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Get Organized Now: 9 Ideas That Work

Get Organized Now: 9 Ideas That Work

We all want to get more organized; have our lives a little more sorted. We dream of a state of structured bliss which will help us to think, plan and act more clearly.

For years I longed to be organized and to know where I could find things. I wished I knew where to put the things that I left lying around. My house was a mess, my head even worse.

Little by little I saw the light (literally). I removed the clutter and organized myself in such a way that my disorganization no longer hindered my success. Here are some of the ideas that I have found to work and that I still use in my day to day life.

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1. Eliminate surplus

The less you have the less you need to organize. It’s as simple as that. Do an audit of all your possessions. Count how many towels you have, how many sheets, how many cups, bags, pairs of shoes. When you do you will be surprised at the results. Think about how many of each item you really need. When I started to reduce these objects in my house, it reduced the amount of work I needed to do. Less washing, less organizing, less stress.

2. Reduce the incoming

Stop buying unnecessary objects. Don’t shop as a past time; shop when you need something. Before you make any purchase ask yourself “do I really need it”? By reducing the amount of shopping you do you will keep your life more simple and save cash at the same time. When we see things in front of us we believe that we need them. The best solution is to avoid malls, shops and catalogs as much as possible.

3. Storage solutions

If you take my advice in point 1 and 2 you should have less stuff to organize and store. The more you remove from your life the less you need to organize. Plan the storage required. Don’t buy too much or you will end up filling it again.

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4. Go paperless

I always thought this an unnecessary solution to organizing until I started using Evernote. I have started to move towards a paperless office. It takes some time to set up and get going but I believe it’s worth it in the end. Having everything stored electronically reduces the amount of filing cabinets needed to store documents and allows for speedy retrieval. It’s great for someone who is constantly on the go and needs to have documents at hand wherever they are. Lauren Rothlisberger from getmegeeky.com explains how she went paperless in her book A Mom’s Guide to Evernote.

5. Create positive habits

Create little routines for tidying and organizing. Fold clothes while the children are in the bath. Tidy your desk while you are on the phone. I know I’m not an advocate of multitasking but when you are doing tasks that don’t need mental attention it’s ok to do two at the same time. Make sure you call in the help of all those who live in your house and help them create positive habits too. Everyone should help to clean the kitchen after a meal. All toys should be tidied away before bedtime.

6. Use a Task List

You need to have somewhere to write it all down. A place to put reminders, notes and to-dos. There are many good apps on the market. Check out Mike Vardy’s list of 50 Productivity apps for iPhone or the list of cross-platform productivity tools and chose one that suits your way of working.

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7. Plan it

A calendar is also an essential piece of kit. It never ceases to amaze me how few people use a calendar to plan their weekly tasks. Many who do use a calendar, only use it to plan appointments and meetings, never to schedule time with themselves to complete a certain task. Don’t forget what gets scheduled gets done!

8. Use Checklists

Checklists are great time savers. If you create a checklist once you will never have to repeat the work again. Create checklists for holidays, for business trips, for weekly chores or back to school tasks. Get your kids to use checklists, saves repetitive reminders to brush teeth, tidy toys etc. Checklists can be created in Evernote or on your PC in any app and print one out each time you need to check things off.

9. The Mind Download

This is one of the most useful exercises that I do regularly to help me feel more focused and productive. I dump everything from my mind onto paper and organize it into my system. This helps to ensure nothing gets forgotten and frees up mental space for more creative things.

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Implement one of these tips today and you will take one step closer to being awesomely organized.

(Photo credit: Interior fashionable room via Shutterstock)

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Ciara Conlon

Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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Last Updated on October 28, 2020

How to Take Time for Yourself and Restore Your Energy

How to Take Time for Yourself and Restore Your Energy

Do you ever find yourself longing to take time for yourself? Many of us are so busy with work, school, and home life that often there is no time left over to do something that you enjoy. What follows are some ways to carve out that essential time you need to slow down, enjoy life, and rejuvenate your mental and physical health.

The Importance of Self-Care

In today’s on-the-go society, taking time for yourself is often looked upon as being selfish or unproductive. You have a job to do, kids to take care of, meals to cook, bills to pay, and the list goes on. How can you possibly justify taking time out for self-care without feeling guilty[1]?

The truth is that without self-care, you’re not giving yourself a fighting chance to give your best to each aspect of your life. If you don’t take care of your own needs first, you’ll find yourself burnt out and struggling in everyday life before you know it[2].

Take time for yourself with self-care

    Shift your perspective and accept that taking time for self-care is key if you truly want to live a productive, happy, and successful life.

    Simple Ways to Take Time for Yourself

    Finding time to focus on self-care can be difficult, especially with the demands of work and family life. Often, scheduling time before you need it can be a great to way to ensure you don’t skimp on the all-important personal time. Here are a few simple ways to take time for yourself.

    Evenings With Yourself

    Try to save certain weeknights just for you. If others ask you to do things those nights, just tell them you have plans. Use the time for gardening, reading, exercise, thinking, or the ultimate luxury of doing nothing!

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    Monthly Treat

    Schedule a treat for yourself once a month. It could be on your lunch break, a weekend, or it could be leaving work early. Maybe you get a spa treatment, go see a movie, a haircut, play golf, or whatever treat you’re always thinking about but rarely get to do.

    Schedule it in at least a month before to ensure that nothing gets in the way of that time.

    Buy Tickets in Advance

    Buy tickets for a baseball game, theater production, concert, or any other event you would enjoy. Having the tickets already in hand will force you to make it happen!

    Leave Work on Time

    This is one of the simplest things you can do when you’re craving personal time. Many of us stay at work late on a regular basis. If this is you, make it a point to leave work exactly on time at least once a week, if not more[3]. And then enjoy that time by participating in your favorite hobby or spending time with a friend you rarely see.

    Join a Group

    Joining a group can be a great way to include socializing when you take time for yourself. Find a group or club that revolves around an interest or passion of yours or something you’ve been wanting to try. You can find a book club, photography club, or bird watching group. It can be anything that helps you feel rejuvenated.

    Take an Adult Education Class

    Have you been wanting to learn something new or brush up on something you learned a while back? There are tons of free online classes, and many community colleges also offer free or cheap classes.

    You can learn a foreign language, try yoga, or brush up on your painting skills.

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    Exercise

    For busy people it can be difficult to make time for this, but it’s important to do so. A new habit is started with just one step.

    For example, you can walk for 20 minutes in the morning, and then build on that success daily. Vary how you spend that time. On some days use the time for thinking and daydreaming. Other days you can listen to motivational audio, and on days you want a real boost, listen to your favorite music!

    However, if you’ve been exercising for a while and usually listen to music, try go without any input for a change. Instead, let your mind wander and expand.

    Here are some ways to find time for exercise in your busy life.

    Taking Time for Yourself on the Go

    Some of us spend hours commuting to and from work. This can be a great chance to take time for yourself!

    Commute Via Public Transportation

    If you can, ditch your car and let someone else do the driving. Use that time to plan your day or do some reading, writing, creative thinking, or even meditation.

    Driving in Your Car

    Make the most of this time, and vary how you spend it. If you always listen to music, perhaps also try educational radio (NPR), audio books, or even quiet time.

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    Use that quiet time for brainstorming. Either think in your head or even talk your ideas out loud. Bring a voice recorder. You could write a book via voice recorder over time.

    Waiting in the Car

    If you find that you have a certain amount of “waiting time” in your life, change how you perceive it. Instead of “waiting time,” you can instantly change it into “free time” by reading a book, writing a to-do list, or practicing meditation.

    Two Birds With One Stone

    Look for ideas where you can fit in time for you within things you need to do already or that will have multiple benefits. See the ideas below to give you an idea.

    Walk to Work

    This is a a great one because you’re accomplishing many things at once. You’re getting exercise, you have time to think or enjoy music/audio, and you’re helping to save the environment.

    Arrive Early

    Any appointment that you have, plan to arrive 15-30 minutes early. Then use this time to sit back and relax with a book or magazine.

    Volunteer

    There are so many benefits with this. You make a difference for others, escape work and personal worries, and grow as a person. This about what kind of volunteering interests you and find a group to join. It could be environmental, educational, or anything that brings you a sense of purpose.

    Eat Lunch Alone

    Try sneaking away for a quiet lunch alone on a park bench or even in your car. Enjoy some quiet time with no one to talk to and no distracting noises.

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    Time Away From Kids

    You love your kids, but sometimes you just need a break from parent life. Here are some ideas to help you step away from that role for a bit.

    Organize a “Mom’s/Dad’s Morning Out” Circle

    If you have a friend or group of friends, you could arrange to share babysitting services a few times a month so that others in the group get some time alone.

    Hire a Babysitter

    Make a plan to have a babysitter that you trust watch your children once a month or once a week so that you can take time for yourself. Take it a step further and make that a date night or a night you participate in a class or hobby.

    Find a Gym With a Babysitting Service

    Find a gym that offers childcare so that you can take a yoga class, do some strength training, or even work out with a personal trainer. Make sure you fully research the safety of their childcare program first, though, and get some references if possible.

    The Bottom Line

    If you feel like you need to take time for yourself and relieve stress, there are many ways to do it. Even if you have a chaotic life where there seems to be only seconds to spare on any given day, it’s possible to carve out time for yourself by simply planning ahead. Make this a monthly occurrence to begin a healthy self-care habit.

    More Tips on Self-Care

    Featured photo credit: Erwann Letue via unsplash.com

    Reference

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