Who here is guilty of saying they need to get their life together? I’ve said it in the past and can definitely see myself saying it in the future. But here’s the thing: What are we actually saying when we say that? For me, I generally proclaim that I need to get my life together when I feel like I’m living in chaos and don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do. So how do we solve for that?
Here are my tips for getting organized so the next time your life feels chaotic or you feel overwhelmed, you can apply these tips to restore balance into your life.
7 Tips to Help You Get Organized
1. Carry a notebook.
If you’re someone who constantly jots down ideas on random sticky notes or the first sheet of paper you see, this tip is for you. Purchase a notebook! Select a notebook that’s small enough to fit in your bag and travel around with on a daily basis. This notebook should be used strictly for jotting down any thoughts or reminders you think of while you’re out that you don’t want to forget. Designating a specific spiral for capturing any “of the moment” ideas will help you organize your thoughts and know exactly where to go when you need to remember where you wrote down that really great idea that popped into your head during the middle of your work day.
If you don’t usually carry a bag large enough to fit a notebook, make use of a ‘Notes’ app on your smartphone. Just be sure not to create a new note each time an idea, task, or project pops into your head because that’ll defeat the purpose. Instead, keep one dedicated note titled something like “Brain Dump” or “On the Go” that holds all of those little memos for you to run through and categorize in your normal planner once you’re home.
2. Become aware of what you’re spending your time on.
In order to get organized and get your life together, it’s important to take a step back and gain control over your time. How can you you expect to get organized if you first aren’t aware of what’s eating up your time? There are quite a few ways to do this so test out different methods to determine which option meets your needs.
For the paper lovers, try writing down what you do throughout the day, similar to a food journal. Start the day by jotting down what you want to do, then throughout the day write out what you’re actually doing, and at the end of the day compare the two. Did you finish everything you wanted to do? What did you do that could be considered a time killer? If you’re into digital tracking instead, there are websites and apps out there to help track time.
3. Batch out your tasks.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could batch everything in life? I would love to get a week’s worth of workouts knocked out in one day if it meant I didn’t have to go to the gym for the rest of the week. I’m all about finding efficient methods to do something, which is where batching comes in handy. Think about it: Do you wash your laundry throughout the week or do you complete it all at once? Naturally, it’s all completed at once to speed up the process and streamline the task.
Batching is essentially the same thing. Batching is completing the same task for an extended duration instead of spreading it out throughout the week. For example, you know you need to eat each day. Instead of completing the task from start to finish (planning to shopping to cooking) on a daily basis, isolate each task within the chore and complete just the isolated task for the week in one day. You could plan out what you want to eat for the upcoming week on Fridays, purchase all of the food needed on Saturdays, and meal prep the full week of meals on Sunday.
4. Find an accountability partner.
Let your friends be your support system! Sometimes the difference between getting your life together and feeling like it’s never going to happen is accountability. It’s easy to put things off and talk yourself out of accomplishing something, so share your goals with someone! Whether it be a friend, a spouse, a sibling, or even your parents, tell someone who will ask you about your goals and keep you honest.
5. Utilize a day planner.
Planners are so important for structuring out the day and prioritizing life. The purpose of a planner is to provide a view of what you need to do for the day, week, and/or month. It isn’t necessary to jot down every mundane task if breaking down your time to that level of detail isn’t your cup of tea, but at the very least try chunking out the day and making sure the top priority tasks are scheduled. If you want to get your life together and organized, you need a plan. What better way to plan than with a planner?
6. Wake up earlier.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. In order to get things done, have more time in the day, feel more organized, you have to make an effort to wake up earlier. It doesn’t have to be a rigid schedule, but you ideally want to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day. Being consistent will naturally cause your body to adjust and fall into a pattern. There’s something so incredibly satisfying about waking up before the sun and getting a jumpstart to your day. Not a morning person? There’s coffee for that. Trust me, this is one tip you don’t want to skip.
7. Start the day with exercise.
I know, I know. But you have to do it. While we can’t batch of this task, we can find what we like. So many people state that they hate to exercise when really it’s just a certain type of workout that they don’t enjoy. For me, I don’t mind working out once I get to the gym. The challenge is actually getting there when I’m tired or when I’m overwhelmed with not having the time to finish everything for the day. You know what I learned? Nike is right. Just do it. Health is a top priority and exercising in the morning gets a top priority knocked out early in the day. The added bonus is working out gives you a natural high, so you’ll feel more alert and ready to take on the day.
If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to organization tools, apps, and planners, click here to grab a cheat sheet sharing exactly what I use in my daily life.