One thing that makes me happy is being organized. I actually pride myself on my organizational skills. I could spend hours filling out my planner and organizing my calendars. It is my own personal addiction and I cant stop. Once I start it takes over my entire attention span. And by the end of it I have re-organized my entire apartment.
It wasn’t until I started college that I started to be so organized. I took impeccable notes, color coded, highlighted with notes on the side! It was intense. But I loved it. My sophomore year I stepped up my game. I took handwritten notes in class then would go home and type them up so they were easier to review. And my skills and love grew from there. My grades dramatically increased and by my senior year I was on the Dean’s List and making a 4.0. I had never been so proud.
Now that I am out of college a lot of my organizing consists of planning out my day/week/month. I am a gymnastics coach and a lot of my days are spent doing privates and practices. In between that I am constantly working on my blog. I require myself to stay on top of my schedule and my organization skills are always coming in to help me.
So I thought it would be nice to share some of my top organizational tips that keep me on top of my game!
- Use a planner. This is pretty obvious but so important to talk about. There are so many different kinds of planners and you have to find the one that works the best for you. I’ve used two of the most popular kinds of planners. The Erin Condren and The Day Designer. Depending on how you like to schedule out your day determines the type of planner you should get. My day is scheduled by time. I set privates and practices around certain times so I need a planner that has the day broken up hourly. If you prefer to have your day broken up by Morning, Afternoon, and Night you need to find that type of planner. (My addiction with planners is real, so if you’d like a review on the Erin Condren VS. Day Designer be sure to let me know)
- Have a notebook. I love having notebooks that I can use as brain dumps. My planner has a specific place for that as well but it is kind of small and in a notebook I can be a little more detailed. I like to keep a notebook near my bedside as well as near my desktop. Keeping a notebook is handy for me so that I can keep all of my random thoughts and things to do in one place. It also allows for more detailed notes.
- Phone Apps. If I wasn’t so obsessed with writing in planners my iPhone could replace the use of planners. There are so many different apps to organize your day. My absolute favorite is Google Calendars. Anytime something comes up I immediately put it into my Google Calendar. You have the ability to set schedules, color coordinate, set reminders and alerts. The great thing about Google Calendars is that you can update it on your computer and it immediately updates your calendar on your phone and vice versa. Other apps I like to use are my notes, and to-do/reminders. I think about so many things throughout the day that it helps to have somewhere to jot down those thoughts while on the go.
- Themed Desk Drawers. My second bedroom doubles as my office space/mini beauty room so if I’m not organized I can get distracted quite quickly. Having themed desk drawers really helps me keep everything together. I know this is such an obvious tip but I just had to share. I have an Ikea Alex 5 drawer which I love because the drawers are so large and deep it really fits so many things. My first couple drawers are specifically for desk/offices supplies and needs. Things like: staples, tape, sticky notes, pens and pencils, lined paper and extra binders. My next drawer holds all my important papers. You know the ones, the manuals for your TV’s, computer, printer, vacuum and all other papers that I have no real use for until I have the use for it (did that make sense?!) My next drawer is filled with all my extra makeup that doesn’t fit in my acrylic holders. Mostly palettes and compacts as well as all my nail care products.
- Review your schedule/planner weekly. Well…If you’re anything like me I check mine on a daily basis, realistically 2 to 3 times a day. It gives me comfort to make sure I have everything down and helps me stay on schedule. When you use a planner/notebook/Google Calendar it makes reviewing your schedule easier than ever.
- Write To-Do Lists. Having a daily to-do list is essential in my day to day organization. Luckily my planner has a place specifically for this. When making lists be sure to have a top 5 or top 3. That way you can prioritize your time surrounding your daily tasks. Then the things you don’t get done can get moved to the next day.
- Take breaks. Okay, so this one I am really not so great at. Every minute of free time I am working on my blog. I rarely take breaks and I easily get overwhelmed. I know that when you work from home it is recommended to take breaks and “days off”, which I never do. I know shame on me. I do however write in my planner to take Fridays off for blogging but I usually end up doing some kind of blog work. Taking breaks can really help to reset your brain and re focus your attention. When I am working on projects I am constantly taking a few minute breaks to get all my thoughts back together.
Well that’s all I have for you today! I hope my tips help you organize your life and be sure to leave your tips in the comments below!