3 tips to get organized and stay that way, too!
We've all probably reached a point in our lives, at one time or another, where we've felt like the amount of to-dos on our list has far surpassed our ability to accomplish them. It can be a little defeating, to say the least. We hunker down and weather those storms and when the sun comes out and we have a moment to breathe clouds are just beginning to form on the horizon. Now, I'm not here to tell you I have a way for you to avoid those stormy days all together, but I will tell you there are ways to be better prepared (as best we can, of course).
1. Make lists
When days get crazy, it's easy for things to slip your mind. There is something so satisfying about checking off an item on a list. I'm a visual person, so to see progress like that feels like a little pat on the back. I've got lists for chores, shopping, needs, wants, ideas and more. They help keep me on track, it's as simple as that.
I have a thing for planners and notebooks (stationery, oh my!), but I can't tell you how often I forget to take the same notebook with me everywhere, resulting in incomplete lists. For long-term goals and short-term tasks I use Evernote. It's about as simple as lists get and available on all of my devices. So, no matter where I am, I can check off items and add new ones to my list. For groceries, I use my Amazon Echo. Technology exists for a reason, people! It stays in my kitchen and when I find that I'm out of something I just tell my Echo to add it to the list. How about that for multi-tasking?
2. Keep a calendar and maintain it
Time flies and if I don't have something locked down in my calendar there's a good chance it'll get missed. This is how I manage my time and make room for work and fun, dare I say it, in advance. I typically ballpark my vacation time a year in advance so I know how much extra time I have to work with for the unpredictable. I even block time for date nights and just hanging out so I have things to look forward to amongst the not so exciting to-dos. At the end of the day my calendar holds me to my commitments, both to myself and to others.
For this, I don't use anything fancy. The calendar on my iPhone does just what I need. I can link it to multiple accounts, access it on multiple devices, set alerts and share it with whomever I want.
3. Own your email, don't let it own you
I could write a blog on this topic alone! Our inboxes can become our enemies. Just when we think we're caught up, a flood of emails pours in. It is incredibly easy to let this get the best of us, but it's just as easy to stay on top of it (believe it or not)! My inbox is not a dump, so I don't treat it that way. I carve out time during my day to manage it. If I receive a newsletter I don't have time to read immediately but want to dig into later, I put it in my "read later" folder. Now, remember that calendar I just told you about? I block out time to go back and read those emails during the week so they aren't forgotten. I never have more than 10 emails in my inbox. Any emails in my inbox are reminders of things I need to address. Once they're finished, I create a folder and file them. Folders are your friends!
You should not be at your email's beck and call. So you don't look at your email for 12 hours (YES, IT'S POSSIBLE), start your day by spending 10-15 minutes organizing your emails. You don't have to respond to every email the second it comes through the door (if it's important there are other ways to contact you), so set some priority items and take it from there.
My go-to is Gmail. It's so easy to navigate and there are so many other features to make use of. They've made a name for themselves for a reason!
Getting organized can seem like a daunting task, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Ditch the excuses and just do it. You'll be thankful for it and you'll be able to find that time you've been so desperately looking for.
Love & luck,