It happens to the best of us. We get caught up in the chaotic world around us that we find it hard to balance everything including, family, friends, fitness, faith, finances, work and the list goes on.
Keep in mind that
sometimes in order to keep your priorities at the top of your list. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to not only help your daily, weekly, even monthly routine, but 12 tips that will help you for years to come. Try to keep these few tips in mind each and every day….these are 12 organizational secrets that the super busy and super successful use to keep their lives balanced, productive and sane.
#1. Create a daily to do list.
The goal here is to figure out all the items you would like to get done for the day, but limit yourself to nine. Pick three tasks you know you have to get done and label them A. Then take your three, less important tasks and label them B. The last three, the items you want to get done but don’t necessarily have too, will be labeled C. These tasks can be as simple as folding the laundry or straightening up around the house.
If you get done all of the tasks you labeled A, then it was a great day. If you can get done all you’re a tasks and a few B tasks then it was an awesome day. Some items labeled B or C might get bumped to the next day and as you go through the week, different items may rise to higher priorities on your list, which is ok. As long as you keep moving forward and keep crossing items off that list, you are making progress.
#2. Have your work out clothes ready and your workout time decided upon.
We all need to move around every day. Moving around and doing some sort of exercise, whether it be working out at a gym or walking, is good for the soul. Before the start of your day, have your athletic shoes and work out attire out and ready to go.
Take a couple of minutes on Saturday or Sunday and plan what exercises you are doing on what days throughout the week. Make plans with friends or set aside a day and time that you can go for a little walk to move around for a bit. By planning these activities in advance and having clothes and shoes ready, the only thing left is to go out and do it!
#3. Make lunches the night before – even if you work from home.
Even if you work from home, have lunch meals that are already made and waiting in your fridge. As we hustle through our days, it’s easy to grab a quick protein bar or stop at a fast food place to get something to eat quickly. By making your lunch the night before, there’s no rush and no distractions to keep you from eating a healthier lunchtime meal.
This will save you extra time to get done your work for that day. Instead of stopping to throw a salad together, which could take a few extra minutes, grab the lunch you have already prepared and continue with the day’s tasks. Having lunches ready to go helps make the day flow smoother and helps you get the nutrients your body needs.
#4. Put extra’s of everything in your car.
Clothes, water, protein bars, heals, sneakers, anything you might need at some point, keep it in your car. This doesn’t mean throw all these necessities into your back seat, but simply get a little box together and fill it with stuff you might need. While running errands, going to work and taking kids to and from school other extra curricular activities, you may think of something you forgot at the very last minute. Maybe you forgot to pack a small snack to hold you over until dinner. With this little box, you can grab a quick protein bar and water and you’re all set.
You might be on a time crunch and have dinner reservations. Throw on those jeans and heels and you have a more dressed up look. It never hurts to be prepared for anything. By keeping a few clothing items, some small snacks, and water in your car, you will be ready for anything.
#5. Create a “swipe-page”
This is a sort of organizational, intellectual tool and it has been an invaluable organizational strategy for me. I picked this up from Ray Edwards, who is a great online content marketer. He suggests keeping a one-page document where you can compile a running list of all the crazy ideas that pop in your head throughout the day. Use this page for ideas, projects, and quotes that inspire you. We are all full of amazing ideas and stories no matter what profession.
Sometimes these may be quotes or inspirational bits from podcasts or books you are currently reading. It might also be a project idea you would like to explore more of. It’s relieving because you don’t have to create a document or file for each idea. The page will be a little random, but you can go in there and pluck out your ideas, as you need them.
#6. Text yourself notes.
This is the new and improved post-it note. Post-it notes add clutter and tend to be misplaced or accidentally thrown out. Instead of writing down every little thing you are trying to remember on a small piece of paper, send yourself those notes to yourself via text message. If I wake up in the middle of the night and think of something, or if I’m running on the treadmill and think of my grocery list, or an idea just pops into my head and I want to remember that, I text it to myself.
You can text yourself these ideas and reminders, or you can text yourself ides that you want to add to your swipe page later. These texted notes will not get lost or misplaced. Just one look at your phone and you can view all the notes and reminders you have written down for that day in the palm of your hand.
#7. Use Sundays to assess and plan out your next week’s priorities.
Take a few minutes on Sunday to really look at your whole upcoming week. Pin point each priority and task that you need or want to accomplish. Take each week at a time and pick three major goals that you wish to accomplish by the end of the week.
What are you’re A priorities? Then look at what your B and C priorities are. Picking out only thee major goals for that week helps you not getting overwhelmed. Then, when you do have time to get done the B and C tasks you will feel hyper accomplished and great.
By sitting down each Sunday and planning our your week, you can create a sort of theme for yourself. Decide where and how you are going to be bold, and what areas in your life do you need to put more focus and time into.
#8. Identify days for specific tasks.
Try to identify a specific day with a certain task. For example, mine is Financial Fridays. This is when I look through all my statements, and at the end of the month we do an assessment of all of our finances. It makes these tasks easy to remember and also makes these tasks nonnegotiable.
This will be more beneficial by picking a task for a certain day that you may struggle to get done. You can tie that task to a certain day and you know that is the day you have to complete it. This way it doesn’t keep building and it doesn’t hang over your head.
#9. Ground yourself each day by writing in a gratitude journal and by having quiet time of some sort.
Take five to ten minutes each day to write down the things in life that you are grateful for. Or just take a few minutes of quiet time where you can listen to music, read, or meditate. This may not seem like an organizational tip, but this is something that is going to help organize your soul, spirit, heart, and emotions.
By having this time, you are aligning yourself to have balanced feelings and emotions. This is going to help you handle certain experiences you have that day, and help you handle the curveballs that come your way. It is a daily grounding that will help organize your basic emotion and spiritual needs that will spillover into your daily life.
#10. Refuse to build the muscle of procrastination.
Simply refuse to procrastinate. Once you start pushing these tasks back again and again, you allow these tasks to become bigger than they actually are. When they become bigger, they become more of a hassle emotionally for you. Once we allow and give in to procrastination we are strengthening that procrastination muscle.
Don’t let that procrastination muscle get any bigger. If you see a task you have to get done, stop what you’re doing and finish it. This will relieve the pressure and solve the problem at hand. By completing each task, without procrastinating, you will have a clearer mentality and you will be able to complete the day without that task haunting you in the back of your head.
#11. Channel your inner Eleanor Roosevelt every day.
Do one thing each day that scares you. There are so many different ways you can interpret this quote. It could be reaching out to someone that intimidates you, maybe a boss, or conquering the difficult work out you have planned that day, or even something as simple as saying no to chocolate that night.
This helps you step up, be bold, and break that habit of backing down. Generally we put off the things we dread doing. This will only add to that clutter, until eventually we find ourselves with this list that keeps piling up. This list then starts overwhelming us and we struggle to catch up. We are often scared of those ‘what ifs’ and the unknown. If we do something that scares us once a day and train ourselves to not be scared, you will learn there isn’t that much to be afraid of.
You are a lot more capable then you think. By doing this, you will be able to handle the curveballs and unexpected of life.
#12. Do your Quarterly Confidence Assessment.
Evaluate yourself every 90 days and ask yourself a few questions:
- What have I accomplished in the past 90 days?
- What are my current challenges and issues?
- What do I want to accomplish in the next 90 days?
Give five answers for each question: an answer for your personal life, an answer for you professional life, and so on.
I put together a template, the one that I personally use, that you can get for free at www.trishblackwell.com/quarterly, all you have to do is enter your email.
This template gives you an aerial overview of all your accomplishments. We tend to forget these victories that we have and discredit ourselves too frequently. It will show you that you are moving forward with a lot of your goals and dreams.
This exercise will build confidence, and with that confidence we build momentum. You will be able to see that you really are organized, productive and able to get things done. When you move forward and answer the next set of questions, you can take that confidence, which leads to momentum, and apply it affectively to your next 90 days.
Breaking it up into 90 days makes is less overwhelming, because it isn’t this monthly task. Take your calendar out today and mark out 90 days from now. In 90 days, redo that Quarterly Confidence Assessment, and see how much you have accomplished. It will only take around 45 minutes to an hour to do an in-depth reflection and evaluation, which will benefit your entire year.
These 12 tips will help you balance all these different things in life. They will help you stay happy, organized, with some free time. Sometimes you’re a priorities will start to be relaxing and giving yourself time to read a book. It just takes a little but of foresight and a little bit of time management to get your life organized.
Be you, be free.