I like to think of myself as a relatively organised person – I can organise trips spanning thousands of miles over several months and plan my day down to the minute detail. I’m almost never late – except in extreme circumstance where traffic or London Underground is normally to blame – and I pride myself on my ability to show up when I say I’m going to show up. Here’s the little steps I take on a daily/weekly basis to make sure I’m on top of my life.
1. Clean Up My Laptop
There’s nothing that makes me more stressed than a disorganised laptop. I hate having more than a few things on my desktop, and if my files are out of order, well, then we’re in trouble. I organise everything into my documents folder, and then split them up into four categories: Important Documents, Creative Writing, Personal and Work. Then there are the subcategories, like Invoices and Photos (split up then again into years and holidays). It makes it incredibly easy to find whatever I’m looking for. This also applies to my phone (which has 8 folders on two lines and that’s it), my iPad and my hard drive. I’m that person, sorry.
2. Organise My Book Shelves
When you read as much as I do, you acquire a fair few books, which often end up in piles all over the house. When I find myself surrounded by these literary towers, I make a point to sort them out. I’ll keep a small pile in my bedroom for ones I’m currently reading or about to read, then sort the others into three categories: to read, already read and to pass onto friends and family. These three piles all go on the shelves in my spare room so they are kept out of the way on a daily basis.
3. Get Out The Planner
While this isn’t a conventional planner, the OhhDeer notebooks, available from Urban Outfitters and their website are genius. I’ve tried all methods of organising in the path, from bullet journals to simply writing lists, but I can never stick with them. Bullet journals take a lot of time to put together, even if you’re doing a really simple layout, and lists.
4. Schedule EVERYTHING
Absolutely everything goes into my iCal. From doing my grocery shopping to my gym sessions to going out, there is not a part of my day that I don’t schedule in. I even put aside time for writing. Why? Because it means that I do it. Once you’ve written something down in your planner, or put it in your phone calendar, it’s an appointment you have to keep.
5. The “One Thing At A Time” Rule
This is something I’m working on at the moment, and while I’m not very good at it yet, it is helping me. This approach is literally what it says: do one thing at a time. If you have a to-do list as long as your arm and you feel so daunted you just switch on Netflix, just start by doing one thing and you’ll find it’s done before you realise it. Focus on that thing, and only that thing. This works for everything from emails to reading a chapter of a book to organising your kitchen cupboards.
6. 5 Task To-Do List
There are so many things we need to do every day that it’s no wonder we’re all so overwhelmed. To combat this feeling of “I’m never, ever going to get all this done”, I start by making a simple list of the 5 most important things to do that day. When your list is full of “take returns back to the post office” and “buy milk”, your list can stretch on forever, but if you strip it down to the 5 things you absolutely must do, you’ll find yourself doing them a lot quicker, and not getting stuck on errand trips.
Hopefully a few of these tips will have resonated with you – what do you do to keep yourself organised?