WELL, IT’S JUNE.
I don’t know how we got here, but some how, we’re already about half way through 2017. Anyone else feel like January was like, yesterday?
If you’re like me, you like to start things off fresh with the new year. Unfortunately, I’m not a naturally neat and tidy person. If I didn’t make the effort (which, to be honest, it’s an even split if I do or don’t), my room would be constantly in a state of disarray. I’m the type who has to make myself put things back where they go, instead of just throwing my shirt in the corner and putting all my odds and ends on my desk. So, with the new year, I wanted to be more disciplined on a more regular basis. My hope was that I would form organizational habits that would carry through the year, and hopefully the rest of my life.
That kind of happened. While, like most, I started out strong, my resolved quickly waned. The semester picked up, my out-of-class commitments started taking up a lot of my time, and organization fell to the way side. I found my floor usually full of clothes and my desk often cluttered with papers, books, and water glasses. I will say, though, that when I did have extra time, I think I did a good job of using it to get my ducks in a row.
Well, now it’s summer time– half way through the year, more time on my hands, and I’ve been revisiting my new year’s resolutions. My overall goal was to improve personal discipline; I wanted to more healthy when it came to all of my daily habits. From making my bed every morning to washing my face every night, I wanted to get into overall better daily habits. While I wouldn’t say that I completely failed at improving personal discipline, I definitely don’t think I’ve been living up to my own expectations in terms of carrying out my goal.
Welcome to my mid-year resolutions! I’m going to be revisiting a few of my goals for the year and revamping my resolve when it comes to executing them. I don’t believe it needs to be a new year to make positive changes– it doesn’t even have to be a new day! If there’s something in your life you want to change, decide now, and do it! There’s never a wrong time to decide to make improvements in your life.
3 WAYS TO BE MORE ORGANIZED RIGHT NOW.
Changes don’t always have to be huge to make a big impact. There are little things you can do in your day-to-day that can improve your organization, which will in turn improve productivity. Being more organized makes it easier for your brain to think through things, and the easier you can think through things, the faster you can get them done.
1) MAKE TO-DO LISTS.
There’s just something satisfying about crossing items off a list. Not to mention, crossing the very last item off a list and seeing everything you’ve accomplished.
Creating a to-do list is a great way to streamline productivity. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, being able to physically see what you have to do makes it easier to plan and get things done. When I write everything out that I need to get done in a day, I’m personally waaay more likely to get all those things done than if I just let them float around in my head. I think this is a) because I can more effectively manage my time by seeing how many individual things I need to do, and b) because I’m probably going to be disappointed if I have to re-list something in the morning that I didn’t get done the day before.
With it being summer, it’s easy for me to put things off. Then put them off again, and again. Putting my to-do lists in a place where I see them constantly helps me to actually use them. Writing all my tasks down and stuffing it in the back of my planner won’t do me any good, but if my list is taped to my desk mirror and I see it six times throughout the day, I’ll be regularly reminded of what I need to get done. Post-it notes work great for to-do lists: they can stick anywhere and are small enough to not really get in the way.
2) USE A PLANNER.
Having a place to write all your dates makes a huge difference. Before my 2017 agenda came in the mail earlier in the year, I had assignments and meetings written down on a random piece of paper or floating down in my head and it was exhausting. I was constantly scared I was going to forget something, or an appointment would get lost when I transferred everything into my calendar.
Routinely using a planner takes the thinking out of your scheduling. Once I put a date in my calendar, I don’t think about it again until I see it coming up in the month. I don’t have to spend time wondering what I have going on next week, because I can just open my planner and see.
I use the AY Livewell Inkwell Flex Planner in Layered Hexagon. I love this planner because it’s got lots of space, but it’s not so big that I can’t throw it in my bag and go. Plus, IT’S LINED! I can’t stand not having lines and writing in a slanted line, so that was a big benefit for me. The Livewell Flex Planner also has a ton of other features including monthly mission boards, weekly goals, and daily habit trackers. If you’re on the market for a new agenda, I definitely recommend this one.
I know that planners aren’t for everyone, though. If you want to be more organized, but haven’t had luck with agendas, I encourage you to do research on bullet journaling. This method is perfect for people who have trouble with structure and like to have things organized their own way. I tried this method for a while, and I loved how creative it allowed me to be every day, but personally, I needed something with a little more structure.
3) KEEP YOUR WORKSPACE CLEAN (OR FIND SOMEWHERE CLEAN TO WORK).
This one, based on what I just got through telling you above, is a little hypocritical. While I don’t always have a clean workspace, I can’t get things done unless I’m somewhere organized. If my room is a disaster, I either have to clean it to work in there or work at my dining room table.
I can’t focus on tasks at hand if I have mess around me– my mind is distracted and that’s the one time I can honestly relate to the phrase “mess equals stress”. If I have a ton of things on my plate, a mess around me is genuinely only going to add to my stress. Not to mention, mess is just a distraction in general. By eliminating that distraction, you’ll be more efficient and be able to get more done.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS.
Although it’s not exactly the new year, it’s still not too late to revisit those changes you wanted to make for the better. While self-discipline was my overall goal, there were several other specific goals I had under that umbrella that I want to try to get back into., like cooking better food for myself and getting into a daily yoga practice.
It’s always good to reevaluate where you are with your daily habits and health; I’ve found that it’s so easy to go from having junk food every now and again for a treat to your diet becoming McDonald’s quarter pounders without even realizing it. A day off from making your bed turns into a week, into a month, into “when was the last time I made my bed?” Hopefully, by revisiting my New Year’s resolutions, I’ll be able to keep myself a big more in check. (A bit more disciplined, eh?)
What were some of your resolutions that you’ve fallen off the wagon with? I would love to hear them!