Organization is something we constantly strive for to create balance and order and limit chaos in our lives. But to have organization in all aspects of your life, you have to maintain a mix of organization with your physical space, your time management, and a balance between work, fun, and rest. Here are some ways you can bring more balance and organization to all areas of your life.
Assign tasks to certain days of the week
Break huge projects or chores into smaller, more manageable pieces spread out over a larger portion of time whenever possible. We all know the frantic feeling of preparing our home for guests’ arrival, packing for a trip, or putting together the final pieces of a proposal. Start each project far in advance and do a little at a time to make the task more manageable and less daunting. Assign small chores to different days of the week (Monday is vacuum day, Tuesday is laundry day, Wednesday is dusting day, Thursday is clear the entryway day, etc.) so that you are constantly living in a clean and organized space.
Keep an hourly schedule for a week
Often a stressful, hectic, and unorganized life can be boiled down to poor planning and time management. To fix this problem, it’s important to realize where you are spending your time. For one week, without changing any part of your routine, keep a detailed account, to the minute, of absolutely everything you do. At the end of the week, you may be surprised to see how little time you are devoting to sleep, how many times you find yourself distracted on the internet, and how much TV time you can cut out in favor of something productive. Instead of cutting out these time-wasters entirely, block out short periods of time to allow yourself “internet breaks” throughout the day and TV time to catch your favorite shows instead of mindlessly flipping channels. Schedule plenty of sleep for yourself, and don’t forget to allow time for exercise!
Keep a planner or calendar
Maybe you’re not a planner person, but the wonderful thing about technology is that there’s a site, app, or time tracker for everyone these days. Play around with a variety of online calendars, to do lists, or good ol’ fashioned paper planners to determine which is easiest for you to use and maintain on a regular basis. Having a time management system holds you accountable for using your time wisely and helps you remember when you need to be doing what. You’ll find yourself scheduling appointments on time, paying bills on time, and finding space to allow yourself a little fun.
Find a place for everything
If you have items in your home or office that constantly find their way to the floor, flung on the back of chairs, or scatter across tabletops, take some time to find a space that is specifically assigned to house that object. It is not possible to expect your space to be organized and tidy if you do not have space assigned to all of your items (and, no, shoved in the corner of the room does not count). Set aside some time to make space for all of your belongings. If you cannot find a suitable space for something, it may be a strong indicator that it’s time to get rid of that something. Once you have found a space for everything to belong, make a conscious effort to return these items to their space when you are finished using them. That means hanging up jackets in the closet when you get home, filing mail in the correct folders, and returning pens and pads of paper to their correct drawers.
As you go through life you naturally acquire more items and outgrow the need for others, so unless the physical space you are keeping your items in is constantly growing at the same rate, it’s important to take the time to examine your inventory from time to time to determine what should stay and what should go. Schedule some time once each year, each season, or each month (depending on how often you acquire new things) to give away, sell, store, or throw out items you haven’t used or which have become redundant in your life. Simplifying and freeing up space helps you become more organized and more functional. Not only can this apply to your physical space, but also your relationships. You should regularly take some time to assess the people and activities you fill your life with and make sure that none of them are causing your life unnecessary stress and unhappiness. De-cluttering means cutting out everything that isn’t working anymore and is no longer useful or enriching to your life.
Try not to multi-task
This may be a surprising tip, but most people are not actually good at multi-tasking. Often when you think you are getting more than one thing done at once, it actually ends up taking longer or reduces the quality of work you could have done than if you had devoted your full attention to one task at a time. Try making a prioritized to do list each day and focus on one item at a time. Devote your full attention to completing one task, eating a meal or snack (without doing anything else), having a phone call, and enjoying free time. You’ll be surprised at how well and how quickly you can complete each task if you give each thing your full concentration.
What is your favorite way to bring organization into your life? Share your organization tips and tricks in the comments section below.
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