How would you rate your organizational skills on a scale of 1-10? Be honest. It’s okay to admit if your bedroom is consistently messy, you struggle to find things, and your world feels a little chaotic. But acceptance is the first key, and learning how to become more organized is possible. Indeed, with a few steps towards adopting new habits and getting rid of the ones that don’t serve you, you can join the ranks of your most organized loved ones.
8 Surprising Benefits of Being Organized
Interestingly, prioritizing being organized offers more benefits than the obvious ones like cleanliness. In fact, clearing the clutter and organizing your life is life-changing, physically and mentally.
- Reduces stress and overwhelm
- Increased time – you know where things are
- Elevated decision-making skills
- Higher levels of productivity
- Improved sleep
- Improved memory and cognitive functioning
- Healthier relationships
- Higher self-esteem
How to Become More Organized: 8 Tips and Hacks
1. Create a to-do list
Nothing beats helping you stay on track more than the traditional to-do list. With everything written down in a planner or digitally, your brain receives a much-need break from trying to remember everything you need to complete. Indeed, it frees up precious cognitive space for you to tackle those items with success and confidence. There’s also something very satisfying about crossing off every item you complete. Strikethrough for the win.
2. Prioritize your tasks
Now that you have a to-do list to help you stay focused when you’re overwhelmed, prioritize each task by importance. For example, if you have a pressing deadline, write the project date with a list of steps/tasks you need to complete at the top. But if you dream of creating a side hustle or finishing your summer reading list, put the less time-sensitive at the bottom. This organizational task will keep you motivated and disciplined to accomplish what you need to do vs. what you desire.
3. Follow a calendar
Again, we’re taking it back to the basics in this article, and for good reason. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Like to-do lists, calendars help you stay on top of your responsibilities. It provides a visual aid that allows you to see all of your tasks in a neat, orderly way that says when and where. And with the added benefit of technology, you can set reminders, track your progress, and color-code your tasks based on urgency. By following a calendar, adopting organizational skills will become second nature.
4. Clear the clutter
It’s impossible to stay productive when your external world is disorganized. So, if you have dirty clothes scattered around and everything is out of place, it’s time for a good ole fashion deep clean. But if cleaning your home sounds more stressful than the consequences it creates, like poor concentration and increased anxiety, then practice a few cleaning tips to make your home look cleaner in 30 minutes or less. That’s right. Thirty minutes to make a significant adjustment that allows you to learn how to become more organized and feel better mentally.
5. Narrow down your focus
It’s easy to lose sight of your day-to-day when you’re thinking about several things at once. What time do I need to pick the kids up? When is my work project due? Is Tuesday the day I’m supposed to meet my friend for coffee? But instead of attempting to manage everything simultaneously, choose one area to begin. For example, create a to-do list to clear the mental clutter, then organize your workspace. Or tackle the overwhelming pile of documents you keep putting off. When you excel at organizing one piece of your life, the others will follow suit and you’ll have more clarity.
6. Stop procrastinating
If you wait until the last minute to complete work projects or even make appointments, you’re not alone. However, procrastination does breed disorganization. For example, you may notice your dishes piling up but say to yourself, “I’ll do it later.” Yet, before you know it, your stress skyrockets, and the do-it-later moment gets pushed back by other responsibilities. But if you learn how to stop procrastinating and achieve the do-it-now mindset, you’ll feel less panicked and more productive. To start, pick one task and set a 20-minute timer. That’s it. After the timer ends, reevaluate how you feel. Chances are you’ll feel ready to keep pushing through.
7. Value your time
Organized people have several habits in common. One of them is how they value time. For example, they start looking at time as their most important commodity because it is. You can’t jump into a time machine and recuperate the time you lost (Wouldn’t that be nice?). Indeed, our time is our most precious gift. Therefore, it will help you to stay organized if you start evaluating how to make every second count. Look at where you’re in time debt and where you can maximize your efficiency. Perhaps you’re spending too much time on bad habits that affect your health, like scrolling before bed or binging Netflix when you could be creating shelving units to organize your growing book collection. Think about what’s more important and how to spend your time wisely.
8. Avoid taking on too much
Doesn’t everyone wish they could wake up with superpowers that allow them to multitask with ease? That’s the dream. But the reality is that we aren’t superhuman; we’re human. And we need to listen to our bodies, follow our intuition, and balance our lives. Not doing so can lead to burnout, anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. Therefore, avoid saying yes to everything and use “no” more often. Delegate tasks and trust people to clear up your plate. When you have a balanced workload and learn how to stop overextending yourself, you’ll find it’s easier to stay organized.
Learning how to become more organized certainly has its benefits. The stress decreases, you feel more in control of your life, and your physical space is tidier. But remember to go slowly. Work on adopting this habit in a series of steps first to get accustomed before you work up to bigger ones. Over time, you’ll find organizing your life becomes a subconscious necessity rather than a conscious effort.
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