10 Great Tips Organised People Already Know
It’s 7.30am. You’re already running late, trying to find a clean shirt, make the kids’ packed lunches and you’ve just remembered the car really needs fuel…
Does this sound like an average start to the day in your house? If you’re thinking to yourself, “YES!” and “How do some people seem so organised?” then what do you really want to achieve? What does it mean to be more organised? Organised people find-
They’re on time;
They’re less stressed;
They don’t forget anything;
They feel prepared for the day ahead.
So what’s their secret? I’ve listed what I think are 10 great tips that organised people know and use in their everyday lives.
1- Don’t procrastinate
Procrastination is a real bugbear for some people. If you find you’re spending more time on Facebook than finances, then remember that the job you’re putting off is probably an important one and that your time would be better spent on that. You’re also only making life harder for yourself as it’ll probably be ten times harder to do the task last-minute; or that you have to rush it and know it wasn’t as good as it could have been.
2-Write things down
Organised people make sure that they have a to-do list of what’s important that day, week, or sometimes month. Write EVERYTHING down that you need to do, and I mean everything- from buying a new car to worming the cat. If you have everything written down, it frees up your mind to concentrate on other things, and you don’t have to constantly worry whether you’ve forgotten anything.
If you’re an old-school pen and paper fan ( as I am to be honest!) then these journals from Amazon are great. You can also keep track of you to-do list digitally as well. Wunderlist and Evernote are useful digital apps for keeping your task list straight.
Make sure that you schedule all your appointments as well in some format. Doing this prevents you from double-booking yourself, and if you use a family calendar of some sort then the whole family can keep up-to-date with who’s doing what. Again you can do this with a family calendar, or upload your appointments to Apple or Google Calendars.
Now you have your to-do list written down, break it down further into daily tasks. This is the real secret of organised people, where they plan to hit the most important tasks first.
Also ask yourself if the task that feels like a priority really is one. You need to distinguish between the tasks you need to do and the tasks you want to do. This is where not procrastinating comes into its own! Tackle what you think are the most important first and let the other ones slide if necessary until you have time to deal with them. If you never have time to deal with them-that’s fine too. You’ve already concentrated on the most important ones.
4-Break large tasks down
As the saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” Looking at an enormous task ahead of you that you need to accomplish is daunting. But if you look at it as a group of smaller tasks, you can see a way in without being paralysed by the whole thing. Let’s say you want to clear out the spare room ( this is a decluttering blog after all) which hasn’t had clear floorspace since 2005. You might want to say to yourself, ” Today’s the day! I will clear the whole room!” and find that after five hours you’re flagging, deflated at the size of the task and so overwhelmed you don’t know what you want to keep anymore anyway.
So break it down. If it’s waited since 2005 it can wait a bit longer ( and it won’t be a sudden priority as you’ll have been prioritising your to-do list, right?). Say to yourself that today you will clear under the bed, for example. The next time you are free to work on the room, you’ll clear the dresser and so on. It might feel it’ll take longer, but you will get the task finished instead of giving up halfway through as the task towers over you.
Don’t let things build up to breaking point and end up at the “elephant level” mentioned above by decluttering on a regular basis. If you can sort through your paperwork when it comes into the house, rather than throwing it into an ever-growing pile, then it won’t become a huge job you need to tackle later. Or, for example, you could make sure you clear the coffee table each day or get those clothes into the laundry basket rather than the floor- you’ll know what the hotspots are in your particular house. The time you save will really add up!
6-Have a place for everything
Organised people have a place for everything and everything in its place. When you’ve decluttered and know that what you’ve got left are the items you want to keep, then you need to store those items too. If an item doesn’t have anywhere to live, then it’ll end up being shuttled around the house and run the risk of being lost as it never had a go-to place to start with.
Do you have room for all your items or will it end up as clutter? Do you need to look at more storage?
7-Keep only what you need
Why spend all your time sorting and tidying up items you don’t even need? Look at the items around you- are they useful, or beautiful? Do they have a sentimental aspect to them? If they do and you feel good about them, then great. If not, then why keep it?
You could even make some cash by eBay’ing unwanted items.
8- Don’t buy what you don’t need
You don’t want to add to your list of belongings unnecessarily, as they will just add to your list of items you need to find a home for. You might have found the perfect pair of jeans, but how many do you already have ( even if I sound like your mother now)? Could you work around a capsule wardrobe; it worked for Steve Jobs and Barack Obama.
Be aware when shopping and seeing something that is “a real bargain”- it’s only a bargain if you need it. Ask yourself if you’d want it even if it was at full price. If it’s something that will be around for longer than a few days, make a note of it and say to yourself you’ll revisit if you still want it in a week. If you don’t- then essentially you’re adding to your list of clutter.
Be conscious of what you’re adding to your collection of possessions and what you continue to acquire.
9-Have financial awareness
Stress in your life from disorganisation can spill into all areas, especially with money. Organised people keep on top of their spending by keeping tabs on what’s going out each month. You can create a budget by logging what you spend over ideally three months (or one month if that’s all you can manage at present) and see where your money is going. Also ensure you check your bank statements to make sure all the direct debits, standing orders etc you have are still valid- are you still paying for subscriptions you don’t need?
Organised people plan ahead. The Boy Scouts’ motto is “be prepared” and this is what they do- instead of firefighting where they’re dealing with the latest crisis, they spend a lot of their time and effort looking at the “big picture”. By doing this, they know they’ve covered the obvious problems in their way.
Even on a small scale this works eg make the kids’ packed lunches the night before ( or get them to make them), lay your work clothes and kids’ clothes out before bed, meal plan/ batch cook at the weekend so that evening meals are quick and easy to heat up during the week.
11-Don’t aim for perfection
I know I said “10 great tips”, but this extra one is equally important. Nobody’s perfect- and this means perfection is impossible to achieve. You want to make a significant improvement to your life and that takes effort, but it’s a law of diminishing returns. Heard of the Pareto principle? Basically it states-
20% of the effort/time you put in gives you 80% of your results
80% of the effort/time you put in gives you 20% of your results
So you just need to make a start on being organised and putting these tips in practice and you’ll see a massive difference in how organised you can be! Don’t then slog away for hours as it won’t have anywhere near as much of an impact.
Be kind to yourself-don’t aim for perfection, aim for improvement!
Have you found these tips helpful? Let us know in the comments below!