Organization is a practice, not a personality. Anyone can be organized and nobody can be perfectly neat on their first try. Accepting these facts will not only relieve you from the pressure of trying to be neat but also decrease procrastination and help you enjoy the process! Here are some wonderful tips on how to be more organized in your everyday activities!
Tip 1. Make your bed when you wake up
Start organizing first thing in the morning! This may be hard at first, but once you get into a habit, it’ll work miracles! Making your bed means that you’ve already completed the first task of the day and will encourage you to keep your room tidy, which will in turn increase your productivity! Feeling accomplished in the morning will set the tone for the rest of the day--the sooner you make the bed, the better you'll feel about facing your next schedule.
Tip 2. Prepare a planner or calendar
A planner or calendar will help you organize your day so that you don’t forget anything and use your time effectively. First, get a calendar and hang it in an easily accessible spot. You can also use a calendar on your computer or the calendar app on your smartphone to retrieve it anywhere. Next, put all essential dates in the calendar, such as due dates, appointments, and meetings. Try not to miss even the trivial events and update it regularly to help you organize your time.
Do you feel like you have too much to do, even after organizing your schedule? One of the ways to stay organized is to say "no" to difficult, time-sensitive requests.
Tip 3. Make a weekly to-do list
After setting the bigger picture, try making a weekly to-do list. This may be part of your planner or a separate document. On the to-do list, break up things you need to get done each day. Then, make a "Top 3" list for the day; these are things you really have to get done. After making a daily/weekly list, separate the items in terms of urgency; label them like "things I have to get done today," or "things I have to do by the end of the month." Prioritizing tasks will allow you to spend time more efficiently, and can also make it easier to shift between tasks in case of emergencies or any unexpected events.
Tip 4. Write down reminders
When you’re done creating your schedule and to-do lists, write down a couple reminders--relying on memory alone won't help you stay organized. Jot down random thoughts and ideas as well as things you need to remember, such as assignments and shopping lists. Apps like Dreamfora will also send you timed reminders to help you stay on track!
Tip 5. Tell your friends and family about important deadlines
For the most important deadlines, another way to remember could be to tell your friends and family about them. This way, you can be held accountable, adding a sense of responsibility to your list of tasks!
Tip 6. Color-code your lists and calendars
When creating your lists and calendars, color-code them because this will allow you to visualize things into a category. For example, blue can be for assignments, red for tests, and yellow for quizzes. Remember not to go too overboard with this or it may result in a visually confusing agenda.
Tip 7. Dispose of the stuff you don't need
Just as you have to say “no” to some things in your schedule, do the same for your stuff: “I might use it someday” is not a good enough excuse if you want to stay tidy. If you’re not sure what goes and what stays, consider recency (“When did I last use this?”), frequency (“How often do I use this?”), acquisition cost (“How expensive and/or difficult is it to get this?”), storage cost (“How much does it cost me to store this?”), and retrieve cost (“What will it cost me if this item becomes outdated, or I need to retrieve it from storage?”). These five factors will help you decide what you need and what to give away or dispose of.
Tip 8. Have a place for everything
Once you have disposed of the stuff you don’t need, organize the items you deemed necessary. Group scattered items together and find a home for them so that you have a place for everything. This will again help you determine excesses and organize your space so that you can access what you need easily. Check out some helpful tips here!
Tip 9. Declutter regularly
After you’re done with all the initial organizing, declutter periodically: a decluttered space equals a decluttered mind. Keep everything in place and stop putting off chores! But all the while, remember: practice makes perfect! Give yourself some grace as well as discipline.
Want to give it a try? Click here to download Dreamfora to add the customized plan “How to be organized.” Dreamfora will set you up with a comprehensive set of daily tasks, habits, and milestones for you to follow.