Despite the growing number of productivity apps, storage containers, day planners and other tools to encourage organization, many people still struggle with organizing their lives. As a result, they often have to cope with cluttered homes, desks and minds, among other things. If you can relate, try to adopt some or all of the daily habits below to see if they make a positive difference.
1. Write Daily Task Lists
Many people get flustered and don’t know which tasks to tackle first, which causes them to waste time. At the end of each day, write a list of stuff you have to tackle during the day ahead. That way, when you wake up, you’ll immediately know which things deserve your attention.
2. Maintain Clutter-Free Spaces
Many spaces, such as desks, bedrooms and living rooms become cluttered because people don’t take the time to periodically keep them tidy. As a result, a room or area that may have only been mildly messy a week before could turn into something unbearable.
After you do a deep-cleaning job and the space is completely tidy, spend a set amount of time per day so you can keep it that way. You may be surprised at just how much you can get done if you just take 15 minutes per day and fully dedicate it to cleaning up an often-used part of your home or office. Ideally, this maintenance method means you shouldn’t ever have to spend large amounts of time cleaning them again.
3. Replace Items Where They Belong
It can be extremely stressful to lose things, whether it’s your car keys or documents you need for work. To avoid misplacing essentials, designate special storage places for them. Even more importantly, always put those things back where they belong. Don’t just toss them on the counter and tell yourself you’ll put them in their special places later. There’s a good chance you won’t ever get around to doing that, especially if you become distracted.
4. Compile All Items You Can’t Deal With Now
During the course of a day, you’ll probably come across several items you need to deal with, but realize you can’t realistically do so immediately. Make a box, drawer or other place where you put all those items. If they’re all in a single place, you’ll find it’s much easier to look at them all at once and decide how to best take care of them. You may decide it’s most effective to make a line item on your to-do list that reminds you to look through all those time-sensitive items before going to bed.
5. Practice A Process Of Elimination
Disorganization often gets worse when people start stockpiling things and not getting rid of things they no longer need. Set a goal to eliminate something from your life every day. If you find that’s not feasible, try to have a daily mindset where you always try to live with a minimalist attitude and always ask yourself if you truly need to add another item to your life.
6. Harness Your Thoughts As Thoroughly As Possible
You may find your racing thoughts are a major cause of disorganization. Whenever a troubling thought pops into your head, determine whether it’s related to what you’re doing at the moment or if it’s a distraction. When you’re distracted, do as much as you can to take your attention away from that thought and re-engage fully in the task at hand. You may find it useful to utter a short, pointed phrase such as “Focus on that later” or “Get this done first.”
7. Don’t Over-Schedule Yourself
The people who have planners packed full of events aren’t necessarily the ones who are most organized. Rather than trying to fit as much into a day as possible because you think that will let you make the most of your time, prioritize instead. Evaluate your obligations in a way that will allow you to thoroughly value each one instead of just looking ahead to the next place you have to be.
If you have been over-scheduling yourself for many years, it may become difficult to convey to others that it’s necessary to set boundaries. Try your best to explain your reasons clearly and be as polite as possible if people try to make you stop being so protective of your time.
8. Build And Depend On A Network Of Superb Resources
Maybe you’ll find it helpful to listen to podcasts that offer organization tips as you commute to work each morning, or perhaps you have a few favorite authors who never fail to inspire you about why it’s necessary to have an organized life. Whatever the case may be, dedicate yourself to finding resources that will continually help you live the way you want when it comes to organization.
As time passes and you build an admirable collection, you can potentially share it with others to help them. Consider spending a period of time every day either looking for new resources or enjoying the ones you already have.
9. Work Hard But Play Hard Too
Practice setting aside segments of your day that are solely dedicated to work or leisure activities. If you don’t do that, it’s very likely you could become so burned out that you lose the desire to try at all. Some people find it difficult to take part in fun things even when they’ve done all their work. If that sounds familiar, treat your break time as a celebration of a job well done.
Also, if you find yourself procrastinating while doing work, see if it’s effective to remind yourself of what’s to come if you finish your task list. A rewards-based mindset may keep you motivated, especially if a lot of these organizational strategies are completely new.
10. Don’t Get Discouraged Over Perceived Failures
The more often you repeat an action, the more likely it is to become habitual. However, since no one’s perfect, mistakes are inevitable. When you make a blunder, try not to waste time dwelling on it and getting upset. Instead, make it your goal to return to focus as fast as possible.
Even the most organized people falter from time to time. The important thing to remember is that they usually have strategies to minimize issues as much as possible. By following the ideas you’ve learned in this article, you’ll soon have a toolbox of strategies at your disposal. Some of them simply won’t work for certain situations. Don’t give up hope during those occasions, but have a positive outlook by reminding yourself that perhaps it’s just a different approach that will result in your eventual success.
In conclusion, remember that although these are some of the things highly organized people often do daily, you may come across techniques that work better for you. Remember, you know yourself better than anyone, and a personalized approach to becoming more organized will probably give you the best results.