How To Be More Organized
Ever feel like your life’s a mess? Don’t worry, most people do. Life’s so busy these days that it can feel like you’ve got a million tasks and no time to do it in. Problem is, you’re not organized enough. There are people that never miss a birthday, always get up on time, and manage it all without having a breakdown. They seem like superheroes, but actually, they just have a few simple habits. We came up with these 10 essential tips to make you more organized.
Wake Up Early
Organized people get up early. That’s a fact. If you’re the kind of person that’s rolling out of bed at 12, you’ve already wasted half the day. Of course, it’s not that easy. To some of us, it’s a daily struggle to peel yourself from your warm, comfy bed. But I promise it’s worth it. You can use those precious extra hours in the morning getting yourself ready for the day ahead.
You might be thinking – that’s all well and good, but how do I change a lifetime of struggling to get out of bed? Fair point. You need to make it a habit. Experts think that the average number of days it takes to create a habit is around 76. So, it’s going to take some dedication.
The first job is to stop using the alarm on your phone. Invest in a real alarm clock. There have been some pretty cool advances in the world of alarm clocks. You can buy ones that charge your phone, play your favorite songs, wake you up slowly, and even make you coffee. Whatever you want from your alarm, the most important thing is to put it away from where you sleep so you have to get out of bed to stop it. Once you have stood up, you’re much less likely to get back into bed.
Prep Your Meals
Being organized isn’t just about keeping your desk clean and answer your emails. It’s about everyday stuff like eating healthily. If you get this right, it will benefit every part of your life. You’ll be happier, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll even be better in bed… probably.
Meal prep is the best way to ensure you can eat healthy all week, without spending hours every day making food. The best way to start is by picking a meal you always struggle to find time for. If you’re always rushing breakfast, make yourself enough breakfasts for the week. Then, once you’re a bit more confident, prep your lunch, dinner, and even snacks.
Start with simple recipes that you already know well. Then, you can get a bit more adventurous. It’s also worth buying some quality meal prep containers. You can get plastic or glass ones, and some come with separate sections for your controlling your portions. All you have to do is spend a couple of hours over the weekend making some delicious food and you’re sorted with healthy food for the week.
Pack Your Bag The Night Before
Organization and preparation go hand in hand. You can’t keep organized on the fly, you’ve got to plan and prepare. You might know what you want to achieve this month. You might even have a five-year plan. But what about tomorrow? Do you have a plan for tomorrow? That’s a key trait of any organized person: always being ready for tomorrow.
Think about your day. What time are you waking up? What time have you got to start work? Are you hitting the gym afterward? What are you eating? Whatever your plan, making sure everything’s ready. Pack your lunch bag, your gym bag, and have it all ready and waiting for when you leave. Get this right and your day will run like a well-oiled machine. It only takes ten minutes in the evening.
Organize Your Week
Now you’ve got all your bags packed and your food prepped, the next step is to organize your week. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to fit too much into every week, but you’ve got to be realistic. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’re not going to achieve all of your life goals before Sunday evening.
Organizing your week is a great way of simplifying your life. Don’t think you have to account for every minute of every day, it’s good to be spontaneous sometimes. Instead, think about what you need to get done and make time for it to happen. If you’re going out for a few beers with friends on Wednesday, make sure you get any tasks done on Tuesday.
Buy a diary planner or a wall planner and detail everything you have on during the week. Then, check it every night before bed so you’re mentally prepared for the week. Easy!
Procrastination is the enemy of the organized person. We’ve all been there. You’ve got to finish some work, but instead, you spend hours cleaning your room with military precision. It’s amazing how easy it is to waste time when you’ve got to get something done.
If you really want to be good at time-management, you need to cut procrastination out of your life. It’s not easy, but it will free up so much time in your life. There are a few ways of doing it. For example, trying the Pomodoro technique, where you spend an hour working and take a five-minute break. This helps you keep focused for longer. You can also help by removing distractions from your workspace. Block Facebook on your computer and put your phone out of reach.
For more tips on how to stop procrastination, check our recent post.
Have A Place For Everything
Organized people don’t lose things. They don’t turn up late to work because they couldn’t find their car keys. They don’t forget to take their wallet to the bar. They’re not like that. If you don’t want to be that kind of guy, you’ve got to start keeping everything in its rightful place. This is one of the harder habits to make because it comes into every part of your life.
First, let’s start with the big things. Car keys are one of the easiest things to lose, so buy a bowl and keep it by your front door. Whenever you walk through the door, the keys go in the bowl. Simple. Next, buy yourself an extra charging cable for your phone. Plug it in next to your bed and never move it. You can’t lose it if you don’t move it. It’s also useful to buy a couple of bags. Have one bag for work and one for the gym, then you can keep them packed and never forget anything. Messenger bags are especially useful for work because they have lots of separate compartments to keep your stuff in. Plus, if you’re traveling, buy a travel wallet to keep your passports, foreign currency, and everything else in one place.
Have A Spring Clean
Ever wonder why you can’t keep your bedroom tidy? Or, why you can never find anything in your sock drawer? It’s because you’ve got too much stuff. Organized people don’t keep things they don’t need. Or, if they do, they keep it all in one place, where no one’s allowed to look.
Anyway, you need to have a spring clean and declutter your life.
Give yourself a full day and be prepared to throw a lot away. If you haven’t used something in a month, you’re probably not going to need it. Of course, there’s some stuff that you might need once a year, and that stuff should have a place. But we’re talking about getting rid of things you’ll never use. Do you really need all those keys in your drawer that have been there for years? Do you need that t-shirt that hasn’t fit you since you were a teenager? It might be hard to throw things away, but after your spring clean, you’ll find it so much easier to be organized.
Manage Your Money
Getting on top of your finances is a key part of being organized. This isn’t about making more money, it’s about making the most of what you’ve already got. You can think about your own finances the same way you’d think about a business. You’ve got money coming in and money going out. Everything else is profit. You can either spend that money, save it, or invest it. Sounds simple, right?
The key to successfully managing your money is keeping on top of it. You need to regularly inspect your financial situation and make sure you’ve got more coming in than you’re spending. There are loads of different apps that make money-management easy, such as Mint and Spendee. You can keep a budget, set up direct debits, and get your financial life in order. Your wallet will be bulging with spare cash after a few months.
Use Tech To Your Advantage
If you want to be organized, tech can be your best friend. Back in the day, people would have to carry around a diary, have a calendar at home, and write down everyone’s phone number. Now, that’s all in your pocket. But that’s nothing new. We all know what smartphones can do. So, how can you use tech to help you become even more organized?
For starters, you can automate a lot of things you would normally do manually. Set up your banking online so that all of your bills are paid on time, every month. Using a budget app like Mint makes this super easy. Then, you could automate your shopping by using Amazon Subscribe & Save. Everything you buy regularly will be automatically ordered, so you don’t ever run out. You can even automate your house so that it adjusts the thermostat, opens and locks the doors, and keeps an inventory of what’s in your cupboards.
There are thousands of apps that can make your life that little bit easier. Think about something in your life that is unorganized and see if there’s an app that can help you. Plus, if you can’t find the app to help, you might have stumbled on the next big app idea. Bonus!
Don’t Overstretch Yourself
We already sort of touched on this when we talked about planning your week. If you want to be organized, you can’t overstretch yourself. You can’t be busy every minute of every day or you’ll end up burning out. If you want to be organized, you need to make sure you’ve got time to relax.
You also shouldn’t try all of these tips at once. Change one thing about your daily routine at a time. When it sticks, change something else. Also, don’t beat yourself up if you fall back into a bad routine – everyone does it. Just make sure you pick yourself up and get organized again.