Every year, I like to share my New Year's Resolutions with at least 2 people because I feel it keeps me accountable. This year, I'm sharing my resolution with you in the hopes that 1. I'll stay accountable and 2. Maybe some of my plans will help you as well! This year, my top resolution it to get and STAY organized. I don't mean a January 1st closet clean-out that results in a shopping binge to fill it back up. I don't mean a trip to the Container Store that ends in me spending way too much money on plastic bins. I mean simple, daily changes that will result in an overall, more organized me.
Below are my plans to be more organized in 2018. If you'd like to join me, or have some ideas that could help - please comment below!
Step 1: Buy a planner and USE it.
I have a terrible habit of picking out a beautiful planner at the beginning of each year, with fresh, blank pages, and never actually using it. This year, I will not only purchase a planner, but on the 15th of each month, I will set my scheduling for the upcoming month. I will also check my planner each morning to make sure I'm not forgetting any important meetings. Don't get me wrong, I love my Google calendar and use it religiously. I'll probably have some duplication on my written planner, but I like having the ability to write notes in the margins as well as set goals for each month. Luckily, as a product of my research - we have a list of the Top 3 Planners for 2018 on Coffee + Cooper!
Step 2: Just Do It (now)!
Please don't report me to Nike for stealing their slogan - it's just so dang useful! I have another bad habit of putting things off until they absolutely cannot wait. Whether it's the laundry, loading the dishwasher, cooking food for the week, or submitting an authorization - I prefer to procrastinate. What I've found, is the task is just as unpleasant later as it would have been if I got it done immediately. Except, when I wait until later, the tasks tend to pile up. As part of staying organized, I plan on completing things as soon as they need to be done. See a pair of shoes in the living room that need to go upstairs? I'll do it now, instead of waiting until my next trip upstairs. A nice side effect of this - I find that behavior momentum tends to kick in and the more small tasks I do, the easier it is to tackle the larger tasks.
Step 3: Top 3
This is an organization tip that has been shared in many different blogs that I'm finally going to put to the test. Supposedly, making a list of the Top 3 things that need to get done each day helps you be more productive each day. This is something I'm planning to incorporate in to my written planner.
Step 4: Organized Chaos
I had a friend in high school that wanted to be an interior decorator. We all thought it was an adorable, unrealistic dream until she redesigned and organized my bedroom. She did this for free - now people pay top dollar to have her design their hotel lobbies. Anyways, she set up these baskets on my dresser; One for makeup, one for hair products, and one for skin products. The baskets were amazing because all I had to do was toss my stuff in. There was no need to organize, other than being able to sort between the three categories. This taught me a LOT about managing expectations. Will I ever be the type of person that has a label for my label maker? Probably not. But can I sort the hell out of some categories? Yes. I. Can. Which brings me to my next organizing tool: CATEGORIES. This spans across a couple of different areas of my life. I've started this with my inbox already and it has changed my life. The specificity of categories is up to you. For my work e-mail, I have "Clients," "Staff," and "Admin". I also have a "2017" folder that everything got tossed in to once it was complete. This allowed me to find e-mails more easily, as well as sort through them when they came in so my actual inbox only contained urgent emails. My plan for 2018 is to generalize this to my computer folders as well as a filing system for unavoidable papers ("Work TO DO" "Home TO DO" "Work Completed" "Home Completed"). If I'm feeling really ambitious, I might try to get my husband on board as well.
Step 5: Don't Over Schedule
I'm a big fan of delegating and saying "no." I never understood why people have such difficulty with these two things, but one of my other New Years resolutions is to be more understanding, so I'm working on it. The biggest weakness that I've found in myself is my tendency to over schedule. I love how a fully planned day looks on my calendar. I love how a fully planned day translates to my bank account. That being said - a fully planned day in actuality is much more challenging than it looks on paper. I get extremely stressed if I'm late to sessions, which is often unavoidable if you plan back-to-back sessions (Murphy's law...). I am also an unapproachable bitch if I get hungry, which tends to happen when I don't schedule enough time for a full, nutritious meal. At the end of an over scheduled day, I always regret not leaving more time to regroup after each session and take time to decompress. So how do I balance my love of fully planned schedules with my need to take a break? I'm going to schedule in session-planning time between sessions, as well as lunch and dinner breaks to ensure I have the time that I need. While it may hit my bank account a little, it's better than the alternative of becoming burnt out.
So that's my plan for getting and staying organized this year! I'll keep you posted on what adjustments need to be made as the year progresses and I'll try to provide a full report at the end of the year on what worked and what didn't work! If you have any ideas to share with me, or just words of encouragement - please comment below!