The end of summer usually marks a time for change. I know that summer isn’t over yet, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the next season and a new routine. I’ve really gotten into planning and improving my organization in the past few years. I’ve noticed a change in my stress levels, how clean my space is, and accomplishing more. Here are some small things I have learned along the way that anyone can adopt in their own life.
Set a Schedule
It’s tempting as it is to give yourself a flexible time frame to get things done. This is especially true for goals oriented outside of what really “needs” to get done. Give yourself designated blocks to be productive. For example, set specific days of the week to work on certain tasks. Once you get into the routine, you’ll become accustomed to accomplishing more things more efficiently.
Give Yourself a Deadline
Again, it’s easier to procrastinate with yourself when you don’t have an end date. Some people also find it useful to involve others in their goals. This way, you can have someone keeping you accountable and checking up on your progress. It may motivate you to be more productive and put things off less.
Making a change and setting a goal is a wonderful step, but make sure you know the “why”. Sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in the success process that you lose sight of why you decided to make the change in the first place. Answering this question can also help achieve your goal in different areas along the way.
It seems obvious, but planning starts when you get your ideas out of your head and onto a visual. Whether you prefer an online version or making your own, put a calendar and goal list somewhere you’ll have to see it each day. This is the best way to keep yourself in the routine of your schedule. Also, you’ll be able to see what’s coming up in the future without it sneaking up on you. There are many different planning systems out there. Find one that works for you and makes you happy to plan out your time!
Differentiate Between Small and Large Tasks
You might feel overwhelmed looking at a calendar and schedule full of tasks and to-do’s. Some people prefer to have separate places where they put their long term goals and their daily tasks. Experiment what works for you. You might try using your calendar for upcoming meetings and deadlines in the future and using a small notebook for things needed to complete for the day.
Clear Space Clear Mind
You don’t have to be the tidiest person in the world, but declare a clutter free zone. This could be your desk space, your bedroom, or kitchen table. When you have a work space organized, you’ll be less distracted and overwhelmed. Plus, you’re more likely to be motivated working in a clean area than a cluttered one. Learn to clean as you go instead of creating extra work for you to do later.
No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s important to figure out what good organization looks like for you. These are small ways that can make a big difference in the future. Once you start taking the small steps, you’ll notice these tips fall into different areas of your life as well. Good luck!
Article written by GUADS staff member, Nicole with contributions from smallbusiness.chron.com