This is a guest post by Brianna from Spiked Parenting.
Do you struggle with getting organized? Do you keep promising yourself that this is the year you will finally get your act together any stay on top of stuff?
And do you ultimately get discouraged when things start slipping through the cracks? Do you throw in the towel and go back to the way things were?
The good news? We are all on an even playing field. There is not some innate gene that makes a person more organized than someone else.
The thing is, though, that you can’t just say you are going to get organized. The same way that you can’t just say you are going to change your spending habits, or keep the weight off this time.
It’s a lifestyle change that takes time and dedication. But it is completely possible. And the best part—anyone who puts their mind to it can do it.
If you follow these 7 steps, you will build the foundation needed for that organization to last.
So let’s get started!
1. Prioritize What Needs to Get Done First
The first thing anyone should do when getting organized is to make a list of everything that needs to get done.
This isn’t a to-do list. It’s a comprehensive brain dump. Get it all out on paper. Take a day of two to do this if necessary—but don’t overthink it. Just write.
Then look at your list. What needs to be done today? What needs to be done this week? This month? And so on.
There will quite possibly be some things on this list that don’t even need to be done this year, and that’s fine. The important thing is that your list is sorted into an order of priority.
2. Consolidate Any Similar Tasks
Once your list is in order, look to see if anything can be grouped together.
You may have an errand on the list for next week that is in the same area as an errand you need to run tomorrow. Can you do them both at once?
Do you have two posts on a similar topic with different deadlines? Can you write them on the same day while your head is still in the same place?
Look for anything that you can group together and consolidate your steps as much as possible.
By taking an extra step today, you will save many steps down the road. Live by this.
3. Create a System
Now that your list is taking shape, it’s time to systemize the aspects of it that you can.
Are you juggling multiple social media handles? Come up with a system to manage all of them in one place (I personally use a spreadsheet).
Do you have to stop and think about how you did something last so that you stay consistent? Jot down a guide on how you want things done so you don’t waste time making the same decision over and over.
Do you write better at a certain time of day? Schedule that time to write. Create a system around what you need to get done in a way that will work for you.
4. Keep it Simple
In doing all of the above, though, I cannot stress this next step enough—keep it simple!
Don’t create a 20 page workbook when 4 pages will suffice. You will get sick of keeping up with something so tedious and you will probably give up on it.
Don’t schedule out every second of your day. Life will happen and you will get discouraged.
Don’t plan for more than you can handle. You will overwhelm yourself and want to go back to your disorganized way.
Make each thing you need to do easily attainable by keeping it simple, concise, and to the point.
5. Create a Habit
Now while you shouldn’t make it too difficult, it shouldn’t be a walk in the park, either.
This is a new lifestyle, and it should be treated as such.
But stick with it. It will become easier. If you can continue to keep following the previous steps, they will soon become second nature. Working this way will become a habit.
6. Keep it Going
I know this sounds just like the last step, but you have to keep going. Keep filling in that spreadsheet that you started. Keep pushing out those articles.
All good things come with practice. All amazing things come with practiced determination.
7. Modify as You Go
This is the most important step. You have to allow yourself to see the system you created as a living, breathing, thing.
You have created a spreadsheet to stay on top of your social media marketing. You have been filling it in dutifully. And in doing so, you began to notice that a certain column wasn’t really necessary. So delete it.
You can’t plan for every little thing beforehand, so allow these changes to take place. It is the only way for you to refine your system to be the most effective system for you.
And once you have worked out all the kinks, you will look back in wonder at how you ever could have lived any other way.
Hi! I’m Brianna, and I’m the writer over at SpikedParenting.com. I help busy parents balance their work and personal lives, be more productive, and have time for the important things in life.
My Social Media: FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM
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Great tips. I think creating a habit is a big one for me. Once you get into a routine, it gets easier to incorporate into your life without struggling so much.
Absolutely! Once a habit is created it becomes second nature. And think of everything you could get done with all the time that you will free up!!
I need to work on doing #1. I have a tendency to want to get through the easy stuff first so I can knock it off my to-do list, but I should do the harder stuff first while I’m alert and have more energy to do so!
Yes, it is so tempting to jump to the easy things first! I try to organize my list by urgency. I also like to save “busy work” for the end of the day where I’m just wiped out, or little pockets of time where I don’t have long enough to get my head into something too complex.
Jenny Cavcic says
I need so start doing this. I’m usually so organized but lately I’ve been so busy and just let it all slide. Organization is key to a good life!
Oh, I completely understand that! I try so hard to find a balance in my life. Sometimes I have no choice but to choose between equally important things, though, due to time constraints. But working my butt off to try and stay organized makes that happen less often!
Good advice that I definitely need to follow. I’m taking this to heart, especially since I’m organizing my room.
Yay! What a fun project! Good luck! 🙂
I love all your tips! It is so hard for me to stay organized. Creating a habit is my favorite tip of yours. Thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome!! Keep working at it and push yourself! If you truly want the change to happen, you will be able to find the dedication within yourself to make it happen!
Yuliya Oleynykova says
I need to get a system in place!
Oh, I am all about the systems!! Having a set system in place saves you time on figuring out what order something needs to be done in, and also helps you get through it faster because you have the roadmap right in front of you. Time is gold to me because there is never enough of it, so I will take any extra that I can get!
I’m always looking for new ways to get organised. I’m really poor at prioritising so definitely need to work on that.
One place I always look when I’m trying to prioritize a bunch of stuff I have to get done are my immediate goals. What do I absolutely have to get done so that my daily, weekly, monthly goals can be met. And I’m not just talking about professional goals, but personal goals as well. I go into this in more detail in my time management and productivity series that I have up on my blog if you’re interested 🙂
Creating good habits is a weak point for me as well. But I am making steps towards that direction slowly but surely. The other methods are very helpful as well.
I’m so glad that you found value in the post! If you want something bad enough, the habit will come. Just keep on truckin’!