By: Camille Fontenot
Organization can come in many forms: being clutter free, just knowing where everything is, or planning out goals and ideas. Let’s talk about organizing your day. I think when you plan out your goals and ideas you are organizing what you want from life–the next 10/5/1 years, months, weeks, and days. It breaks something larger down into somethings smaller and more manageable. The three organizational tips that help me the most to accomplish anything are time blocking, to-do lists, and breaks.
1) Time Blocking
We all have lives that keep moving and going even when we don’t feel like it. Everyone would like more time in the day. So how can you try to make everything fit into your day? Unfortunately, I don’t have any crazy ideas to make your day longer or give you extra hours. I do however have a tip that can help you get through some things that are harder by giving yourself “extra” time.
I like to do time blocking. That is when I take my day and break it into chunks. For example, maybe I need to write a blog post or outline, fold laundry and rake some leaves in addition to working and grocery shopping. The best way I can do this to block off some time for each. And maybe when everything else is said and done–work, grocery shopping and dinner–there may only be two hours left in the day that are workable.
So, how do I try to squeeze everything in? I give myself time frames. Maybe I’ll spend an hour raking leaves after grocery shopping before dinner. Then take a quick shower while someone else watches dinner for a few minutes. After dinner, I’ll do the normal clean up and get in 20 or 30 minutes of writing a blog post or outlining, then finish up the laundry. No, I can’t make the day any longer than 24 hours or make myself any less tired at the end of the day. But if you block off some time for things that you feel must get done that day, you have a better chance of accomplishing something by the end of the day.
2) To-Do Lists
The second tip for organizing your day is to keep a to-do list. To me, it is similar to a grocery list. I know some people dread to-do lists and others are happy to check off all the things, but to-do lists are really helpful, especially if they are organized with the most important things first. To-do lists help me stay on track since I’m very forgetful. Without a list, I’m likely to remember that thing that I had to do just as I’m drifting off to sleep.
But remember, to-do lists are only helpful if you actually use them and follow up with them. It isn’t a helpful tool if you don’t look at it or check anything off. At that point, it is just a long list of items that may or may not be done. And that is overwhelming! The more items you check off or the bigger the item you check off, the more accomplished and productive you will feel. I’m all about paper and pen for everything because it’s more concrete to me. But for those who prefer technology, there are apps available for to-do lists and check lists. Let me know if you find any you like, I may give them a try.
The third tip in organizing your day is to take a break. Being productive can also be exhausting and wear you out quickly. A break is simply a time to regroup and refresh. It’s a way to get yourself ready to keep at it. Take a break. It can be as short as a few minutes to read a quick article or eat a snack or as long as it takes to watch one episode of your favorite show. The break is a treat for being productive. But you have to be productive or else it’s not a break–its time off.
4) End Your Day Right
At the end of your day get proper rest and don’t stare at a screen before you fall asleep. If you end your day right, it helps you to be more productive the next day so you aren’t lethargic.
I hope you’ve found these tips to be helpful ways to break down your day into manageable, bite sized pieces. I’d love to know if you have any other suggestions or tips to organize your day. Leave me a comment to let me know.