Have you been wondering how professional organisers stay organised? Here are my (not so secret) top tips to help your organise yourself like a pro.
We juggle so many things in our daily lives, it is impossible to remember everything. So it will not come as a surprise that having specific templates for repetitive activities in your work and home will save you time, effort and mental bandwidth.
Whether you call them checklists, master lists or reference guides, keeping a few simple lists that you refer to again and again can save so much duplication of effort.
From a list of your monthly bookkeeping tasks to a packing list for holidays, creating these reference points means your systems do the thinking so you don’t have to.
Do you really want to have to think from scratch every time you go shopping, prepare for a holiday or balance your books? Next time you are naturally doing these activities why not jot down the main things to remember and then use that as your template plan of action next time round?!
To help you get started, I have a few free printables you can download. Check out the holiday packing list and other downloadable printables here.
Life is just easier when you know where things are! From a bowl for your keys to folders for your emails, the fewer places you have to look for something the simpler it will be to find it.
Research has shown that, on average, we lose 15 – 40 minutes a day just looking for stuff. By giving each item a home, and routinely returning things to their rightful place, you can save time and energy, avoid duplicate purchases and have a low-maintenance tidy space.
Start small with establishing a place for your keys for example, then move on to kitchen stuff, clothes etc, using a little and often approach, rather than an all or nothing mindset. Little by little, you will get into a routine and predictability of finding the same things in the same places.
If you want to manage your time, you have to be able to see it! You’ll generally find that the most organised people make it a priority to plot out all their activities on their calendar – they know that things that get scheduled are more likely to get done! Start with slotting in time for what is essential for your goals and aspirations, then move on to the rest of your responsibilities and obligations, to prevent your time from being hijacked by unimportant noise.
By turning to dos into whens, you can clearly see your activities, commitments and tasks – along with an indication of how much time you’ll invest in each one – and thereby manage your expectations and get a sense of your capacity.
There are many ways of planning – from a family calendar on the wall to the calendar on your mobile phone, or free apps like Trello, where you can list activities and deadlines and share these with family or co-workers.
Regular clear-outs throughout the home and office keep things from over-accumulating. Think even short ten minute daily clear outs and flash declutters – one drawer, shelf or windowsill at a time. Progress will accumulate over time – as those ten daily minutes over a period of a month amass to a total of five hours of decluttering!
From your wardrobe and kitchen to your workspace and schedule, you can stay clear and current and keep things at a manageable level by periodically editing out the items and commitments that are no longer needed, used, or loved.
This frees up space and time for the belongings, people and activities that are most relevant to your goals, work and lifestyle.
“Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.”
James Clear – Atomic Habits
The simple magic of little daily routines and habits can be a game-changer in terms of being better organised.
– Do a load of laundry every day so that it doesn’t pile up and you always have something clean to wear
– Process mail on a daily basis – recycling, shredding, filing and actioning paperwork so that bills are taken care of and documents don’t accumulate
– Do a quick stock-take of what’s in your cupboards before going shopping so that you’re not wasting time or money buying things you don’t need
Regular habits can minimise procrastination and friction, improve momentum and consistency and enhance productivity!
What habit would you like to work on next? Look for the free printable Habit Tracker in my online store to help you get good habits to stick.
Would you like to make further progress with your organising skills? Check my upcoming events and masterclasses here to further get you on your way of being organised like a pro.
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