If you are reading this, it means there’s too much going on in your life, whether it’s stuff, people, commitments or general confusion. I don’t think anyone can give a magic overnight solution to getting organized and continue being organized. But there are some little things you can do that can make a big positive impact on your day and life in general.
1. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, rethink your organization system
When you have an organizing system, no matter how simple or complicated it is, it should must ensure you know where to find something or where to put it back after using it. From the first moment that is true anymore, it means the organizing system is not working for you, so you need a new one.
It seems like a pain to take everything out and organize it again, but is it worth it in order to avoid such a moment of panic in the future? Totally, at least in my book!
2. Keep a “one place for all” notebook rather than many different ones
No matter how appealing it might seem to have a different notebook, notepad or agenda for every life sector or new project, it’s impossible to carry that all around with you.
To make sure you can access everything any time, try putting all different notes into one place, keep it light enough to carry on you and find a system to define different subjects (like indexes or colors).
Having everything in one place might sound counterintuitive, but it could help you focus and avoid jumping from one project to the other all day.
3. Set goals for every day
Try setting a certain number of tasks you’ll be content to accomplish in your to-do list for the day, or pick the most important things you want to focus on.
When you have only a couple of things to do, it’s much easier to prepare for the day and keep everything ready and organized. But when your day is not edited, it’s impossible to be prepared and organized for everything (including the unknown).
4. Put stuff where they are used, not where there’s space
We are used to store objects where there’s a closet or shelf or any storage to hide them away. How about putting everything in our house or workplace near to where or what they serve? Daily tasks would be completed so much faster and finding things wouldn’t resemble a treasure hunt.
5. Split every project into smaller tasks
Despite its size or importance, every project can be translated into small manageable tasks. Having everything in front of you helps to get motivated and feel less intimidated by big projects, evaluate what you already have and what you need. Also, it will help you keep track of your progress and not miss deadlines in case you underestimate something.
6. Schedule system maintenance
No system will benefit you unless you keep up with it on the long term. Experiment until you find one that works for you and that is easy to maintain. Then schedule dates in the coming months (you decide how often is best for you) to refresh the organizing system and get everything back in order before it becomes a mess and you don’t know where to start again.
7. For everything you buy, write the opening date on the package
It will help you keep track of how fast you go through products and will solve the dilemma on whether you’ll get sick by eating certain things. After doing this for a while, you will be able to memorize some of your habits and you’ll likely not run out of products without backups again. It’s also convenient when budgeting, as you will know how much of an item you need for a month.
8. Treat fun the same way as obligations
Consistency is the key to being organized. If you want to go all the way, have the same system for everything in your life, obligations and fun.
Put mobile phone reminders for your favorite shows and meetings with friends. Schedule personal and leisure appointments.
If your fun part of life is treated with the same seriousness as your obligations, it will be much more easier to remember everything and not favor work when they overlap. That will probably lead to more general satisfaction.
9. Ask yourself why you need to be more organized
If you give an honest answer to this simple question, you might find the most effective way to get more organized, without going through useless tips that are not specifically tailored to you.
Managing to spot the problematic areas in your current life makes it so much easier to work with the problems and keep the rest that might be working great the same.
Depending on your answer, you might find out you have to purge, create a simpler system, schedule maintenance, hire help, or just start writing everything down.