Because when we’re talking about a schedule that includes some combination of work, kids, relationships, working out, creative endeavors, hobbies, and possibly all of the above — organization is the name of the game.
Live by your calendar.
This is without a doubt the organizational technique that’s changed my life the most. It may sound rigid, but strictly following my calendar actually gives me a sense of freedom. Instead of constantly worrying about whether I might be forgetting something important I’m supposed to do, I can relax in the knowledge that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
My calendar system is pretty detailed to cover a schedule that includes work, social engagements, and childcare.
How I setup my calendar.
I’ve created several different calendars in Gmail so they can be accessed anywhere. My calendars are divided by personal commitments, childcare, birthdays, and for work. Each calendar has its own color.
Half the battle is to treat everything on your calendar like it’s truly important, and when you do, I guarantee that you’ll start achieving your goals faster and getting more done in a day than you ever thought possible.
Prioritize your to-do list.
For most of us, our to-do lists are our greatest allies. I’m a big fan of keeping a digital list because I’m always tweaking and reorganizing mine, and things would get pretty messy if I were using pen and paper.
Use the weekend to organize for the week ahead.
You’ll be amazed how much stress can be avoided if you take a few minutes on the weekend to get yourself organized for the week ahead.
If something can be done in less than 1 minute, do it now.
If there’s an email that I can answer in just a sentence or two, I do it now instead of flagging it to answer later. I put my clothes away right when I get undressed at night and sort the mail right when I bring it inside. It’s a practice that takes (literally) less than a minute, and goes a long way in making life feel less chaotic.
Basically — don’t procrastinate!
Write down all your random thoughts.
I have a terrible memory, and the only way I can hold onto ideas and inspiration is by writing everything down. I use the basic “notes” app that comes installed on the phone and syncs up to my desktop.
If you don’t use it, give it away (or throw it out.)
With the exception of emotionally significant keepsakes, I stick to the rule of “If I haven’t used it in a year, I can live without it.” If you’re someone who tends to hold onto things that you don’t need, I bet you’ll be amazed at how freeing it can feel to clear your space of everything but the items you truly use and love. Donate it or put it on www.Xpatlink.info.
Make technology do the work for you.
For those times when it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, it may be time to look at which of your daily tasks you can either (a) automate or (b) get help with. There are so many apps out there that are geared toward saving us time, and it’s worth checking out the ones that service your area. You can deposit checks, order any food you’re craving, pay friends electronically, and do a million other things right on your mobile phone, so think about what tasks are sucking way too much of your time and investigate if there might be ways to let technology lend you a hand.