Sunday, 17 April 2016

So, you want to be more organised?

If you know me, you know I love a good ‘ol list. I think I get it from my Mum, she has always had lists of jobs to do, lists of what to pack, what’s needed on the next shop. I thought I would share with you just a few of the basic things I do to keep myself feeling organised.

Keep your surroundings tidy!
When your desk is cluttered and messy, so is your mind set! I can’t concentrate until my workspace is minimised to just the items I need for that particular task. A quick five minute tidy up can really boost your productivity and reduces distraction. I also do this before leaving the house and before bed. It never feels good getting up or going home to mess. I always try to clean as I go where possible, it saves time in the long run and creates a better environment for concentrating.

Make lists!
Don’t leave it until five minutes before going to the supermarket to write a quick ‘make do’ list, or even worse – not write one at all! You’ll over spend and won’t come back with anything you needed. I write a weekly meal plan for the week ahead, so I know exactly what I need to buy. I add cupboard/cleaning bits to this list as they run out. I keep it on my iPhone notes, as it is quick and easy to grab. I also have a ‘to do this week’ list on there, which includes posting birthday cards, personal things I need to buy, errands I need to run etc. A ‘wish list’, this gives me something to work for and by the time it’s my birthday or Christmas, I’ve got plenty of ideas for when family ask. You might think my list includes designer handbags and shoes, but the first two most desired purchases on there at the moment is a cordless Dyson hoover and a ‘decent umbrella’… Oh, adult life.

One thing at a time!
I’m still working on this one. I’m terrible at delegating and always seem to overload myself with tasks because I like them done my way. More recently I've learnt to step back sometimes and just take on one task at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a big list and not actually complete anything, as all you’ve done is ‘bits’ here and there. I’m going to do a separate blog post on my tips and tricks around the house (don’t get me started on storage and filing), but it is important where possible to delegate some of the workload to your house mate/partner or you will simply burn yourself out. Saying that, my Mum has always said to me “If you want something done, do it yourself!”. But really, do take support where you can.

Prioritise your day and plan your week!
On a Sunday, I make sure everything is ready for my week ahead. The house is clean, the washing is done, the beds are changed, uniforms are ready and my bag is packed. I get my diary out and plan out my week. Knowing what you’re having for dinner, what night you’re seeing a friend or going on a date night, what shifts you’re on, what events you have coming up, when the dog needs worming... It will keep your mind focused, save time deciding what to cook/do, you won’t double book and you’ll fit everything in. I always take a glance at the weeks ahead too, if someone has an upcoming birthday, I know to get a gift in time or an outfit for a special occasion. Whether you prefer digital or old school pen and paper, I couldn’t live without my diary. If you keep it up to date and pay attention to it, you can’t go too wrong. 

When I have my breakfast each morning, I make a note of everything I need to personally do that day. When I get to work, I then write a separate list. I then prioritise the list of what is most important and work my way through. Where possible, I try to get the most mundane or time consuming tasks done first. That way, you won’t put them off all day and once the worst is over and done with, your day will just flow and you’ll feel so much better for it. I get SO much satisfaction from ticking off a list! Gosh, am I really admitting all of this?!

De-clutter and be more mindful!
I can’t stand clutter and mess. I don’t get ‘hoarders’ and the thought of not knowing what I have or where it is makes me feel stressed. If you don’t use it or need it, why are you storing it in your home? Be mindful of new item’s you purchase. Do you really need another one of those? How much are you going to use it? Where are you going to actually wear that? Not only will you save money by having this mind set, but it’s satisfying just having what you love and need. Having a good clear out does wonders for my mind, whether it’s my purse, the cupboard under the stairs or my e-mail inbox. You'll stop losing things too!

Stop procrastinating!
I find it frustrating when people say “Well, I don’t have time to do that” whilst sat on their phone, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I love social media, but it’s so easy to get sucked into it and waste HOURS of your week being unproductive! No, you don’t need to take that Buzzfeed quiz to find out what Harry Potter character you are. If you are still struggling to ‘find the time’, get up earlier! You can avoid stress by planning ahead and not leaving everything last minute. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

To some, this may seem extreme (this is only the basics of what I do, yes I’m aware I’m a complete nerd) but the smallest changes could make a huge difference to your daily mind set and well–being. Remember to be realistic, don’t set yourself huge tasks to do in short time frames. Once you have noted your thoughts and to-do’s onto your phone or on paper, you can clear them from your busy mind and focus more on the moment. Most importantly, never forget to schedule in some time for YOU.

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