Organization is a topic that we tend to focus on more around the new year. But in reality, it’s something we can be working on year-round to make our lives run more smoothly! I’m an organized person by nature, and things tend to go a bit haywire for me when I’m totally organized. Today I want to share some of my go-to tips that you can try to get more organized today.
It’s crazy what a difference a little clutter can do in your productivity! This is definitely something I’ve noticed in myself. Once your environment is neat and tidy and you don’t feel like you’re always moving clutter out of the way, I can promise you’ll feel more organized overall! It’s also one of the quickest ways to get more organized!
Synchronize Your Calendars
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got calendars and planners everywhere. I have my physical planner that I use for blogging. I have a Google calendar for both of my two email inboxes (personal and blog), and I have a work calendar. Then there’s the running calendar in my head of events and commitments that I’m aware of, but will probably forget within 24 hours if they aren’t written down. I know I’m not alone here! So many people I know are running on multiple calendars and can hardly schedule anything without looking in three different places to make sure they’re free. Or they’re letting meetings and commitments fall through the cracks. That’s why it’s so important to synchronize your calendars so you aren’t letting anything get lost in the fray. You’ll feel infinitely more organized when you can look in one place for everything you need to prepare for or attend.
Clean Out Your Inbox
Ah yes, the dreaded inbox (or several inboxes, if you’re like me). I can’t remember the last time I achieved “inbox zero” in any one of my email inboxes. It’s not an issue of me not having read the emails. I’m reading emails more times per day than I care to admit. But once I read them, I think that I might at some point need this email again, and then I just let it sit in my inbox. But there’s an easy way to rectify that. If you have to hang onto an email you’ve already read, fine! But put it somewhere. Don’t just leave it sitting in your inbox. Utilize folders to make your inbox as organized as possible and make sure you aren’t scrolling through pages of emails to find one you need. Make it your goal that the only emails sitting in your general inbox are those you haven’t read yet.
If your problem is that you’re lazy about actually reading your emails, allot a certain amount of time each day to going through emails and either deleting them or relocating them to a different folder.
Make a To-Do List
I am 100% more likely to get done everything I need to if I’ve written (or typed) a list of everything I need to accomplish. Ultimately it’s important for me to write down my daily tasks so I can see them and cross them off when they’re finished. I find it best to start with the hardest, most important task because then everything is downhill from there. It doesn’t always work out this way, but it’s definitely the most productive for me.
Using a to-do list is the best way to ensure you aren’t forgetting anything. I know when I’m not using a list, I’m likely to forget things. Often I’ll have an email in my inbox that I have to follow up on with a task, and I’ll mentally tell myself that the email is my reminder. But since my email isn’t organized just yet (see above), it gets lost in the fray and I never complete the task! So instead, I’ve just started writing everything on my to-do list.
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Commit to Tasks and Follow Through
If I’m feeling particularly disorganized one week (or day or month), there’s a good chance it’s because I’ve fallen behind on some tasks and am scrambling to catch up. A great way to get more organized all the time is to make sure that if you’re committing to a task, you’re following through on it. You can set reminders in your calendar or download a to-do list app on your phone that will remind you of your tasks.
Don’t Over Commit
If you’ve done all of the above and still can’t seem to get more organized or caught up with everything in your life, you might be taking on too much. By overcommitting, you’re ensuring that you live in a constant state of stress and disorganization. Narrow down your tasks to those that are most important to you, and remember you can’t say yes to everything. Sometimes you have to say no for your own well-being. Start small, and commit to less than you think you can handle. Then, as you start to become more organized and have a better handle on your life, you can take on a bit more. Just remember to always give yourself some breathing room and time to relax.
What are your favorite ways to get more organized?
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