Nowadays with everyone going 100 miles an hour there is a real emphasis on being organised because how else can we possibly achieve everything we need to?
I’ve always prided myself on being a very organised person (or at least creating the impression that my life is) and I am always surprised by the amount of people I know that really struggle with have any type of organisation in their lives.
So how do I keep myself organised?
Lists, lists and more lists – I have always been partial to a list or two and this definitely saved me during my uni days. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with how busy you feel and thus waste time talking about how busy you are and floundering rather than getting stuff done. Lists can be amazing for fixing that even if you only put 2 or 3 things on it. It helps get things in order in your mind and help you realise that actually there isn’t as much to do as you first thought.
Prioritise tasks – Lists are a great starting point but if you can manage to prioritise tasks it can save you so much time. More often that not after I know what has to be done ASAP not only does it get done but it often leaves me feeling I have more time to tackle one of the “smaller” tasks.
Use a calendar or diary of some kind – Just like lists this helps you to clearly see what is going on or what you need to prepare for. Not only does it allow me to keep up with all my personal engagements but it helps keep track of any important things coming up at work.
Set aside some time just for you – This was something I’ve only recently started doing. It’s easy to work yourself into the ground because you have loads to do but the difference taking a break can make to your productivity can be insane. If I take a step back and read a book or have a bath etc I instantly feel ready to get stuck back into whatever I need to do – even if that just results in me narrowing down my to do list.
Clear up as you go – At work I often wait until just before going for lunch before I clear away whatever documents I’ve gotten through that day but I also make sure to clear away documents that do not need filed as soon as I finish using it e.g sticky notes with phone messages on it. This is also true at home where I will try to finish one task at a time to stop everything getting on top of me.
Plan meals ahead of time – This is harder said than done but I do try to plan out my lunches for the week at work on the Sunday before. Even if I keep it vague by saying I’ll have pasta on Monday, a sandwich on Tuesday blah blah blah. Normally the night before I will get more specific about what I’ll actually be having. This also helps me save money by not going out and buying something on the day.
Colour codes – I love colour coding! I used it a lot during my time at uni as a way to quickly flick through my documents (in particular my dissertation) to see anything that stood out e.g blue highlighter meant I had to finish referencing the quote etc. I think colour coding is deep routed into as from childhood because I still feel I have to get something done ASAP if something is highlighted or marked with red pen. I believe this helps give an individual a vision clue as to what needs done and when.
I label everything! – My folders are clearly labelled and the insides are also clearly split into sections with even clearer labels. My notes at work are marked with a black marker on the front so I know at first glance which notebook I need to look in. Clearing my room out pushed me to label everything too so that I know where to find my holidays clothes that don’t fit in my wardrobe or find my bank statements.
I hope this helps anyone that struggles with organisation. They are pretty obvious but even the simplest things can make such a difference. Instead of running about in circles talking about being busy sit down for 5 minutes to note down exactly what needs to be done.