One of the most notorious things that people always ask me or say to me is about my organization. No this is not going to be a post full of items you should order from the ever illusive Container Store, this is a post about just a few practical ways that I learned how to be organized.
Fun fact, I was diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school and to this day have not found a successful medication to aide my tendency to not focus well. Skip to the fun part, and in college I set out to figure out what would work best for ME in staying organized and helping me maintain a productive lifestyle. The following ways are just a few small steps I take to keep myself on track.
- Keep a detailed calendar
It doesn’t really matter if you prefer an electronic copy or a physical copy (old school girl over this way, who loves an organized physical calendar), but keep it detailed. To be totally honest, I actually use both. I first write down the major events in my physical calendar and then reminders on my phone so that I can receive alerts when I need to get something down. I use colors to help color coordinate what type event it is or what it represents. This can be so much fun! Grab some cool pens, some stickers and make sure you have a really fun planner. Linked below are some cool options that I always enjoy.
- List everything
Okay so there are the lists people and the non-lists people, but again it doesn’t matter if you keep it on your phone or in your planner or somewhere else, but lists have scientifically been proven to help us remember things. There is a connection in our brain in memory and writing. Aside from that cool fun fact, it makes it easier to remember what we need to do if we have it written down somewhere and it’s soooo satisfying to mark through or check something off. There is no better feeling than check marking something I’ve done (shameless truth, I sometimes write down things I’ve already completed just so I can mark them off).
- Get plenty of sleep
This one may seem out of left field but just hear me out. One of the best ways for me to waste a day away is when I’m too tired to function and don’t feel like doing anything. I stay productive by keeping my energy up and staying well. This also includes working out, eating well and taking care of yourself in a general sense, but sleep is a cure for many aliments.
- Always ask for details
One of the biggest lessons I have learned (the hard way), is to always get details on what people expect of you. We live in a world that is increasingly less capable of communication and we struggle at coming across confrontational. We allow ourselves to make assumptions in fear of looking incapable.The truth is it’s not confrontation to simply ask someone when something is due, for more information or how high of a priority something is. This also includes learning how to prioritize things for yourself. You’ve got to learn how YOU function and how you’ll be best able to prioritize things on your list, but having input from others is a pivotal step.
- Create a “home base” everywhere you spend time
At home, it’s a credenza near my front door, at work it’s a bookshelf near my desk. Places that I tend to put things down or need to leave out to remind myself to grab them, I designate as home base. This way anything that I need to remember I have in one in place and I always know where things are or where I can put them to remind me to do something. We’re creatures of habit according to psychology, so putting things in one place consistently allows us keep tabs on things in our lives. Pinterest has some adorable ways to set up your different types of home base areas!
These are just a few of the tips and tricks I have for keeping myself focused and capable of being known for my ability to organize and stay focused (even though you now know my secret). I would challenge you to try one or all of these if you don’t already do them and keep yourself on track for productivity!
List below your favorite ways to stay organized!