Organization is easy in theory. How hard can it be? Keeping things neat, getting everything done, and that's it, right? When life gets hectic, staying organized is harder than it seems. We all need help staying organized from time to time, whether it comes easy for you or you struggle to keep it together. Follow these organization tips and tricks whenever you need to get back on track.
1. Set goals
You may be a student or a professional in the workforce. Either way, having a clear idea of what you need to accomplish each day will help you get to it all. Before you go to bed at night, make a to-do list for the next day. Put the most important tasks at the top of the list and less pressing ones further down. Not only will you wake up with a clear idea of what needs to be done, but you'll also sleep better knowing that you are on top of things.
2. Be an early bird
Do you have to wake up at 7 a.m.? Set your alarm for 6:45. Do you have to leave your house at 8? Leave at 7:45. Getting up early and leaving early is easier said than done, but if you keep doing it, eventually it will become easier. If you create a habit of being early, you won't ever find yourself rushing and flustered as you move through your day.
3. Prepare for the next day
Number two will be much easier if you incorporate this one into your organizational plan. Get everything you need for tomorrow ready the night before. Lay out your clothes, pack your lunch, and pack your book bag or briefcase with the materials you need. Have your keys ready and your cell phone and other devices charged. You can even have breakfast planned. Getting all this ready the night before will make your morning easier.
Set aside 15 minutes each day, 30 if you have it, to get rid of clutter. Open the mail, file what you need, and toss the rest. Put away anything laying out, and organize any notebooks or folders. Doing it in shorter increments is easier than facing a mountain of clutter at the end of the week.
5. Organize your work area
Whether it's a desk at home or a cubicle at the office, keep it neat. Have a filing system in place, wipe down keyboards and phones, and get rid of used plates and cups. It's hard to focus on the task at hand with a messy work space.
6. Use a planner
How hard would it be to get where you need to go if you have no idea when you have to be there? You may think you can keep your appointments and engagements straight in your head, but keeping a calendar will ensure that you don't forget a date or time. Get a planner with a calendar, contact list, and a section for notes so you have it all in one place. Also, make the most of the organizational tools and apps on your electronic devices and set calendar or note reminders.
7. Get enough sleep
Scheduling sleep time is just as important as scheduling work time. It's hard enough to make your way through a to-do list without having to struggle to keep your eyes open.
8. Eat healthy
Another entry in the self-care category. You need the energy to make it through the hectic pace of life, and you get it from healthy food. Eat plenty of produce, drink water, and don't skip meals.
9. Ask for help
Sometimes our plates get too full and we just need a hand. Don't be afraid to ask for it. Tap parents, friends, spouses, colleagues, or anyone you have who might have a moment to spare, and be ready to pitch in when they need help. A support system is a valuable organizational resource.
10. Take time out for yourself
This might be the most important tip. Pencil in some time to do what you love. Even if it's only ten minutes, having that time will help keep your mind fresh and focused for the next day. Read a book, have a cup of tea, go for a walk, anything that will let you unplug.
We hope these tips are helpful in getting you to stay organized. Let us know what works for you. We'd love to hear from you.