If you’re anything like me, having an organized life probably feels like an unattainable dream. Despite the plethora of planner videos on my YouTube channel, I’m not a naturally organized person. I constantly have to remind myself not only to plan, but look at my planner and make sure I do the tasks I’m setting for myself.
All of that being said, I’m still WAY more organized then I was a year ago. Being organized and planning your time is a skill, and just like any other skill it takes practice.
Organizing your time is a lot easier then organizing your space, at least that’s how it is for me. Organizing your space takes time in an of itself. Probably a lot of time, if your apartment is anything like as cluttered as mine. So don’t worry too much about that. Start small and start organizing and planning your day and your time. You can work up to the bigger stuff later.
The first step is figuring out what tools you want to use.
I use the Erin Condren LifePlanner (use my link for $10 off your first purchase) and it’s what works best for me. I decorate it with handmade stickers by Etsy designers and use it as a combination planner/to-do list/journal. Keeping my pages fun makes me want to look at them throughout the week, which reminds me of what I have to do.
For a more affordable physical planner option try the MAMBI Happy Planner, which has a similar layout to the Erin Condren. Or pick up any other planner. There are tons to choose from with different features and a ton of different price points. If all else fails find a simple one at your local dollar store or use a piece of plain paper to plan out your week.
You can also go the digital route, which is the most cost effective option for anyone with a smartphone or computer. I personally used Google Calendar in college and it worked for me for quote a while. I loved how easy it was to add my classes to my schedule for the whole term and it’s super easy to color code everything by the type of commitment.
Once you figure out what you’re using to plan you have to figure out how you’re going to plan. Here are my favorite planning-style options. You can use one or a combination of planner styles and tools. Figure out what works for you and stick with it!
To-Do List: They’re classic for a reason. It’s a simple way to keep track of tasks that have to get done without stressing yourself out too much about exactly when they all need to happen. Start by keeping a daily to-do list and set yourself small and large goals to accomplish. If you don’t do something make sure to roll it over to the next day!
I like to start with small goals because they’re easy to accomplish and make you feel productive right away. Break larger tasks down into small chunks to make them more manageable. For example, doing laundry may include washing clothes and folding clothes. Once you’re comfortable with finishing the smaller tasks on the to-do list slowly remove those items and start to consolidate the bigger ones back into one task instead of a few smaller ones.
Schedule Planning: Planning out your schedule is a lot less crazy then it seems, and if you don’t currently keep a planner you’re probably already doing it in your head. You know when you have work or school. You keep track of appointments and meetings. But if you aren’t using a physical or digital planner to schedule all of that out you’re missing on an important tool: knowing what free time you have.
Once you know when you have time to get your daily tasks done it’s a lot easier to actually do it. This can be as simple as blocking out 2 hours to work on your to-do list or as complex as planning your day down to the minute.
Don’t forget to schedule break time! I find that having my relaxation times written down on paper helps me engage and enjoy whatever activity I do a lot more. I don’t have to stress about that project that’s due tomorrow because I’ve already decided when you’ll do it.
Moral of the story: if you aren’t current planning your time in some capacity, just do it. You’ll get more done and be able to use the time you have more wisely. And if you’re like me, you’ll discover the hobby of decorating your planner with cute stickers. Speaking of stickers, I should probably check out Etsy to see is there is anything new I want to pick up…
This post was inspired my Organization Tips video on YouTube.
This post contains affiliate links.