By Lauren | March 20, 2017 | 0 Comment
Growing up I was a busy kid. I danced competitively for over ten years and on top of that, attended school, had a part-time job and all those other things that come along with being a kid. I missed out on parties because I was busy in the dance studio, I didn’t eat dinner at home with my family but in the dance studio, and I had to be self-motivated enough to sit at a table with all my dance friends and do my homework since I would dance literally all evening. I loved every minute of it and it’s this that I can now thank for making me an extremely organized person.
I’m one of the lucky ones because we all know those people that aren’t that organized. The ones that forget about timelines and due dates, that show up 30 minutes late to a commitment they’ve made and can’t process all the things they have going on in their life. We all know people like this but I’m not one of them and I’m going to share with you how I keep on top of everything I have going on in my life such as: freelance projects, running two blogs, having a social life, my 9-5 job and still finding time for yoga and dance. Now I’m going to preface this by saying that not everything I do will work for other people. It takes awhile to find what works best for you and it may be entirely different than the next person, but use this as a guide to see inside my head to get inspiration for making yourself more organized!
I grew up with an agenda. It started in elementary school when our teachers forced us to use them every day and get them signed by our parents. I can’t thank my grade school teachers for making this habit stick because it has been my saving grace! Yes, I still use an old school agenda and it’s colour coded (pink = freelance and blogs, yellow = social life and working out, blue = appointments and meetings, orange = work commitments). I keep my agenda on my desk at work, although lots of people I know like to carry it around with them everywhere they go. My agenda is constantly updated and ensures I don’t double book myself and actually meet important deadlines. It also serves as a place to input appointments I’ve made far in advance, especially if my phone goes missing, breaks or dies. You can always count on paper and there’s something about having it sitting in front of you everyday that holds you accountable!
I have a variety of to-do lists I like to keep each week. For starters, I have one I keep on my desk at work which is primarily things I need to accomplish in my day-to-day in my job. I breakdown my to-do list into the five days of the week and write underneath the things I NEED to complete that day. There are always other things that pop up but by ensuring I complete my daily must-dos, I stay on track of timelines and don’t procrastinate. Overall it holds me more accountable.
Then I have a to-do list in my phone (in the notes section). I keep this to-do list for each week and it basically serves as a list of all those other things I need to do throughout the week, as simple as doing groceries or my laundry, to freelance projects I’m working on or meetings, appointments or other commitments. This way I always have it in my hands on-the-go and can add or look at it for a reminder.
On top of my regular old school agenda I use, I also keep any commitments in my calendar on my phone too. Since I don’t carry around my agenda with me, this allows me to easily access my calendar and see what I have going on (because I absolutely hate when I accidentally double book myself). In terms of what I keep in this calendar though, I leave out simple to-dos. This is what as I have my to-do list for. Instead, I just put the more major commitments like yoga classes I’m attending, social events, vacations, appointments, etc. This also makes it easy when I’m out with a friend or have someone email or text me about something when I’m on-the-go, because I can simply open my phone and see if I’m already committed to something else.
The one thing that helps me “do it all” is my ability to say “no”. I think one very important thing is not taking on more than you can possibly chew. When you take on too much it makes it very hard to be organized because you literally have not enough time in a day. Instead, take on things that you are able to fit in your schedule and don’t overbook yourself. Also, don’t forget to make time to have a social life and time for exercise or things that are important to your self-care. In order for you to stay organized you need to be very self aware of your time, so don’t be afraid to just say “no” when you really aren’t able to take on something.
Staying organized is a skill that is incredibly valuable in not only your career but just everyday life. No, it doesn’t come naturally for everyone but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get in a habit of being more on top of things. Start small and remember that it takes 15 days for a habit to stick so don’t just give up and go back to your old ways!
How do you stay organized? Share below your tips and tools in the comments.