5 Tips For an Organized Life

Friday, December 23, 2016, by Kashay Webb

Hello fellow humans! I have been missing in action for quite a bit. It’s been quite a semester for me. I juggled being a full-time student, working two part time jobs, being an active participant in several clubs, and spending quality time with family and friends. I finally have the time that I have wanted for months to blog. Reflecting back on these past few months has prompted me to write about tips that help me stay organized no matter how busy I am. To fit everything I would like to do in my life is a delicate balancing act and below are five of my tips to pull off the circus:

1. Write Everything Down
Have you ever had one of those moments when you make an appointment or agree to lunch with a friend and you think you’ll remember the date and time but you totally forget? Yeah, I have those all the time. This first tip is the most important to me: Write everything down! Even if you have great memory, it is better to be safe than sorry. I would recommend purchasing a planner or a small notebook to keep track of important dates or tasks. I have had trouble in the past with trying to find the perfect planner but The Day Designer planner has been the best I have purchased thus far (and most likely the only planner I will buy from now on). I love it because it has a space to track your schedule hourly for the entire day, your top three tasks, as well as space for the rest of your tasks for the day, and a notes and gratitude section to reflect on things you are grateful for that day. You can purchase the one I use daily with this link.

2. Plan, Plan, Plan
Following the previous tip, it is imperative that planning becomes a priority in your life. “Well every day isn’t going to go as planned, Kashay!” Yes, this I know. But it is much better to have planned for your day, week, or next few years than to let life just hit you without the slightest control over it. You cannot plan everything, but you can plan loosely. For example, I know that by 2019 I need to be done with my general education requirements, biology major requirements, as well as my philosophy major requirements. However, I do not know which classes will be offered for each semester, so I loosely plan (but there’s still a plan in place). The purpose of loosely planning is to get the big picture and fill in the details at a time closer to the event.  Sitting down every Sunday morning and planning what tasks I need to complete that day to be ready for the upcoming week and loosely planning my week has been a very helpful tool to organize my life.
3. Consistency Is Key
To achieve an organized life, you have to be both persistent and consistent. Now that you’ve written down your tasks and planned when you will do them, you must make sure you continue the pattern. These tips are not for a one-time organization shindig, but for a lifestyle change. You don’t get abs by going to the gym once or twice and neglecting the gym after that (unless of course you do know how to do this, if so call me, I am in need of your knowledge), so don't be inconsistent with organization either. It helps to designate days for certain large tasks. I do all my planning on Sundays, grocery shopping and laundry on Fridays, and during the semester I read for the next week’s lectures on Saturdays. If you cannot spend chunks of time like this, consistently completing tasks in small amounts of time is great as well. Instead of cleaning at the end of the week, I straighten up my bedroom for about 10 minutes each day. This way I do not have to spend a lot of time cleaning up and my bedroom remains intact.
4. Physical Organization
Organizing to ensure you are getting the most out of your time each day is great, but we cannot neglect the physical world. When I was in elementary school I was not as organized. It wasn’t until around seventh grade that I found my passion for organizing my life and the lives of everyone around me. As a child, I always thought it was a hassle to clean up when I would rather be reading or playing video games. When my mother prompted me to clean up, I would round up all my items that needed to be put back where they belonged and pile them to the top of the closet (a cringe-worthy memory at this point of my life). After catching me multiple times, my mother had a talk with me about my lack of organization and I will never forget her telling me, “everything has a place”. I still think of this phrase every time I clean up, it honestly changed my life. There is no such thing as clutter or disorganization in my bedroom because everything does have a place. If no place currently exists for your items, then it is time that you make one. Still having issues? Maybe you should reconsider if all the items you are trying to force into your living space are really necessary. You’d be surprised at the things you realize are clutter when you are pressed for space.
5. Health
Often an overlooked tool, your health influences many aspects of organization in your life. If you are mentally or physically unhealthy, you will not want to apply any of these tips. The mind is a terrible thing to waste and the body is a terrible thing to destroy, so take care of both. If you’re like me, your spirit is also a part of you that you would like to nourish.

Fitting everything into your day may not be easy, but it definitely helps if you stay organized and consistent with your organization. I hope these tips are helpful :)