibilities will give you clarity that’s unmatched.
While I love my digital planners, my physical planner has been my savior. Last summer when mom broke her hip right before school started, I bought a 3 inch binder and a hole punch and printed my own planners. It helped me to juggle all of the appointments and shopping lists and assignments that I had going at once.
This year, my son's summer planner went into a used 3 hole folder. Not only did he like the idea, he has actually been using it. High praise from an 11 year old.
Here are a few printable planners you may like:
- Summer Planner for Kids
- Garden Planner Journal and Log Book
- Free Christmas Planners
- Meal Planner and Day Planner coming soon
Trying to stay organized in a cluttered space is counterproductive. In fact, it can bring about more stress than you initially intended. Throw away old clothes, items and junk that’s simply holding you back. This will help you develop your mental strength and stay organized.
You don't have to dive completely into KonMari minimalism, but I promise you will be happier once you clean out your closets and cabinets of items you have been holding on to for too long.
7. Create a Monthly Goal
Each month provides an opportunity for a new start. Take advantage of this gift by setting goals you can meet. If you noticed that you struggled with productivity last month, make that a priority this month. It even helps to create vision boards with your monthly goals illustrated on them. This will help you to stay on track in the coming months.
8. Practice Saying No
One of the biggest hurdles to sticking to your personal schedule is getting caught up in other tasks. For example, Wednesdays are your designated gym days. However, your friends want to go out for drinks after work on Wednesday night. You haven’t been sticking to your schedule and it’s impacting your mental health.
What do you do? Well, start by learning how to put yourself first and say no. Distractions, whether positive or negative, can throw you off of your schedule. This can make you feel disorganized and anxious. Learn how to say no and not feel guilty about it.
9. Wake up Earlier
If you challenge yourself to wake up 15-30 minutes earlier each day, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish. Doing this will give you the opportunity to get done everything you intended and start the day with a fresh mind.
Unless you spawned a chronically early riser like I did. My son believes sleeping past 6 am is TORTURE! 5 am is the norm, including weekends and vacations. And once he is up the entire house is up. So for those of you in the same boat, have a good laugh at the idea and move on to the last tip.
10. Prepare for the Day the Night Before
We’ve all been there- rushing to get everything together while still trying to make appointments on time. The best way to alleviate those rushed feelings is to prepare for your days the night before. Lay your clothes out, pack your lunch and get your items ready before bed. This will make your morning routine seamless and enjoyable.
Getting organized is definitely a challenge, but a fulfilling one. As you make these simple changes you will find yourself less harried and better able to get things done.