Have you ever found yourself looking at someone you admire and wondering, “How do they do it?”
We all do! It’s sometimes amazing to see how others manage their lives and thrive and still have time to read books and vacation while working and wearing face masks. Being organized is essential in leading a successful life, and I’m going to break down some of my best tips for keeping myself organized. AGAIN, I am no expert and I’m still working to be better every day, also what works for me may not work for you but keep an open mind.So, over the last few weeks, I’ve been super focused and running a tight schedule, but it has not been this way for a very long time (actually ever). It took me driving to a training for work and thinking about the future of my blog to change my perspective. My goal is for it and my other writing to be my full-time job, but when I was thinking about where I am…yeah I’m doing alright, but I’m just not working hard enough. I leave work burnt out and go home, watch Youtube and scroll Instagram and say, “Ehh I’ll get to it tomorrow.” As a professional procrastinator, I knew that meant it was never going to happen. Flash forward to me driving, kicking myself for falling off course. And I hit a turning point; I can either dwell on my faults or make a serious effort to change. Of course, I chose the latter, the only way to improve is, to be honest about the shit you don’t do well. For me I know I make excuses, or prioritize things that I do for other people over my own needs (we’ll talk about boundaries), or lack the discipline to focus. When I realized I wasn’t working hard enough for myself I felt guilty, the most important investment you can make is in yourself, what I wanted was not my priority, and I knew that had to change ASAP.
Over the last few months, I’ve found a perfect combination of apps, planners, and notebooks to keep me on track every single day. The goal is to create a habit, this builds up the consistency you need, and then you’ll always know what you need to do every day down to the hour. Over the yesterday I shared my favorite productivity apps and what I use them for. If you missed my story I linked it below:
PLANNER: I am usually never spotted without a Kate Spade or Lily Pulitzer Planner, but for 2018 to 2019 I wanted a change. I tried out the Passion Planner at the beginning of this year, but that didn’t work for me AT ALL. I found this planner by Day Designer at Target. It was $12 which is first, one of the cheapest planners I’ve ever bought, and two one of the best. I also loved that I could insert pictures on the front so now I can see all my beautiful friends every time I use it.
NOTEBOOKS: I carry both of these notebooks every day. I prefer to keep all my notes and ideas handwritten; I’m a little old school. It’s easier to see everything in one place to map out my week or month and then determine where it fits in my planner. I always keep a smaller notebook because I usually have little things that pop in my head that I don’t want to forget. I write down urgent to-dos, content ideas, budgeting plans, etc. in my notebook and keep it open or nearby during the day.
Now that the cute things are out the way like apps, notebooks, and planners, let’s dig deep and get into the critical components to leading an organized life.
DEFINE SUCCESS – What is success to YOU? Write it down, analyze it, determine if you are holding yourself to someone else’s standard. Your definition is where you set the tone for your planner, journal, etc. You can’t plan or set to achieve goals that don’t have anything to do with your version of success. Everyone doesn’t want to have that high ranking corporate position or have that white picket fence happily ever after. Once I identified what I felt was successful, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders; I felt less pressure, I felt free. I challenge you to do the same. Know that you don’t have to put your life on a deadline because you feel pressured by society’s blueprint for a successful life. Your life is yours, live it how you want it.
CREATE HABITS – It takes 21 days to create a habit, make it a good one. Creating organizational habits means you need discipline, and that’s a challenge. It’s so easy not to do anything that the fact we do anything is a miracle. (John Mulaney said that), and he’s right. Canceling plans, bailing on work, putting tasks off for Netflix feels so good, but then here you are at the last minute scrambling to get things done, it becomes an exhausting cycle. Don’t be that person, you can start small and build from there, whether that’s scheduling time to work on your projects every week or just creating a routine for the morning before work. Just keep up with repetitive tasks, and they will become second nature. Be realistic about the habits you want to create, but don’t avoid challenging yourself because you’re comfortable.
PLAN – I sit down at the end of every week and go over what I’ve gotten done and what I need to do for the following week, short-term planning is imperative, but don’t overlook long-term plans. If you have things to do a few months from now, put it in your planner. As you develop a habit of using your planner daily, you’ll always know what you want you to have to do. Back to short-term planning, a week for me usually looks like my work, school and blog to-dos, bills to pay, events, and projects. See below:
I use the overview page to see everything for the month, that’s birthdays, events, appointments, etc. It’s also the time I review my apps and notebook to make sure that there is nothing I’m missing or if I need to set any reminders See below:
SCHEDULE – I mentioned this in my post on networking last week, I schedule myself from AM to PM, Monday to Friday. There is no event in my planner that I put in last minute. I used to make the mistake of overbooking myself, going to events every day and every weekend….no Bueno. Be intentional about how you spend your time. IT’S YOUR TIME, AND YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO DO ANYTHING YOU DON’T WANT TO. SET SOME GODDAMN BOUNDARIES. (I love you, sorry for yelling), but this is important, don’t say yes to anything without checking your planner or calendar. Treat your time as if it’s a work schedule, what do you need to get done with the time you have to yourself, do you want to share it? How will this benefit you? Is there something that you’re trying to avoid doing? Just think about it and decide what will work for you.
So to recap! Define success for yourself, create habits, plan, and schedule. Keep in mind that I am no pro, this is just what has worked for me, and I’m hoping that it helps you! Feel free to ask questions in the comments or reach out to me on Instagram if you have questions or want to help!
XO – The Blessed Babe