After getting through a rough period of your life, things can be messy. Literally. In fact, every great organizational system that I’ve come up with was due to something in my life that was previously disastrous. I still remember feeling all out of sorts during my very first semester of college. There were now so many assignments and exams to balance, along with expenses and access codes. I remember writing things down randomly, but I didn’t have a good way to keep track of everything that was being thrown at me. That’s when I decided to start using a planner and coming up with a method to separate all of my priorities within one single item. Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay organized!
I’ve discussed this in other blog posts before, but I am a total nut case when it comes to alarms! I love to sleep. It’s literally my favorite hobby of all-time. Since I’m also an incredibly heavy sleeper, I have to set at least 4 alarms (15 mins apart) an hour before I need to wake up for work. I know, I know, that sounds totally psychotic but it works for me. Even though I mainly use my alarms for waking up, you can use alarms for reminding yourself of other important events. I also set alarms for when I need to take certain prescriptions and when I need to check up on other crucial things.
Physically Write Things Down
Sometimes typing something down on my phone or computer isn’t enough for me. I almost need to physically write something down in order to trigger that muscle memory. Even in college, I did better on exams where I took my notes down by hand. Not everyone is like this, but I think that many of us are. If something is incredibly urgent, I will even write it down on my hand so there is no chance of me forgetting about it. Again, I’m a little more extreme than most when it comes to this type of stuff, but I am an extremely forgetful person if I don’t take the necessary strides to organize my thoughts.
Use a Color Coding or Tagging System
The human eye can only handle so much! I’m a fan of color-coding different categories and sub-categories to make finding things a lot easier for me! When it comes to written things, I like to use standard highlighter colors. For things I need to find in a book or notebook, I like to use different color post-its and binder clips. I found this color-coding system especially helpful when it came to my classes in college! I assigned a different color to each course I was taking, and that made a world of difference in my student success.
Choose a Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Routine
Of course you need some spontaneity in your life, but routine isn’t always a bad thing! Certain routines give you that necessary stability in your life. There’s certain days of the week that I typically dedicate to specific priorities or activities. Even though there are some days where I deviate from the status quo, I try to keep my routines in place. The more times I stray away from the routine, the more out of sorts I feel for the remainder of the week. I like to use monthly routines for things like paying bills and checking on bigger item things. I like to use weekly and daily routines more for controlling my own mental health and stability.
Keep Important Items in the Same Place
The second I put something valuable in a weird place, is the second that everything feels extremely chaotic and messy. Every time I leave my house, I try to do the “keys, wallet, phone” check. My advice is to keep your important things in the same place that you always do, not matter how dysfunctional that place is. The moment you change where you put your absolute necessities, the more disoriented you’ll be! Trust me on this, I’ve learned the hard way.
It’s always difficult to stay organized when things in life are chaotic, but try taking these small steps! Trust me you won’t forget it 🙂
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Question of the Week:
How do you stay organized?