It is once again time to implement New Year’s resolutions. One of the best things to implement is organizing and optimizing your life.
Developing your organizing abilities has numerous advantages. First, you will be more efficient regardless of what you do.
When you’re not plagued by turmoil, exercising efficiency is much easier. According to the American Institute of Stress, more than fifty percent of all Americans experience everyday stress.
Being more organized will help you wean off the stress machine, which will benefit your health.
Want another fantastic incentive to have everything in order? When you are organized, you have the flexibility to deal with life’s most unforeseen challenges.
Anything might occur, from an unexpected employment offer to a personal transformation.
The more effort you put into organizing your life in advance, the more energy you will have available later.
The Organize Your Life Framework
Rules can feel strict and depressing: do not do this. Though, obeying a set of rules can be liberating.
When we have a fixed set of intended actions, we reduce the analysis paralysis that comes with choice and the anguish that results from indecision.
- That’s not to imply that uncertainty shouldn’t be a part of life; we’ve included “Experiment” as part of this framework so you can discover life’s fortunate accidents without feeling like everything is spinning out of control.
- By adhering to simple guidelines and implementing them regularly, you will organize your life in a manner that brings peace and order to your days and weeks.
- Only you know which aspects of your world require organization.
- However, any of the following recommendations should assist you in achieving your organizational goals.
1. Declutter Once a Month:
Clutter is not simply a sight or an annoyance. All of this can also be detrimental to your mental health. Clutter has been related to everything from anxiety to a loss of concentration.
The problem with clutter is that it may rapidly become out of control. Suppose you spend the entire day organizing your cluttered office or cluttered living room.
- That’s good, but the disorder will inevitably return without a strategy. Regular decluttering campaigns are required to eliminate clutter permanently.
- Set aside at least one day every month to work on decluttering. If something does not have a home, locate one for it.
- If you cannot find a location for the item, consider selling it, donating it, or discarding it. By organizing your decluttering efforts, you will prevent the clutter from becoming overwhelming once more.
2. Lean into Subscription Services:
We live in an age of subscription services. More than three-quarters of the global population relies on service. Why should they not?
The appropriate subscription can deliver anything to your door at your preferred frequency. This means fewer trips to the supermarket and never running out of necessities.
- Companies such as Dollar Shave Club and Stitch Fix made a significant splash by changing the subscription sector.
- Currently, these are only two of the several subscription services available.
- You may now receive anything regularly, including Nom Nom’s natural, fresh dog food formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists.
- With these services, you can always obtain just what you require when you require it.
- Do not assume that you cannot obtain subscriptions for a specific product.
- However, you may be shocked by the number of subscriptions awaiting your discovery.
3. Schedule all Your Appointments:
Many of us spend our entire lives overbooking our work schedules. The issue is that a corporate calendar can quickly invade the personal sphere.
You suddenly realize you are attempting to schedule gym trips and dental appointments around work.
- This is a backward approach that might negatively affect your work-life balance.
- This issue is best resolved through a two-step method.
- First, merge all of your calendars into a single, authoritative calendar. Then, set aside time for personal activities.
- Do not restrict yourself to outside meetings alone. Instead, schedule time for all important occasions, such as family walks and soccer pick-ups.
- You are rewiring your brain to prioritize your obligations.
- Those who are great achievers frequently make excessive time sacrifices for their careers.
- Prioritizing time for yourself allows you to enjoy your free time guilt-free.
4. Delegate Like Crazy:
A delegation is an excellent tool for organizing your life. Remember: If you try to do everything, you will inevitably spread yourself too thin.
This is typically when mistakes occur. You create the conditions to perform at your best by delegating some of your responsibilities more frequently.
- Make sure you delegate at home as well as on the job. Many forget that delegating to a spouse or child can be just as beneficial as delegating to a coworker.
- Delegation makes sense if, for instance, your spouse has time for a task and you do not.
- Initially, delegation may be a bit tough. Over time, however, you will become accustomed to delegating part of your responsibilities.
5. Set up a Household Budget:
Want to organize your finances, so you know where your money is going? Make 2019 the year you finally establish a household budget.
You do not need any specialized software, either. But a spreadsheet detailing your monthly income and expenditures is an excellent starting point.
- When you have your spreadsheet in hand, you can begin to drill down and manage your financial life.
- For example, you may observe that you live paycheck to paycheck. In such a circumstance, you could consider reducing your expenditure in some “cost” categories.
- Nothing is more distressing than discovering that your spending is out of control.
- Organizing your accounts is a sure way to achieve success with money management.
6. Automate Routine Bills:
Regarding finances, have you ever skipped a bill payment? It’s a horrible, sinking sensation.
Consistent delinquency can potentially have severe consequences for your credit score. It is crucial to your financial health to pay bills on time, every time.
- Try automating your bills as long as you’re on top of your budget and have adequate money in your accounts.
- Many utility companies and other suppliers permit you to authorize a monthly withdrawal.
- You will receive an email or text notification receipt with no additional action required.
- In addition to avoiding “past due” warnings, you will experience a stress reduction.
- Knowing that you have paid your debts eliminates any worries that you will harm your credit.
7. Say “No” More Often:
Interestingly, most people say “yes” more often than “no.” Nevertheless, refusing to add more to your plate can be advantageous.
On the other hand, if you continually take on more obligations, you may reach the point of burnout.
If “no” is not your go-to response, you can expect to feel odd when you utter it. The embarrassment could be amplified if you decline additional work from your boss.
However, if you are honest about your limitations and not stubborn, you can make “no” work to your advantage.
- Remind yourself that it is acceptable to inform others that your bandwidth is total. The majority of people, including your boss, will comprehend.
- However, by accepting “no,” you will avoid the sensation of drowning or becoming trapped in impossible-to-meet deadlines.
- Give yourself the gift of organization this year. Then, you will have more space for delightful experiences, and may serve as an example of efficiency for those around you.
8. Establish Habits And Routine:
We have developed habits and routines that govern our behavior without conscious thinking. The question is whether these routines are deliberate or the result of mere inertia.
Good habits position us for long-term success and improve our mood. Our poor habits rob us of our time, health, happiness, and resources.
Examine your habits to determine what is working, what has to go, and what new behaviors will help you achieve your objectives.
- Do you spend hours per day looking through Instagram?
- Do your monthly bank statements contain more withdrawals than you would like to admit?
- Could you utilize more of your free time for physical activity?
Developing good habits is complex. In Atomic Habits, we recommend that we have a compelling rationale for developing a given habit: “Your habits matter because they help you become the type of person you want to be.
- They are the conduit via which you form your most fundamental self-beliefs. Speaking, you become your habits.”
- Once you have acquired the desired habits, incorporate them into a good daily routine.
- You may rely less on transient inspiration and leave less opportunity for procrastination and distraction when you have good habits and can link them to a healthy routine.
9. Prepare Ahead:
There are unexpected turns and twists in life. That does not imply that little planning cannot go a long way.
A task manager like Todoist and a calendar must think, plan, and arrange your life.
Schedule time for the day and week planning. When you know your job presentation is due, you can add tasks to your task organizer to complete it.
If you record the dates of your child’s parent-teacher conferences on your calendar, you can rest assured that everything will stay intact.
- Plan and schedule the minor details; they add up. (such as laundry and cleaning)
- Invest one hour per week in arranging your week (e.g., Friday afternoon, Monday morning)
- Overestimate the amount of time a task will require. Consider time blocking your day.
- In 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, Laura Vanderkam emphasizes the necessity of preparing your week: The focus is on “well-planned.”
- By arranging everything on your calendar and listing all your chores on your to-do list, you can work within the constraints of your week to prioritize everything significant to you.
10. Embrace Your Natural Inclinations:
The ideal form of daily exercise is one that you love doing. The healthiest food is the one you enjoy eating. The best work is that which you would do for nothing.
Organizing your life and carefully designing your routines and habits can soon become a self-defeating exercise in aspirational living.
- Every day, I should wake up at 5 a.m.
- I should transition to a vegan diet.
- “I’m going to stop watching movies.”
The only issues? You are a night owl who performs your best work around midnight, enjoys a delicious steak and unwinds by watching a good movie.
To manage your life, choose routines that align with your natural tendencies.
Embrace what you can feasibly commit to for the long haul, and be honest about your capabilities.
Here are a few areas in which you might embrace your natural state:
- If you despise ironing, get only wrinkle-resistant fabrics.
- Join a leisure sports team if you loathe the gym.
- If you dislike reading, consider podcasts and documentaries.
- By choosing the path of least resistance, you can avoid time trying to embrace what you despise and instead choose what you prefer.
11. Persistence Trumps Perfection:
The “all-or-nothing” mentality can be a source of self-sabotage for many of us. When we fail to reach the unreasonable standards we set for ourselves, we give up altogether.
By comprehending the significance of gradual development and the efficacy of compounding effort, we can be more realistic and achieve more in life.
- Unrealistic plans set us up for a downward cycle of humiliation and remorse when we inevitably fall short of our objective.
- Integrate consistency into your life and become accustomed to imperfection. By choosing continual effort toward an attainable objective, we make more place in our lives for all we desire to do.
12. Find Balance:
We frequently sacrifice balance in our attempts to achieve everything and order our lives precisely.
Instead of retiring to bed, you remain up all night coding. Instead of spending the weekend with friends, you prepare for an upcoming exam.
This method may be effective in the short term, but its long-term consequences are stress, burnout, and lethargy. Balance and self-care should be prioritized for long-term viability.
Listed below are some strategies to consider:
- Avoid overcommitting and spending excessive time on the job.
- Focus on physical activity for its mood-enhancing benefits
- Try meditating, keeping a gratitude notebook, or developing a gratitude practice.
- Spend time with family and friends
- Relax by yourself with a good movie or book
- Avoid all-nighters at all costs and ensure you’re getting adequate sleep.
In addition to little stops to catch your breath throughout the day, make time for longer breaks. Attempt to take one-week breaks from work at least once or twice every year.
By consistently recharging your batteries, you will be able to show up for yourself and those who depend on you at work and in life.
13. Prioritize Correctly:
To simplify juggling life’s obligations, it can be beneficial to drop some balls purposefully.
To create time for what’s most essential to you, you must become comfortable with the word “no.”
- Prioritization is a crucial technique for organizing your life. Doing everything is difficult, but selecting what is most important is attainable.
- By rejecting what does not contribute to your top priorities, you may devote your full attention to what counts.
14. Reduce and Declutter
It isn’t easy to feel organized when your head, office, and home are all in disarray. Always look for physical, digital, and mental possibilities to create space.
Declutter your physical, digital, and mental space to organize your life.
- A portion of the turmoil we experience in our daily lives results from having too many things, too much to do, and too much to worry about.
- Consider this when planning your life organization: less is more.
15. Measure your progress
Whether your objectives are large or modest, it is essential to track your progress. There is great power in understanding what is working and what is not.
You can devote more time to activities that help you achieve your objectives. You can eliminate the items that do not affect you.
These techniques will assist you in measuring your progress:
- Conduct a weekly review in which you reflect on the last week and pare down your to-do list to the essentials.
- Utilize the quantified self methodology to track your objectives, from steps to sleep.
- Implement Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) for your personal or professional goals.
- RescueTime allows you to monitor your online time spent being productive versus distracted.
16. Automate or Contract Out:
Habits automate the decision-making process. The use of technology can automate monotonous tasks.
Organize your life by implementing automation that eliminates manual work and liberates your time and energy.
Consider where you waste time performing manual tasks that an app or website could perform. Consider where outsourcing could save you time as an alternative.
Utilize a platform like Zapier to automate your favorite applications.
There are probably a few work and life chores that could benefit from a hands-off approach:
- Personal finance (e.g., paying bills, investments, etc.)
- Work (e.g., sending emails, arranging projects, booking, etc.)
- Home (e.g., food shopping, dinner prep, furniture assembly, etc.)
- We will later cover the automation and outsourcing techniques applicable to these domains.
The final component of the Organize Your Life Framework is one of the most exciting:
Searching out new experiences and doing new things! Even if you are structured, you may still leave a place for messy spontaneity.
- Occasionally, things need to be fixed. On occasion, they have become stale.
- This is the perfect moment to inject freshness into our lives and break out of a routine that is no longer working.
- A persistent focus on experimentation will infuse your life with enthusiasm and break you out of moments of stagnation.
Implementing the Structure
Now that you are familiar with the ten components of the Organize Your Life framework apply it to various areas.
Establishing defined standards enables you to approach each situation with greater assurance and less anxiety.
The majority of individuals genuinely organize their lives around their employment. There are never-ending discussions about organizing our non-working time — early mornings, lunch breaks, and after hours.
Less consideration is given to how individuals should structure their workdays and maximize the eight hours they typically spend sitting at a desk.
Organize Your Work Life
Declutter your workstation, inbox, and task management. It isn’t easy to concentrate or accomplish anything if you don’t feel like everything is in order.
A workstation cluttered with loose papers and coffee mugs is not conducive to focus.
A cluttered inbox and task manager make it unclear what we should be working on next. Regularly schedule time for decluttering and cleaning.
- Every night, before you turn in for the night, clear off your desktop and close all open tabs and programs. When you do it this way, every day is like a fresh start.
- Each day, make every effort to empty your inbox, even if it means archiving unopened messages.
- Take ten minutes after each workday to organize your to-do list for the next day as part of your routine.
- Prioritize deep work. Most people fall victim to the urgency trap at work, putting out minor fires rather than concentrating on high-impact, big-picture tasks.
- However, it is high-impact projects that lead to promotions and business growth.
Organize your day by beginning with a concentrated work session focusing on the most high-leverage task you should be performing to acquire more customers, close a large deal, etc.
You are then free to complete any remaining tasks, including emails, meetings, etc.
If you own a business and can afford assistance, engage a virtual administrative assistant to organize travel and appointments.
- As a manager, delegate responsibilities and projects to team members with more specialized talents.
- Integrate personal and professional goals. Burnout occurs when ambition supplants equilibrium.
- Ensure you make time for rest and recovery, even if you enjoy your job and are focused on mastering.
- The top athletes typically sleep longer than nine hours every night. Train like an athlete: work hard, but make recovery a priority.
- Put up your best effort during the day, but make sure to leave the office on time.
- On the weekends, disconnect and spend time with family and friends.
- Avoid sending emails and team chat messages after hours
- Schedule annual time off for vacations to rest and recharge.
Home is where everything occurs. From scrubbing the dishes to hosting dinner parties, maintaining a clean and orderly home is an unpaid job that always continues.
However, with diligence and applying a few outsourcing techniques, household management can be more accessible.
Organize Your Home Life
Develop practices for good household management. Now that you are an adult with full responsibility for all chores, your childhood complaints over a few chores seem absurd.
Developing routines can ensure that they never become out of control. By performing small daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, it is possible to keep things operating smoothly.
- Regular domestic routines include making the bed, folding laundry, and emptying the dishes before bed.
- Have weekly domestic routines such as sorting mail, vacuuming, and closet organization.
- Perform monthly household tasks such as thorough cleaning, replacing air filters, and steam cleaning carpets.
This might become overpowering and difficult to recall. Set up daily, weekly, and monthly recurring tasks in a task manager like Todoist to free up your memory.
Organize your home. It is simple for a home to become disorderly.
A few dirty cups here, some unfolded clothing there, and that outfit you last wore in years but might need one day…suddenly, your home is a mess.
Take time regularly to remove unnecessary items that do not inspire delight.
- Check your cupboard and refrigerator often for fresh or updated foods.
- Donate your unused clothing, toys, and books.
- Remove all outdated cooking utensils, pots, and pans from the kitchen.
- Automate and delegate chores and errands. It would help if you took advantage of the era of convenience in which we live.
- Some assistance from technology and people can minimize the stress associated with home maintenance.
- Try grocery delivery services rather than shopping.
Employ someone for monthly house cleaning, yard care, and snow removal. Hire someone for taxes and bookkeeping. Outsourcing incurs expenses.
If these options are not within your budget, consider outsourcing duties to roommates, partners, and children.
Include everyone in your household in its maintenance. Clarify responsibilities by allocating them formally.
Fitness and Wellness
Making time for a healthy lifestyle has a multiplier effect on everything else: we become better at our jobs, can be more present for our loved ones, and feel more driven to face other problems in life.
Unfortunately, it is also frequently the first thing to go when the stress of daily life takes over.
We can maintain a healthy and fit balance by doing our best each day rather than selecting all for all-or-nothing.
Organize Your Fitness and Health
Regarding diet and exercise, follow your whims. Instead of pressuring yourself to conform to the newest diet and fitness trends, do what feels natural.
- There are likely a few vegetables you appreciate and some physical activities you enjoy.
- Personalize your diet and exercise regimen so they do not feel tortured.
- Instead of going to the gym, join a hiking club to exercise outdoors.
- Avoid bland “diet foods” and seek healthier alternatives to your favorite dishes.
- If you dislike early morning workouts, perform brief physical activities throughout the day.
Use moderation when considering healthy dietary options. In this area, “sufficient” is always more sustainable than “excellent.”
For example, when it comes to eating, adhere to the 80/20 rule: consume a nutritious diet 80% of the time and indulge in sweets 20% of the time.
Ensure that you take frequent rest days so that your body can recuperate from activity.