Ya’ll know I am an organized person. I am tidy, love all things in order and go a bit stir crazy when things aren’t in tact. It being January I thought the first Friday Five of the year to center around organization.
Aside from the majority of New Years resolutions being fitness inspired, second comes the intentions of being more organized. There’s no doubt there’s a rise in planner purchases and an onset of strategic agendas this time of year. It’s natural to want to get things in order to set yourself up for the year’s success. It’s not a surprise tho, once March roles around, to witness amongst peers that things are back to the norm, overwhelm has sank in, and it’s back to that lax mentality of “just rolling with it”. Let me say tho, if your character is just that – easy going and open – I do envy your persona and way of run. Being tight rung and slightly OCD isn’t always the best attribute. I do think the lax mentality can be a healthy one, when limited. Nonetheless, I am who I am, and find an organized day does set you up for success and depletes any failed resolutions.
I am an anxious person and when my world isn’t in order, that anxiety is at an all time high. When that breaking point is caused by an onset of disorder it’s usually because I’ve lagged on prep. That stated, organization is by way of preparation. Preparing and timing out your day eliminates any choas or overwhelm. I’ve found that by sticking to this daily ritual of preparation, I’ve created habit. That said, here are 5 daily habits I’ve established to stay organized everyday.
PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE
Write it down // Every night, usually after Jeopardy and before my Yoga session (you know you’re an adult when..) I usually write down what I’d like to accomplish the next day. I do this for personal and business. Even the littlest task like RSVP to Ellie’s classmates birthday party is put on the to-do. I list the tasks I’d like to accomplish and leave it at that. I don’t prioritize them or worry about the time it will take to do them. No use in worrying over tomorrow’s woes. Drafting a plan helps me visualize in advance how my day is going to run.
Clean sweep // Before I hit the sheets, I do a clean sweep around the house. It may be my nature, tho I strongly believe I am most productive when in a clean environment. If I walk into the kitchen the next morning with dirty dishes in the sink, into my office with papers all out of sort, or the play room with legos laying around just waiting to stab my bare feet, it starts my day off with a fowl mood. It prohibits me from starting my day on time, having to clean up yesterday’s mess.
Make lunches & prepare for a smooth morning // Again, prep eliminates chaos. It’s really the same reasoning dieters meal prep and portion out their week’s intake. If they have it ready, they are less likely to reach for something else and stray off course. I make the kids lunches, ensure homework is turn in ready, sign papers that need to be returned – all the night before. Preparing for a smooth morning dismisses any AM hustle. If something does happen to stir the pot (kids get sick, car won’t start, etc) you’ll be less frustrated. That breaking point – you know the point where the f-bomb comes out and locking yourself in the bathroom sounds like the best plan – the likelihood you’ll reach that is slim because you eliminated any potential frenzy the night before.
I am NOT one for prompt surprises. I hate it when the kids get sick, and my way of run must change. But when I step back a bit, I remember that’s life. I know, cliche .. but it’s true and even tho unplanned circumstances may shift your priorities, taking care of the things you do have control over decreases the level of chaos come morning.
MAXIMIZE YOUR WAKE UP
Make your bed // Setting the tone for a clean and fresh start to your day will do wonders for your mindset. If you go into your day unorganized and messy, it may rub off on your motivation to tackle that todo list. Tuck the sheets and fluff the pillows.
Set a morning routine // I’ve established a morning routine for years. It involves a workout, shower, breakfast and good cup of coffee. Doing the same thing every day not only tells my body what to expect, it also helps me accomplish so much more throughout the day.
Time block // I work my business strictly from home. Tho I once was in the corporate environment, this strategic way of organizing my day was then and still proves productivity to this day. Usually with coffee in hand, this is when I take a look at that list from the night before and time block my afternoon and evening. Tackle those on list and prioritize accordingly. I will state that there are tasks that happen every day, wether personally (picking the kiddos up from school) or in business (I’ve made it a habit to stay consistent on social media). I schedule my todos around those staple tasks. If I reach that next hour, not having accomplished my ‘assignment’, it’s okay. Again, it’s the act of prep that eliminates chaos. You can move things around here and there, with a conscious effort to add it to the nightly list for tomorrow.
Give yourself breaks // This is key. We all know self care is important. Take time for yourself. Treat yourself a little with an afternoon walk, or my break of choice – afternoon coffee run. Step away from the todo list, recognize the importance of rest, and remember you cannot do it all. I have to constantly remind myself of that. Give yourself a break so that you can go into that next hour refreshed and ready.
My children are often bothered by my constant ‘nagging’. They are kids, I get it – they are going to leave stuff laying around, wrappers on counters and backpacks off hooks. But I justify my ‘nagging’ because A – I am a Mom, and I think it fits the description quite well, and B – because I know order smooths overwhelm. I cannot tell you how many times Jonah has lost something, only to find it in the most obvious place. He’s blinded by the chaos he’s created – the piles of clothes on his floor, the candy wrappers under his bed, the blankets and bedsheets unmade. If he would have put away the dirty clothes into the hamper, thrown away the wrappers, made his bed … he would have found the headphones he ransacked his bedroom for. That breaking point wouldn’t have been reached, all out meltdown would not have occurred and more importantly, he would have found them sitting in the desk drawer they are normally found in. (result of my clean sweep the night before, but still …) Impose order. If you get it out, put it back. If you open it, shut it. If you try it on, hang it up. Put things where they belong. An organized day is an orderly one.
STRIVE FOR PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION
In a perfect world, my to do list would be a mile long each day. I’d mark them all off on time, have a spotless home, and have dinner in the oven by 5. But that’s unrealistic and rarely happens. And frankly, as much as I hate disorder, it would get boring. Even my tight ship doesn’t produce smooth sailing. I am often moving my todos to the next day, next week (and on occasion) next month. There are days when the ‘whatever’ mentality is worth it and I settle for organized chaos. Then there are days when habits prove worthy and I progress in the right direction. Goals achieved, todo lists tackled, I am relaxed knowing I’ve prepped for tomorrow’s success. No matter the level of my day’s organization, striving for progress is far more rewarding than working towards unachievable perfection. No one is perfect, and striving for it sets you up for failure. Staying organized each day puts a spotlight on goals and provides a clear path towards achieving them.
There ya’ll have it – five habits I’ve established to keep organized every day. Is there a tip or trick you’ve mastered? I’d love to know! Comment below or DM me on the gram! As always, thanks for stopping by!