Now is the time when we all start organizing our stuff, buying new supplies, and preparing for another fresh start: a new school year. I always get ambitious about how much better this new, upcoming season will be. This time will be different, I tell myself.
Turns out big overhaul projects never stick and usually leave me feeling worse. But small, incremental change – baby steps and small wins – add up much faster than I’d ever guess.
This week I’ll be sharing 5 lists of 5 small baby steps you can make to improve your upcoming school year and start off on the right foot. Enjoy!
5 Tips for How to Stay Organized
Getting organized is a huge project itself. But once you’re there, it’s like weight loss. You can’t just not think about it anymore. You have to always be maintaining and paying attention to stay in the state you want. However, it’s not complicated.
Here’s how to maintain an organized state:
1. Take time for a morning review.
A morning review is a time in the morning to sit down and wrap your head around your day. There are five essential ingredients to a useful morning review:
- Look at your calendar.
- Know what’s for dinner.
- Choose the one most important thing for the day.
- Write a plan of action for the day (I make mine on an index card)
- Copy out an inspiring or motivating quote, motto, or verse on your to-do list that you will see throughout the day.
2. Make an interval plan.
An interval plan is a short-term goal-setting period. So, rather than making yearly resolutions or goals, make smaller resolutions more often. These resolutions you will be much more likely to keep. An interval helps keep you on track and motivated with a near deadline and also helps you keep your goals reasonable and attainable. Building a succession of small wins is better than setting a large goal you never reach.
I’ve written more about interval planning here.
3. Write it all down.
Don’t use your head as a reminder-holder. It doesn’t do a good job. What your mind does best is think, not hold. So use paper (or the digital equivalent) to hold what needs to be held so your mind is free to think and be creative and attentive.
I currently have a free 6-part email course called “Declutter Your Head.” Check it out for more on this topic!
4. Give things homes.
Clutter clogs up not only our homes, but also our heads. The solution to clutter is to give everything a home. If you aren’t willing to give it a home in your home, you should get rid of it. Those are the only two options.
Hard choices must be made. Something has to have a home for it to be put away, and things not put away are clutter.
Set aside one – one – temporary home for things that don’t have homes, but work at finding or making homes for every little thing. Then put things in their homes daily. This is EHAP. It’s a lifesaver.
5. Keep a calendar and look at it.
You know you need a calendar. But here’s what you might not know:
- You need one calendar.
- You need to have every single time commitment you make on your calendar.
- You need to look at your calendar at least once every single day.
Without these three essentials governing your calendar, your calendar is not trustworthy and does not help you manage the multitude of details you have to keep up with.
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Staying organized is maintenance mode. It is never “complete.” But it’s worth the effort.
Where do the hours go? When will you follow-through with your plans?
Figure it out with this straight-forward exercise. Get the free weekly time budget template.