Life can be hectic; sometimes so hectic that you don’t have time to do anything but panic and stress at how disorganised and messy your daily life – and mind – feels.
Organisation has always been my “thing”. Being organised makes me feel on top of home and work life and like I’m prepared for any curveballs that life might throw my way when I least expect it. It makes me feel like I’ve got a handle on stuff and that I’m the one in charge – not anxiety or stress.
After a fantastic reception to my post a few month ago about tips for beating Winter Blues, I wanted to share today my ultimate tips for getting your sh*t together!
Grab a coffee (or a gin) and a notebook and settle down as we dive right in.
Work to make it work
Organisation comes naturally to some, but can be really difficult if you’re not used to it. There is no quick fix when it comes to being organised – you have to put in the hard work and effort before you start to feel the effects of it, but when you do I promise it’s all worth it.
Create a schedule
There is no easy way to go about this, but I would suggest grabbing a piece of paper and a pen and writing down all of the daily tasks that you do. Once you’ve done this, move on to the weekly ones and monthly ones and so on. It’s completely up to you what you include; a few examples of mine would be:
Daily – Draft social media updates for blog, check emails, a daily workout reminder
Weekly – A reminder of what bins are collected weekly, blog post draft reminder, water the plants
Monthly – Clean out the car, contact PR/companies, bill reminders
Once completed, this should give you a better picture of what type of schedule you need to keep.
Tracking your schedule
Okay okay I know, easier said that done, right? Start off by picking your method of tracking your schedule. There are literally hundereds of apps available for smart phones, from calendars to checklists to all in one apps. If keeping track using technology isn’t your thing, then buy a notebook or a planner and carry it with you everywhere.
I use the native calendar app on my iPhone and have several calendars active in it – work, home, exercise & blog. Each one is different due to the nature of them, but they all contain the same kind of stuff – key dates for tasks, to-do lists, deadlines and appointments.
If you really want to go in depth, you could consider at a bullet journal; this is a customisable and personal organisational system and a really great way of keeping track of literally anything you can think of.
Whichever method you use, make sure you commit to it and stick to it as best you can. It might take some trial and error, but once everything is in place you’ll soon start to see the benefits.
To put it simply – the less sh*t you have, the easier it is to keep it in order. Start small; maybe dedicate an hour or two to sorting through that one messy drawer we all have. If even that seems like too much to begin with, carve out 15 minutes a day and tackle one specific area at at time. Set a timer and go to work on the bathroom cabinet, or scroll through your phone and delete those apps that you never use anymore.
It might take you a few weeks to achieve a clutter free haven, but trust me when I say it will all be worth it in the end.
Write things down
Although this does kind of go hand in hand with keeping a schedule, I think it deserves a little section of it’s own. Got a birthday of a loved one coming up that you don’t want to forget? Write it down. Thought of a genius idea that you’re certain will change you life if you could only remember it? Write it down. Need to pick up some last minute grocery shopping that you forgot the last time you were in the supermarket? All together now – write it down!
You might think that you don’t need to (I too was stubborn in this respect) but give it a try; it might just be a winner for you.
Give your sh*t a home – and keep it there
Allocate spaces for your stuff, and once you’re done using it make sure you put it back.
Invest in a letter holder to keep in your hallway; once you’ve opened and read a letter either shred it or pop it in the holder for safekeeping. Messy bedside table? Buy (or reuse) a wash bag and fill it with things that you need to keep next to your bed, for example night cream and medication.
Carry on this practice all around the house and you’ll find less to tidy away at the end of the day.
Let it go
This is the one I struggle with the most! I feel like everything gifted to me or accquired has sentimental value and needs to be kept, and I find it hard to let go. The best solution to this is to temporarily store it and come back to it at a later date. If I’ve not longed or looked for it, then into the bin/charity bag/bootsale pile it goes. The same applies to stuff on my computer and phone. Not used it in a while? File it in a folder, and if I’ve not used it within a month I’ll trash it.
Get up early
But…what does this have to do with organisation? Everything! Set the alarm for a half hour before you would usually get up, and take the time to wake up, check your schedule and update to-do lists. Enjoy the peace and quiet and be mindful of the day ahead – you might be be surpised by how pleasantly productive you can be with just thirty extra minutes in the morning.
One thing at a time
The last tip I have for you today is something that you can do right this second – stop multitasking! It might seem quicker to flit between things that you need to do and cut time by juggling them about, but this can become seriously tiring and it’s easy to let things slide without realising.
Take a moment to asses your current situation. Just the other day I found myself going over my planner whilst participating in a Twitter discussion, responding to emails and brainstorming some post ideas; this all happened as I was supposedly ‘settling down’ to watch a film for the evening and decompress. Did I manage to get everything done efficiently? No! In the end, I had to move the tasks to the next day leaving me feeling incredibly disorganised.
If you find yourself in a similar situtation, stop what you’re doing and prioritise. Ask yourself what needs to be right now? Do you need to nudge things over into a different day? Break everything down and re-arrange, and you’ll find yourself back in the zone and raring to go.
And that my lovelies is it! Do you have some tips that you think belong in this list? Get in touch and let me know!