Wednesday, 13 January 2016

How To Stay Organised This Year


Ah, organisation, such a tricky thing to master yet so satisfying once you do. Who doesn’t love a new planner or some good old labels? Many people struggle to stay on top of things, and coming into the new year I have seen lots of resolutions reading ‘be more organized’. If this is the case for you, as good as your intentions may be, it can be really daunting to look at a shelf full of random crap or a binder with who-knows-what inside and feel like you have to sort everything out right away. Where do you start? I’ve gathered a few of my best tips to help you get the knack of basic organisation. Let’s get started !

1. Write to-do lists

The classics to-do list. Careful - this does not mean write everything that you could possibly do in a day and expect it to happen, because it won’t. Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise! Write a simple to-do list with 5 and 5 tasks maximum to complete daily. This makes it more realistic; were you really going to do all those 15 things you wrote down? Probably not, but you got the most important stuff out of the way. And hey, it feels good to check everything off of your to-do list, like you’ve just achieved a mini-goal.

2. Get a planner - and stick to it !

I do love a planner, and I’m afraid to say that I have been guilty of buying and never using them in the past. But, once you’ve got into the swing of things, it’s so easy to keep it up. I recommend getting 2 planners; a small one to pop in your bag that you can take anywhere with you and one large to sit on your desk to jot things down in. Also, can I stress enough how important a pretty planner is? It’s no fun to fill in a plain, boring planner, but surprisingly exciting to write things in a colourful one. Onto what to write in a planner: due dates, important events and to-do lists. A planner with a notes section as well as schedules are great, as you always have a place to scribble down any thoughts that come to you if you don’t have a separate notebook to hand or prefer paper to tech. Always keep a pen with you - just in case!

3. Create a clutter-conquering system

More onto the clutter side of things, create a system to store random stuff that doesn’t seem to fit in. Remove clutter. Be honest with yourself; are ever actually going to use that travel Scrabble set the uncle you’ve never met before sent you last Christmas? If it’s not meaningful, sentimental, or useful on a regular basis, toss it. Organize the rest of your bits and bobs in any sort of organizational bin, shelves or drawer that will work with your available space. Then, label it all, such as ‘Tech’, ‘Travel’, ‘Notebooks’, etc., so you know what is where. Store anything into a labelled box that falls into that specific category.

4. Break work into small chunks

I hope I’m not the only one who is terrified of starting massive projects? It can be really off-putting to look at a huge due date and not know when or where to start. The worst thing you can do is plan to get it over in one go - this rarely works. Break it into manageable chunks that work around your schedule. Maybe do a little every day or every week, but it’s so helpful to set a start and finish time for different chunks of work. This also lowers the chance of you being distracted. Often the reason of procrastinating is because you’re putting off something that scares you, so the smaller the chunks of work are, the less frightening they are, too. I like routine; ‘I will work on this project every day for 30 minutes, starting at 3:00pm’. Also, take breaks, but no more than 5 minutes. Grab a cuppa, scroll through your Instagram feed, read your favourite blog ;) Don’t work your brain too hard!

5. Stay happy

Yep, staying happy is a way of staying on top of things. If you’re stressed or sad, or are feeling any negative emotions at all, you’re going to start lazing about and not wanting to do anything but munch on chocolate and watch movies. Take up a hobby, go for a run, bake a cake, read a good book, go for lunch with friends, do anything to keep you smiling and ready for whatever the day will bring. Be confident; walk with your shoulders back and smile at people at the bus stop. Spread your positivity! Trust me, the better you feel about yourself the more up to completing tasks you will be. If you need help learning to love yourself, I’ve got a post here to help you out.

What do you do to stay organized this year?

Niamh x

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