Monday, January 5, 2015

5 Tips for Getting Organized

It's no secret that as the new year is upon us, everyone is wanting to get more organized. Just today in fact, I was in line at Target to get a few things, and I saw at least three other people in line with a planner or calendar in hand. Ready to take on the world, one page at a time.

I myself have gone through phases of using a planner, using a calendar, using my phone, going by my memory, having a million post its and to do lists crammed in my purse, and any number of other "methods" I tried to use to stay organized.

But over this past year especially, I have found that I am actually a pen and paper gal, through and through. Writing things down concretely on paper helps me to gather my thoughts, lay out a plan, manage my time, and most importantly, stay organized.

So I became one of those people, planner and three other notebooks in hand, and began to plan and write. I actually had my goals written out, in several places. But I wanted all of my plans, to dos and ideas in one place (or between a notebook and a planner), in an effort to keep life simple.

From all of my experiments, I have a few tips to share with you if you are looking to get your calendar and life organized this year and are determined to stick to it. I could write a whole series of blogs on how to stick with things, but we will start with some organizing tips for now.

1. KISS. Keep It Super Simple!! Whether you are tech savvy and love your apps, or you need a pen and paper, remember above all to keep it simple! The fewer amount of places you have all of your information stored, the better. Try and keep everything in one or two locations to keep you sane. This will also aid in consistency!

2. Write it down. Over the course of your year, you are going to have parties, appointments, to dos, gatherings, meetings, and an endless gamut of things with a deadline. Write it down. Again, whether on your phone or in a planner, write it down. It may seem simple, but sometimes the simple things are easily overlooked.

3. Take one day a week to plan. This may take some time to get in the habit of if you are not used to it. But truly I am telling you, if you take even just 20 minutes one time a week to look ahead at your week and plan out what you need to do, spread it across your week, I promise it's going to take some stress out of your life.

4. Use your planner! Okay, I'm going to break the mold and encourage you to do something that might make you a little uncomfortable. Put the phone down, get your planner (or calendar, or go get one) and a pen, and WRITE. The art of keeping a planner and a hand written calendar has been lost on our culture for a few years. Some people help keep it alive, but the benefits are much overlooked. I'm going to challenge you to try using an actual physical planner for at least one month to see what you think!

5. Prioritize. When you are looking at your calendar and planner, and comparing them to your goals for the year, take each day and each week and see what you need to prioritize to make your goals and "to do's" happen. Breaking your goals down over the entire year makes them much more manageable. So take some time to prioritize your schedule!

There you have it, a few simple tips to get organized in your calendar and life this year as we start off 2015 strong. Stay tuned on my blog and keep following me on Facebook  and on Instagram as I share more tips on how I keep my planner up to date and how I'm working smart to stay organized!

Let me hear YOU weigh in, do you prefer technology to keep your schedule, or are you old fashioned pen and paper like me?

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