Keeping Your Daily Life Organized When Being Tidy Doesn’t Come Naturally
If we were to sit down and chat over coffee, I’d tell you that you are amazing, strong, and courageous just the way you are. You have gifts and talents that you bring to the world in a combination no one else can. Rather than trying to be someone else, step fully into who you are, embrace your beauty, and let’s find ways to create a sense of order that works for your unique strengths.
I’m sharing tips here that I’ve seen work for those around me who don’t have a natural bent towards being organized. But if a different method works better for you, then stick with it! This is a place to get the conversation around organizing started, no matter where you’re at in the journey. We all start somewhere. So, let’s start with where YOU are at, and not end up comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle.
These past couple weeks, I’ve been realizing that I share a significant amount from the perspective of someone (me) who has had a bent towards organizing all my life. I was organizing my bedroom from the time I was tall enough to move furniture around… but hear me out. It hasn’t always been easy. I still have areas where it’s a challenge to make my life run smoother, and these changes based on the season of life I’m in. Organizing is a learned and a practiced skill.
With the Organized Homebody membership, we can dive even deeper together into your strengths and how to organize around them, but these tips here will get you started!
Make the Calendar Your Go-To Place for Appointments
We live in a fast-paced world, but guess what? You have the power to choose whether your life subscribes to that fast pace, or goes against the flow with a stride that is sustainable for you. Your calendar can be not only a place to remind you of upcoming commitments, but also a gauge for your daily, weekly, and monthly rhythms. It can be the data that you need in order to make adjustments to slow your life down, or to know when you can add extra adventures. You can use a physical calendar space, or you can go digital. I actually do both, but if you’re not in the habit of using a calendar, I’d recommend you pick just one method to start with. You can add the other one after you’ve developed a habit around making your calendar your go-to place for appointments.
Whenever you have an opportunity arise, go to your calendar to add it, double-check that it doesn’t conflict with other events, and see how you’re balancing your energy levels. Time management is really about looking at your energy, where it’s going, and what you can commit to that allows you to be fully present with each yes.
Create One Online Place for Planning and Another for Notes
You write out a thought, idea, or to-do with the intent of coming back to it, but either lose the note, or end up with 10 million random notes that you have no idea what they mean. I totally hear you. As a creative person who always has ideas, this is one of the areas I’m constantly working to improve. I should probably buy stock in Post-It! But for real, paper is a challenge for so many of us. With new ideas constantly in front of us through social media, and the interweb at our fingertips, it’s SO easy to end up with 40+ places we hold our thoughts. My recommendation to you, is pare this down to one place for planning and one place for notes.
Let’s quickly define “planning”: Planning according to Dictionary.com is “a scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc. developed in advance.” This process could involve a to-do list, and/or capturing ideas in a notebook that need to be implemented in the future. If you tend to be most successful when you can physically write something down, designate a notebook specifically for planning. Notes can be anything from meeting notes to an idea that you don’t want to lose.
If you need to coordinate with others around your house, or with a team at work, you can use a digital planning software like Trello. It has a simple interface, minimal options so you won’t end up with more work just trying to navigate the software, and a few different “list formats” that allow you to visually organize based on what works best for you. My favorite is “board views”.
A few ideas for categories that might help to organize ideas/tasks are:
- Notes + Ideas
- This Week
The biggest thing is, keep it simple. You can even pare the categories down from the list I’ve given above. Another idea would be use Trello’s calendar view and leave your list in one large list.
Use the 1-3-5 Prioritizing Method
The 1-3-5 method consists of selecting 1 top priority for the day, 3 medium priority tasks, and 5 low priority tasks. You’re likely a have a lot going on. Taking 20 minutes at the beginning of the week, or 5 minutes at the beginning of the day to set your intentions can make all the difference… and it allows you to look back at each day knowing exactly what you completed. Celebrate and be grateful, even it’s simply a small gesture, for what the day brought!
Ask for Help
You may feel like Supergirl at times, but the truth is, we’re all human. There is only so much we can get done in a day and, sometimes, we need a little extra help to get life running smoothly. If you need hands-on support, hiring a local professional organizer may be beneficial. If you’re looking for support, hacks and tips, and are in a place where a self-starter approach would be just what you need, let’s create new habits together in the Organized Homebody community! There we dive into how you can create simple systems in your home and tap into your strengths to organize in a way that works uniquely for you.
Take Everything in Bite-Sized Pieces
Whether you have a large chunk of time or are organizing your life with the “in-between” times, taking a project in bite-sized pieces is the key. If you try to tackle everything at once, it gets overwhelming and can be hard to prioritize what is really important. Keeping in mind the question “How can I make this 1% better?” can give you a way to measure whether you’re trying to take on 89% of everything at once, or whether you can move forward one step at a time.
Give yourself space to find out what works for your lifestyle and your unique combination of responsibilities. Remember to ask for help when you’re feeling stuck (or even before!). Learning how to organize is a journey, and it’s a skill that can be learned. The traditional linear methods may not work for you, and that is totally ok! Give yourself the mental and physical space to explore and discover. This process of discovery involves actively learning and being intentional about finding solutions. This blog is certainly a great place to start!
If you’d like to learn more about the method (The Simple Habit Framework) and community (Organized Homebody) that I created, grab a cup of coffee, get cozy, and check out this FREE 1-Hour live where we’ll dive into how you can take back control of your schedule and home.