When it comes to making life as simple as could be, the first thing that comes to my mind is organization. All kinds of organization. From home to work to just life in general, organization means simplicity!
In case you couldn’t tell, I enjoy organizing. I honestly feel like I function ten times better when I’m in an organized environment. However, I also know some people that sigh just from hearing the word organize.
I consider organization to be a main part of the ‘Professional Self’ because it is important to stay on top of deadlines, finances, and overall cleanliness. But if you’re one of those mentioned above that dread thinking about where to even begin when it comes to organizing, I’ve compiled a list of three tips that help me to stay on top of my game and I’m confident they can help you too!
Tip #1: Create schedules and deadlines, and then stick to them.
If you are a student, make a list of everything you need to get done, (chapters that need to be read, essays that need to be written, assignments that need to be turned in, etc.) and work on completing them in order of due date. It is best to do this on a weekly basis as you will be getting new assignments and completing others.
If you are a mama, keep two lists around–one full of things you plan to get done the next day, and one full of things you plan to get done that week. Focus on your daily list when you need to prioritize or are tight on time, and focus on your weekly list when you have finished your daily list or when you have some spare time.
If your life is just too busy to have a schedule outside of your predetermined work schedule, each night write down just one thing you want to accomplish the next day and make sure you stick to it.
*Hint: This is not meant to create stress, it is meant to alleviate it. So find ways that work for you like using colorful notes in a planner, or using notes on the phone that you already have with you all the time. It doesn’t have to be concrete either. Feel free to ditch one to-do task for a more important one. Know your health is more important than overworking yourself when you’re sick. Most importantly, keep life fun!
Tip #2: Get on top of your finances.
It could be as simple as putting more thought into your grocery lists and spending more time at the store so you make fewer visits. I’m sure we’ve all noticed that the more often you make a trip to the store, the more money you are spending, unfortunately. Also, it might be smart to learn how to prepare smaller portions if you find your household has a bit of waste leftover.
It could be as simple as creating a budget for the household. If you live alone, find out how much you make per month on average, and also how much you spend per month on average. If your expenses (spending) are close to your income (making), find ways to reduce your monthly spending or increase your monthly income. Although one is usually easier than the other to do (hint hint). If you live with others, do the same thing but determine how all of you could reduce spending or make some extra income.
It could be as simple as learning how to improve your credit, as we all know how much credit can affect many of our choices in life. For this, I recommend researching which credit cards would be best for you before applying for what may seem like a great deal. When you do receive a credit card or however many you feel you really need, (I have a bank card and a Target card) it is so, so important to learn how to be smart when using them. Credit Karma is popular and has ways to help you manage your credit, although I personally use the Mint app on my phone and I love it!
Tip #3: The Two-Minute Rule.
I’m not really sure when I first heard this term, but it resonated with me and showed me a more positive way to approach the way I do things. The Two-Minute Rule is a way to overcome procrastination by making it easier to start tasks. There are two parts to the rule and it is based on David Allen’s book titled, “Getting Things Done.”
Part 1: If it takes less than two minutes to do, do it now. This part of the rule says that if an action can be completed in two minutes or less, like tidying up a room, switching the laundry, taking out the trash, etc., it should be done now. Then later when you go to look at what needs to be done, the less time-consuming tasks will already be done and you will be able to prioritize the more time-consuming tasks. Also, it won’t seem so daunting to do all at once.
Part 2: When starting a new habit, it should take less than two minutes. I realize this may sound impossible, but this part of the rule says that whether the task is small or large, starting it should take two minutes or less. For example, reading a book takes longer than two minutes obviously. But if you were to tell yourself to start reading for two minutes, you might be surprised to look up and see ten minutes have already gone by (or longer!)
So, did you make it? Did you manage to read all this without telling yourself, “That will never work for me like it does for her”? Well, even if you’ve made it this far and you did think that you might be right. I can’t guarantee that these tips will work for you, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. Right?
These aren’t all the tricks I use to stay organized, but they are the three most important and most used by me. Feel free to tweak any (or all) of these tips to better suit your lifestyle. After all, I’m here to make life as simple as could be not just for me but for everyone! Always remember to have fun with it and I’ll see you back here next Monday! (: