Organization is the first step to getting your life together. Organized people are less stressed out, their schedules are more streamlined, and they always have a plan, even when things go wrong.
When I was growing up, I was not organized… AT ALL. In fact, I was the procrastination queen. Like, I was doing my homework in class an hour before it was due. It was that bad.
Now that I’m working professionally and studying for my master’s, I’ve learned that procrastination isn’t an effective strategy at all. In fact, you waste more time by procrastinating! It’s better to organize your life so you have a schedule that helps you productively manage your unstructured time.
If you’re stressed out because house is a mess, you can’t remember any of your appointments, and you’re struggling to find a clean blouse to wear to work tomorrow—it’s OK. Just take a deep breath. Even if you feel like your life is falling apart, it’s never too late to turn it around. In fact, getting organized is easier than you probably think. All it takes is a little planning and dedication.Organization is self-care.
Let’s get organized to stay organized!
Step #1 is committing to a change. Organized people stay organized by forming good habits that become part of their lifestyles. Habits require consistency. Without consistency, they are just one-time actions, not habits.
When I made the decision to organize my life and commit to a schedule, magical things happened. Suddenly, I could sleep well at night without worrying about something I might have forgotten. My time management skills improved exponentially. For the first time in forever, I had a sense of wellbeing. After I decluttered my life, my mind became clearer.
To make any change in your life, you have to start with the right mindset. The mental commitment to be more organized and form consistent habits will make all the difference.
Are you ready to become an organization superhero and reclaim your life? Check out the list below for 12 habits you should form to get SERIOUSLY organized.
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Here are 12 habits of super duper organized people:
1. They write everything down.
Memory is fleeting! I can’t tell you the number of times I have thought of a really great idea or remembered something I had to do, but failed to write it down. Trusting yourself to remember everything is a BIG. MISTAKE.
Try keeping a notepad that is specifically for random thoughts you get throughout the day. Keep it with you at all times! Even if you don’t look at it every day, you’re more likely to remember things if you write them down. And if you do happen to come up with an amazing idea in the middle of the night, you’ll have a place to record it.
2. They use lists and systems.
Organized people don’t just lollygag about their day doing random stuff. (I’m picturing my college self right now, HA!)
Lists and systems are two basic forms of organization that can help you navigate your schedule and manage your time effectively.
Having a to-do list for each day will help you stay on track and complete all the important tasks. To get your grocery trips done quickly, you could create a system and organize your shopping list by aisle so you only have to go down each row once to get everything you need. Those are two simple, yet powerful examples of how people use lists and systems to actually get stuff done!
3. They simplify before they organize.
Simplicity is key. If you organize before you declutter, you will just move all the stuff around instead of making it easier to manage. This is important to remember when organizing your schedule and your home.
To declutter your day-to-day, you might need to say “no” more often and eliminate tasks that are causing you unnecessary stress. If you want to simplify your home, you should start by donating or throwing away everything you don’t need.
So, to recap: declutter first, and organize second. If you follow this order of operation, you will notice how much easier the organization process becomes.
4. They create routines to form consistent habits.
Organized people thrive on routines! Every task in your day should have a set place in your schedule. And don’t forget to make time for self-care. Downtime should be a part of your routine, too!
If you want to work out five days a week, schedule out a block of time for it five days a week. If you want to go out to dinner with your husband every other Friday night, put that in your schedule. Routines are crucial to form consistent habits that will help you achieve the results you are looking for.
5. They use planners or project management tools.
I enjoy using physical planners and to-do lists because there’s something empowering about writing things down (at least for me). However, I also use a FREE project management tool called Trello to organize my workflow.
Here’s a screenshot of one of my Trello boards for my blog post tasks:
In Trello, “boards” are used to organize projects. “Lists” live within the boards. “Cards” are the little horizontal tasks that you can put under each list. You can assign due dates to the cards, and then they show up as deadlines within your Trello home feed.
Honestly, I don’t even use Trello to its full potential. It does so much! For example, you can set recurring tasks for things you need to do each week. You can attach files to cards. Trello even has a pro version that is perfect for businesses.
If you’re a freelancer or consistently have multiple projects/streams of income, you must have Trello. It will improve your workflow TREMENDOUSLY.
6. They utilize time blocking.
Time blocking is a project management technique that requires you to organize your tasks into blocks of time within your schedule. When you only have a certain amount of time to complete each task, you will create mini-deadlines for yourself that will motivate you throughout the day.
You should also block out time for meals, sleep, relaxation, etc. And of course, it’s important to set realistic goals for yourself. The point of time blocking is to relieve stress, not create more of it!
If you find yourself with an overwhelming amount of unstructured time, try time blocking for a day and see how much you get done. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
7. They avoid multitasking.
I’ve said this before in one of my previous blog posts, but multitasking is the KILLER of productivity. When you focus on one task at a time, you will get way more done. Additionally, you are more likely to mess something up when your focus is split in five different directions.
Batching, or grouping similar tasks together, is an effective time management technique because your brain doesn’t have to switch back and forth between tasks. Instead of multitasking, try batching.
When I create my blog posts, I often make all my images at once, do all my outlines at once, and write all my content at once. When I started batching my tasks instead of doing each blog post individually, I noticed that I was able to publish more content than before.
8. They plan ahead, taking potential setbacks into consideration.
No matter how great your life is, sometimes sh!t happens. However, I’ve learned that if I can prepare for potential problems in advance, they won’t be as bad.
A simple example is checking the forecast before you walk out the door to go to work. If it says 80 percent chance of rain, maybe take an umbrella with you so your hair and makeup don’t get ruined by the tennis ball sized raindrops that *mysteriously* come crashing down mid-afternoon.
When you plan ahead, you’ll feel like you have your life together. And since mindset is (almost) everything, feeling like you have it together is what really counts, right?
9. They prioritize the most pressing tasks on their to-do lists.
When you make your to-do list for the day, try organizing it into priority tiers. Tier 1 contains the most important, must-do tasks for the day. In Tier 2, you’ll write tasks that are pretty important, but not so crucial that it will kill you to postpone them another day.
You can create more tiers if you feel so inclined, but separating your tasks into just two priority tiers will help your list seem less overwhelming. It will also ensure that you get the most important things done first.
Check out this FREE printable I created to help you!
10. They keep their workspace and sleeping space tidy.
To truly thrive, you must be in the right environment. And no, I’m not talking about laying out on the beach sipping margaritas. (That’s a different definition of “thrive,” LOL)
I mean organizing your workspace and your home so you know where everything is. You don’t want to feel overwhelmed in a place where you’re supposed to maximize your productivity. Likewise, you don’t want to have to sleep in a bed that has all your unfolded laundry piled on top of it. (AKA me when I’m single.)
When you physically declutter your spaces, you will automatically become more organized.
11. They have places for everything.
If everything has a place, you will remember where to find it—whatever it may be. Whether you’re looking for a pen to write with or your favorite lipstick shade, you will find it much more quickly when you have a specific place for it within your home.
12. They are minimalistic.
Live with less, and you will have a more organized lifestyle. This can refer to your physical belongings, monetary expenses, or mental burdens.
Minimalism means letting go of all the things you don’t need so you can peacefully move forward with your life. People who practice minimalism are happier and less stressed.
Ask yourself this: what clutter is holding you back in your life? It could be tangible or non-tangible. Any unnecessary burden counts as clutter. When you hang onto stuff that you don’t use, need, or love, you won’t enjoy your life as much.
If you don’t need it, let it go. I promise, there are better things ahead.
Thanks for reading!
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