Along with the New Year comes feelings of renewal and revival. However, I’ve been trying to work on getting my life a little more organized since mid-December, when I decided I wanted to come up with a Five-Year Plan (FYP) that will help get me to where I want to be.
While the FYP is still TBD, I’ve taken on the battle of figuring how to best organize my time. I mean being organized is kind of a necessity for someone like me who is working on a ton of projects: writing for three blogs, working on (hopefully) two novels, running a LeanIn Circle, and trying to work on even further growing my network in Austin.
Luckily, there’s no end to the amount of advice that one can find on the internet about staying organized and the tricks to keeping everything together. Here are some of my favorite tips that I’ll definitely be using this year:
- Keep a To Do List. While technology makes keeping lists easy to do, I find it most helpful to hand write my tasks for the day down and cross them off as they get done. If I keep that to-do list on a sticky note in front of me, there’s no way that I’ll minimize the screen and forget about it completely (which has happened to me).
- Create a list of personal goals and stick them someplace you can see them. I’m not talking New Years Resolutions, though you’re free to add those to the list. You want to create a list of personal goals that have been a constant in your life for years or that you want to continue pursuing moving forward. It’s not something you need to review every day and create a mantra for – you’ll know in your mind that these goals are what your daily actions are leading you toward. But it’s nice to have a physical list of these goals that you can glance at every now and then.
- Use a calendar to up your time management game. I’ve tried going without a calendar, but that ended real poorly. Now, I need to get a paper planner every year so that I can write down events and activities. It’s also a great record of the past if I ever want to go back and see what I did on a certain date. You don’t need to stick to a paper planner – if a digital calendar works for you, go for it!
- Find out where you’re wasting time. There’s always too much to do and too little time to get it all done, which is why it’s important to figure out where you are wasting time and plan how to turn it into productivity. This is a good practice for work (cut down on that Facebook time, y’all!) or at home (maybe work on writing that blog post instead of binge watching Riverdale). Do an audit of your time for seven days and you’ll be surprised what you find out.
- Put time aside in the morning to figure out your top three tasks of the day. We’ve already touched on the to do list, but figuring out your priorities for the day – be it at work or in life in general – is important to getting the day started. If you dedicate your time to getting these big things done, everything else will fall into place around them.
- Set aside time for yourself. If you’re a Busy Bee, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the projects you’ve taken on and have a breakdown or two in the midst of chaos. Make sure to block some time off each day for yourself to meditate, relax with a book, or watch the next episode of your current fave show. Treat. Yo. Self.
- Find a mentor that can help guide you. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a mentor that will support you in your dreams and endeavors, but also provide advice on how to actually make things happen. Plus, mentors are usually pretty awesome and just fun to have as friends.
- Declutter. This can be taken in a literal sense – throwing out old items you no longer need, tossing out the three-year-old magazines you never read, and making a place for everything to be. But it can also apply to your life and the activities that you’ve signed yourself up for. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, maybe it’s time to drop one of those activities or organizations that doesn’t truly help you in achieving your dreams.
What are some of your favorite ways to stay organized in life? Share and comment down below – I’d love to learn what other ways I can work on improving my own organization and life.