In this busy life, it’s easy to get behind on things and let some important dates or duties get a little neglected. Right now, as I’m working full time, living with my boyfriend, doing pre-work for Teach for America, and getting ready to move across the country to a whole new life, things are about as busy as they come.
It would be easy enough to throw my hands up and allow myself to feel overwhelmed by all the paperwork, packing, and big decisions I’m having to make right now, but thanks to being busy throughout college I’m more comfortable like this and have found a fool-proof system to keeping everything organized.
Number 1- Write things down. Above all else, write down all your to-do’s and tasks and important dates. I use both a planner and notebook, some people prefer one or the other. Whatever you do, just be sure that it makes sense for YOU.
- Pros to a planner: Everything has its precise place, laid out to separate each day, often has notes sections for things that don’t quite fit
- Pros to a notebook: More creative, draw, journal, doodle in whatever you want to keep or remember. Easier to write out snippets of blog post ideas.
Number 2– Carry your notebook/planner with you. Everywhere. I used to be the girl that left her planner at home. Not anymore! You best believe that baby is with me at work, out shopping, and in my purse on a daily basis. You never know when something will come up that you need to get down or remember or when you’ll get that uneasy feeling that you forgot to do something. If it’s with you, whip it out and check it!
This has also come in handy for me in a job interview. They asked how I stayed organized, and I was able to pull out my planner and show them! (Yep, I got the job)
Number 3– Color Coding. This is important. This keeps your work things separate from your cat (or kid) things and your friend things and your appointments. Some people don’t like colors, but they make me happy in addition to keeping me organized.
Number 4- Eliminate Clutter. This is one of my biggest things. Keeping my apartment clean helps to keep my head cleared of clutter as well. If things are messy around my home, they probably are in the rest of my life too, haha. I try to do a little cleaning every day (run a load of dishes, sort laundry, etc.) and then on the weekends I do a more thorough job of cleaning the floors, bathroom, kitchen, whatever needs it. Doing a little at a time helps me keep from feeling overwhelmed by messes and helps keep my house consistently clean at the same time. Win-win.
Number 5- Last but not least, SLEEP. Humans 100% cannot function properly without enough sleep. I get cranky and confused and sloppy with my work- it’s just not a good thing for anyone. I get extra emotional and have trouble focusing on the important things and generally feel like the sky is falling if I’m too sleep deprived. All in all it makes me INCREDIBLY unorganized. I’ve seen this in a lot of other people too. Take a nap, get a full 8 hours a few nights a week, and cut down on the 3am bedtimes.
Now of course, I’m not a life expert and won’t claim to be, but I have had my fair share of busy days and am pretty organized if I do say so myself. This system has come as a result of trial and error and works great for me, but of course feel free to make adjustments and most importantly do what feels and works best for you.