In a world as busy as ours, how do you remain organized? At work, ever-closer deadlines and hectic schedules stress you out at work. Back at home, endless chores and the family demand both your time and effort. Then there’s your own life. You have hobbies to do and friends to meet.
Yet no matter how hard you try, each aspect of your life seems to demand more and more of your time with each passing day. How do you strike a balance? You get organized, and here’s how.
1. Figure out Your Priorities
Want to know why your life is so out of balance? In each area of your life, you dwell more on trivial matters than you do on important ones. Take your job, for instance. What takes up most of your time?
Reading emails? Playing card games on the computer? Chatting with colleagues in the cafeteria? Or do you sit at your desk and work? As you can see, where you place your priorities determines whether you get the job done or whether work piles up, forcing you to work long hours.
2. Create a Plan
Now that you know your priorities, put them first by creating a to-do-list. But unlike most people, don’t commit the list to memory. That only sets you up to fail because, like it or not, you’ll soon forget it. And by the time you remember what you were supposed to do, you’ll have fallen behind schedule.
So what’s the alternative? It’s a daily planner. In it, you note down your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, starting with the most important. In short, it helps you to create a plan for greater success and more efficiency.
3. Use Labels
Creating a to-do list is the easy part. The tricky bit is sticking to it. Over the course of the day, a long and difficult task may intrude into the following one’s time slot. So when two or more do likewise, they throw your whole schedule off course. As a result, you miss your daily goals, despite having a list of priorities. What’s the solution?
As unlikely as it sounds, it’s bright, colorful labels. On labels, note down each task you intend to do for the day, and then place the labels in a visible place, such as the fridge, as a visible reminder. And after completing a task, remove the corresponding label. This way, nothing remains undone.
4. Declutter Often
Over time, you’ve accumulated junk in all areas of your life. At work, you still have documents you no longer need cluttering your desk, file cabinet, or computer. And at home, clothes, shoes, or personal items – that you don’t remember you have – fill your closets, dressers, and cabinets.
As for relationships, there are people you relate with simply out of politeness, yet they add no value to your life. Every few months, get rid of all the clutter in your life to free up space for new things, people, and experiences.
5. Put Things Back Where You Found Them
After decluttering, put items you decide to keep where you found them. And if possible, label the box or container in which you place them. Or, spend hours looking for something you swear you had in your hand only moments ago.
Despite living a fast-paced life, you too can remain organized, productive, and stress-free. But there’s a catch: You must do what matters first and get rid of what doesn’t.