Staying organized has been an acquired skill for me. About the only thing that I kept organized when I was a student living at home was my backpack.
But entering the real world of jobs and bills made it clear I need it to get myself together. Not just to keep the lights on and gas in the car but also to keep my myself motivated and inspired to do the creative work I love to do.
See, here's the thing. If my surroundings are disorganized, my mind is disorganized.
For years I've been working on a system to help me get things done; the necessary and the fun!
1. Get a Calendar
Basic. I know. But remember when back in school we use to get those nice spiral agendas with the space for the vocabulary words of the week? Well turns out it was training for the REAL WORLD.
This is my little tiny agenda that I take with me everywhere. It fits even in my tiniest purse. In here I jot down important work dates, friend dates, project due dates and anything else that I need to be aware of.
But why not just use the calendar on my phone or computer you might ask. Well, you can if you find that works for you but for me, writing it down on paper helps me make it a real thing that's going to happen. There's just something more official about it being on paper.
2. Write your To-Dos
Again, grade school stuff but trust me, there is just so much pleasure in checking things off that list. You don't need to have a million things on your to-do list. Just the most important things you have to get done that day or things that might be easy to forget.
This is my work to-do list notebook. Every day when I get to the office (sometimes the previous day before leaving the office) I jot down all the things I have to get done that are work related. It gets edited as the day goes by and things fall through or aren't needed anymore.
For me this has been essential in helping me stay focused and efficient.
3. Design Your Day
My absolute favorite app is Fabulous.
It's free and it has a ton of challenges and journeys for you to do based on what you're looking to improve on in your life.
But my favorite feature is the routines. You can build a morning, afternoon and evening routine with healthy habits like eating a good breakfast, meditating, writing your to do list *wink wink*, doing yoga, writing in your journal and even working on a secret project.
This app helped me immensely to get my creative mojo back by giving me a road map to follow everyday and letting me feel accomplished when I got it done.
4. Declutter Regularly
Are you a hoarder like me? I save movie tickets, flyers from events I never went to, broken hair ties, dried up pens, anything. You name it and I probably have had it in my desk drawer at some point.
It's okay to hoard these things. For a while. But come back like every week or so and throw away what you know deep in your soul is garbage.
As you declutter your room or desk you will find your mind gets a decluttering too. Yay!
5. Revisit Often
These four things I'm sharing with you are simple and effective. But what makes them work is that they are easily adjustable. The one constant thing in life is change and you have to remain flexible enough to bend with it. So make sure you revisit your calendar, to-do list, and app routines regularly taking out what doesn't work and improving on what does.