Simple ways to be organised (I promise it’s not as stressful as you think)

I love the feeling of organising, but struggle to actually stay organised! I love making it seem as though I’m organised; I trick my brain by going out and buying a diary, organising my wardrobe, sorting out my study nook. But let’s be real here, that’s not actually being organised. That’s planning how to be organised. Oh man, am I good at planning to be organised! Being organised is a day-to-day task. It’s knowing what you’re doing and if you have enough time to do it. It’s putting all that planning into practice. Every. Damn. Day.

I’m pretty sure the number one reason for people not achieving their goals is ‘not having enough time’. (That’s not a fact-based statement, buuuuut I’m pretty confident it’s true!)

I am a shocker for saying ‘I just don’t have enough time’. In reality, there is a reason I’m saying that and it has a lot to do with self-doubt and being scared of failing (which I only made sense of because of the wonderful Sam Brown from Smart Twenties) but we’ll save that discussion for another time. Anyway, the truth is, I have plenty of time to follow my dreams. So, the first thing I did was work out how much time I have to do the things I want to do. I sat down and calculated how much extra time I have during the working week if I woke up when I said I would and put aside three hours a night after work. The total was 17.5 hours! A week! Not including weekends. This number alone blew my mind. No more ‘I don’t have enough time’ more ‘I must organise my time better’.

Now for anyone trying to achieve multiple things at once, the next thing I did was work out a schedule for each day. I’m studying, reading and writing, working on my personal development and maintaining a full time job and social life and these things are all going to contribute to my business or mental health so I didn’t want to neglect one when they are all equally as important. Instead of trying to fit all of these things into each day, I’ve scheduled my week to focus on one ‘topic’ a day. For example, Mondays are for writing. Tuesdays are for studying. Fridays are my night off to spend with family or friends. You get the point. Don’t try to fit it all in each night. You’ll drown yourself in work and it’ll result in you just feeling overwhelmed and working a little bit on each thing instead of dedicating a chunk of time to really focus on one thing.

Another common thing you hear people say is ‘I just have too much to do’ when what they really mean is, ‘I can’t work out which thing is more important to do so I’ll just do nothing’. Sound familiar? I thought so. I used to hear myself saying the exact same thing but not so much anymore. A brilliant technique I learnt from Sarah Knight’s ‘Get Your Shit Together’ is to have a to-do and a must-do list. Use your to-do list to write down everything you need to do. And then go through your to-do list and ask yourself for each thing you’ve written down ‘does this need to be done today or can it be done tomorrow, or next week? What is the deadline for this?’ For each thing you say ‘it needs to be done today’, write it on your must-do list. Now, only work from your must-do list for that day. I promise it’ll stop you from feeling so inundated with urgent work and you’ll learn to prioritise.

And buy a planner! You need somewhere to write down your schedule and your lists, just don’t spend too much time in the planning phase, okay?

Go forth and organise, my lovelies.

Nat xx

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