These 8 ways to organize your life have all been game-changers for me to keep me on track so I’m less stressed, more productive, and more efficient with my energy and time.
As an entrepreneur, it’s pretty darn important that I stay organized. I’ll admit though – I haven’t always been organized and it’s not always been my strong suit. But over the years I’ve developed new organizational habits and skills that have been game-changers for me and have made a huge difference in how organized I am on a day-to-day basis.
Being organized benefits us in more ways than having our world be a little more aesthetically pleasing: we’re more productive, more efficient with our time and energy, and we’re less stressed when we’re organized.
1. Keep a Digital Notebook
A big shift happened in my life not long ago. A very big, groundbreaking shift. It’s called a digital notebook.
I love notebooks (and I mean I really, really love notebooks.) Planners, agendas, to-do lists, scrap pieces of paper. Give me all the paper things… except not anymore.
For years I used physical notebooks to create to-do lists and don’t get me wrong, pen and paper is still very handy, but these various notebooks were actually making me less organized. It’s like I was more organized and less organized at the same time. What? I don’t even know. But what I do know is that these things were scattered everywhere, clogging up my purse, cluttering up my drawers, and it took a lifetime to find the most recent list I created.
Enter the digital notebook. Instant life improvement hack.
There’s a lot of options out there so I encourage you to find your fave, but I chose Evernote one fine weekday evening for no reason at all besides vaguely hearing about it a few months prior, and it has rapidly become the most important organizational (and productivity) tool I use. Oh, and it’s free!
I put every single thing in this app that I would’ve previously written down:
- tasks to complete for the day
- tasks to complete for the week or month
- video, recipe, and other creative ideas
- grocery lists
- to-do lists
What I love most about the app though is that instead of having just one giant list, you can create different sets of notes within different “notebooks”. So for example, I have a notebook for video ideas and within that notebook I have separate notes for video categories, such as food video ideas, lifestyle video ideas, and so on. Everything is streamlined and basically just… organized.
Having a digital notebook means no more pieces of paper everywhere and I always have everything I need on me if I leave the house.
2. Use Reminders
For the longest time I never used the calendar function on my phone. And while I admit I don’t use it a ton, I do still use it for inputting important events to not only schedule them, but to remind me with an alarm beforehand. I personally love using Siri for this specifically (in fact, that’s the only time I use Siri!) since it means I don’t have to manually input events. Siri does it for me without me even touching a button. It goes something like this:
“Hey Siri, remind me to write a blog post on organization tomorrow at noon”. And then bam. It’s done.
3. Routinely De-Clutter
Create a de-clutter routine for yourself. Once every couple months, set aside 30-60 minutes to go through your purse, cupboards, drawers, etc. and toss, recycle, or donate things you don’t want or aren’t using. Having a less cluttered space guarantees greater efficiency and organization in your life as you don’t have tons of things getting in your way. Having less clutter also helps keep surfaces like desks, countertops clear and tidy.
4. Tidy Before Bed
It’s simple: it feels really, really nice to go to bed and to wake up in a tidy space, and you don’t need to spend a large chunk of time in the evening to achieve this. An hour before bed, for example, take 10-15 minutes to tidy up your space. Tuck away laptop and charger, plug in your phone, wipe the table, or finish up any dishes in the sink.
5. Choose Functionality
Most of us arrange furniture, decor or other belongings in our home based on how they look aesthetically, which is perfectly reasonable. I love design and being creative with decor, but something we often fail to consider is the functionality of those items.
For example, kitchen gadgets or utensils you use most often should be easy to find or reach. Tuck away other gadgets you use less frequently.
Your bedside table should have space on it for practical items like glasses, alarm clock, a glass of water, a lamp, etc. Put other items in drawer. This is also where having a spot for everything is key!
6. Carry Only What You Need
If you saw my recent video on 10 things I no longer buy, you would know that I use a very small purse! For me, large purses are just invitations for filling them up with stuff. However, larger bags are sometimes necessary if you have kids or if you carry more sizeable items.
Even if you don’t use a smaller bag, just carry with you what you need so you’re not rummaging through things to find your wallet or keys. For me I just carry my wallet, my phone, sunglasses, keys, and lip balm.
Lip balm is a necessity. Just saying.
7. Go Paperless
Bank statements and other types of documents are available online now for the most part which is excellent for helping us to avoid piles of paper that add up in a corner of a desk or countertop. Going paperless by signing up for online services helps reduce clutter and paper waste, too.
8. Sort Important Paperwork
Although we can switch to digital or paperless options nowadays, there are still some files that we either prefer or need to have in a physical format. Everybody’s paperwork situation varies, but I highly recommend consolidating as much as possible and using an accordion folder (with categorized slots of course). I use a small, portable accordion folder from the dollar store.
Filing our important papers in one spot not only gives them a place instead of being scattered around or in different drawers, but the smaller size works well for locating those papers easier and can be tucked away discreetly.
Be sure to tackle incoming paperwork as quickly as possible to avoid it piling up and to stay on top of things.
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What helps you stay organized? Do you have a particular tool or habit you really like?