Organization goes hand-in-hand with productivity, so it’s really not something that you should ignore. I know that life makes it really hard to be organized at times, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. When the mess starts to take over our lives, that’s when we know that it’s time to do something about it.
1. Don’t rely on your memory
Writing everything down can mean the difference between your success or your demise. If you write down what you need to do, you’re way less likely to forget about it.
Luckily, there’s a ton of options out there for those of us that then to forget things from time to time. You can write down your schedule on your phone, on your computer, on a piece of paper. There’s even a ton of apps like Evernote, that can help you remember what you need to do.
The great thing is: you can jot down just about anything that you need to remember. Whether it’s a birthday, an address, or even your own name, it’s nice to know that you can access what you need when you need it.
2. Make schedules and deadlines
Being disorganized can slow you down. Tame your mess and don’t let it hold you back. Organized people don’t waste time and you shouldn’t either. Organization and productivity go together. So, if you’re more messy, you’re going to waste more time. That’s why organized people like to make schedules and set goals. They may not always stick to them, but they usually do. And when they don’t, it’s for good reason.
I like to keep an agenda because it helps me stay on top of what I need to do. I got mine for about $5-7 at Walmart and, for how much it’s benefited me, it’s been totally worth it. If you’re interested in buying an agenda, check out The High Performance Planner from Amazon!
If you’re not looking to buy an agenda, you can just write down your plans and goals on a piece of paper. If you’re more tech-y, you can set down some daily or weekly goals on your phone or computer instead.
Don’t know what to plan for? Plan out your week, your day, or even your month. You can even plan for emergencies, because let’s face it, in an emergency, you’re not going to be in the right position to make rational decisions.
As an experiment, try writing a few things that you want to accomplish this week. Do that for a few weeks or so and see if that helps you accomplish more. What you will learn:
- How to prioritize: Why spend time on something that’s not important to you? Instead, learn to focus on what matters more.
- How to be more productive: You know what trying to do everything at once is going to do to you? It’s going to burn you out. And you’ll end up being less productive as a result.
- How to live a stress-free life: Trying to get everything done so quickly is only going to stress you out. Slowing down will let you take the time to make sure that your work is better.
- How to arrive on time: You know that feeling of arriving late to a really important meeting? Let me tell you, it sucks. Instead of letting it get to you, plan to arrive early. That way if traffic hits, you won’t have to worry it.
- How to prioritize yourself: Taking off more than you can chew? Mentally drained, but still going out of your way to help people? Stop the cycle and learn to put yourself above others. (At least sometimes). Think of it this way: if you’re not at your best, you’re not going to be able to help the people that need it most.
3. Don’t procrastinate!
The longer that you wait to do something, the longer that it’s going to be on your mind. Procrastination will stress you out and make you more anxious. Tackle what you need to do when you can, so that you can avoid the side effects and consequences of pushing things farther back. If you want your life to be less stressful, put in the effort to get things done as soon as possible. Lift that weight off your shoulders as soon as you can.
To start, think of one thing that you want to do. If you can get it done right now, then do it!
4. Give everything a place
It’s easy to get lost when you don’t know where your stuff is. Having a messy home or office can also make it really hard to be productive.
Keeping your stuff in a designated place means that you won’t waste time looking for things when you need time. Some people like to keep their stuff organized by creating custom storage and labeling everything that they have. Personally, I like to have less stuff in the first place, so that I know exactly where everything is.
However, if you want to store your things, make sure that the things that you use frequently are easily accessible. Just don’t let your spaces get too cluttered. As a general rule, anything labeled “miscellaneous” or “junk” tends to be a pain once it reaches a certain threshold of item.
Here’s something you can do now: think of any place in your home that you can re-organize. Start small and find designated places for all of the items in that place. Either organize them in to categories where they are or put them in places that make more sense.
Just remember that as you organize, the items that you use frequently should be easily accessible. Other items that you don’t use frequently should be tucked away where it will not disturb. Think you have too much stuff? Check out: Signs You May Have Too Much Stuff.
5. Get rid of what you don’t need
Unnecessary clutter is distracting. And more stuff means more clutter. The last thing that you need when you’re trying to get something done is to get distracted by whatever else you have on your desk, on your counters, or on your floors.
Organized people have less things, but that’s because they only keep what they use and enjoy. They don’t keep the things that’s only serve the purpose to collect dust. They find the time to organize their stuff and determine what they need and don’t need.
Do yourself a favor and get rid of anything that you don’t need or anything that you won’t need within a year or so. Say goodbye to anything that will take you away from what you need to do. Things to simplify today:
- your closet
- social media
- your desktop
If you’re the type of person that finds it difficult to get rid of things. Maybe the solution isn’t to try and declutter your home all in one sitting. Try doing it little by little. Or at the very least, try to organize what you have.
Just remember that there’s a lot of ways to get rid of your things. If a friend will take it, I’m sure that they would appreciate the gift. Take your stuff to the thrift shop. Donate what’s in good condition. Recycle what you can. If you have nice clothes, you can sell them on Depop or Poshmark. You can also make money with Craigslist or Ebay.
If don’t think that anyone would want your stuff, you can always trash it. But you never know, one mans trash is another man’s treasure, within reason of course. I think it’s safe to say that if 90% of people wouldn’t want it, it’s probably okay to throw it away.
What you can do to get organized: Set aside some time every week or so to organize your things. Remember that a little goes a long way. Doing a little bit here and there will prevent your house from looking like a colossal mess.
Here’s a guide to decluttering: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
6. Be wary of sales
All those “buy one get one free” and “buy one get one half off” are made for one reason and one reason only: to make more sales. Don’t let this clever advertising fool you. A lot of the times these types of sales get you to purchase more that you need leading to a lot of waste and a lot more mess. Food is a big contender of this issue. Across many developed nations, a great percentage of our food is thrown out.
I once heard a saying that went “if there’s a sale, it’s usually because it’s overpriced”. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t partake in sales at all. If you can save money on something that you were going to buy and use anyway, then go right ahead.
The problem comes in when we buy things that we wouldn’t have bought otherwise and that we aren’t going to use. And organized people only buy what they need.
Try this out: if you’re the type of person that gets a sort of adrenaline rush from a sale, then try to make a list when you go shopping and stick to it. No ifs, ands, or buts, you can only buy what you wrote. This will prevent unnecessary shopping and the annoying clutter that comes along with it.
Don’t less messiness get you down. A little organization can go a long way into living a more productive and satisfying life! As always, thanks for reading. Please share this post if you found it useful!