I’ll be the first to admit that I was an incredibly unorganized person until I got to college. I didn’t take good notes in class, regularly procrastinated on assignments, flat out forgot to get things done, etc.
Today, I’m proud to say that I’m incredibly organized. It’s an attribute I’ve come to value highly in myself and others. Adding just a little bit of organization into your routine can take you surprisingly far down the path to success. Even if organization doesn’t come easily to you, with a little practice these tips can quickly become habit.
In the spirit of springtime, the season of fresh starts, I thought I’d pass on my top 5 organizational tips to help get a handle on your daily life, both at work and at home:
1. Make to-do lists – I started making to-do lists every single day during college and it drastically improved my life. I’m old fashioned and believe that writing things down with a pen trumps everything, but there are some great checklist apps out there. Keeping an organized list of everything you need to accomplish ensures that you won’t drop the ball on anything important.
2. Write tasks down as soon as you think of them – Life hack alert! Even though this might seem completely obvious, it personally took me a long time to get this through my head. What’s the good of a to-do list if you forget to write down your tasks? Always keep your list close by and when you think of something you need to do, write it down right that moment.
3. Prioritize – When you’ve got a long list of things to do in front of you, it can feel rather daunting. Prioritizing the list by urgency will show you what needs to be done today and what can wait, allowing you to breath easier in return.
4. Do one thing at a time – Another thing that’s easier said than done – pick one thing off your list and do it! Once that’s done, do another thing. Lather, rinse, repeat. If you try to juggle 5 tasks at the same time, chances are you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed and outnumbered. Pick one thing first and see it through.
5. Start with what motivates you – This is my favorite tip! When I have a lot to get done and I’m not necessarily looking forward to all of it, I like to start with something that excites me. Motivation carries centripetal force and I guarantee it will propel you right through the rest of your to-do list if you simply start with something you enjoy.