Staying organized is hard. I'm a stay at home mom with a one year old and I struggle with staying organized everyday. Some people have a natural gift for organization, and some people struggle with remembering to brush their teeth (me). Since this is not a natural gifting for me, organization can be even more challenging for me. My Myers Briggs personality type is an INFP. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about go look up Myers Briggs personality types.) I'm an idealist, a dreamer, and it's a challenge for me to remember to do mundane tasks. While I know I will never be the super organized, list maker, every i dotted type of person, it's helpful for me to hear how other people stay organized and learn ways I can implement their strategies into my life.
Here are 9 helpful tips that have helped women keep their lives organized in the midst of many life responsibilities.
1. LOOK BACK AT HOW FAR YOU HAVE COME.
Advice from Leah at ScenesFromCedarStreet:
“I’m not an organized person by nature. Lists stress me out and looking at my planner usually overwhelms me. I’m a dreamer so what keeps me motivated is thinking about all the things I want to create and write. If I get discouraged or I’m in a rut, I look back and see all the progress I’ve made and how far I’ve come. It motivates me to keep going and pushes me to expand my creativeness”
2. HAVE VISUAL BOARDS
Advice from Vee from TheLovelyWho:
“What helps me stay motivated is having my goals somewhere visual. Whether it’s using a Pinterest board to pin images regarding my goal, printing images out and pinning them on my vision board in my bedroom, and even just creating a folder with screen shots on my phone that I can check out everyday, whenever I lose motivation. As for organized, I’m with Lauren. Writing things down and just keeping them where I can see helps me stay organized and on track with all that I have to do.”
3. STOP WASTING TIME & START TAKING ACTION
Advice from Cassie from NotYourAverage:
“How to be more productive – Stop doing anything that doesn’t contribute to the end result. Say you are starting up a business, or have set a goal on how much money you want to make on your blog, or you are a student with exams coming up, or you want to learn something new, or switch to a healthier lifestyle, or earn a side income to boost your finances. Whatever it is that you want to do, focus solely on that!!! Stop wasting your time with TV, only use social media to take ‘breaks’ if it doesn’t relate to what you are trying to achieve. For example you want to learn to live a healthier lifestyle, spend all of your time learning new recipes, researching what changes you need to make, create goals around it, create a strategic plan, start a new type of exercise you enjoy, start a food diary to track your daily meals, read books or articles about the topic. Get fully invested, get off the couch and start taking action. Become obsessed!!!”
4. USE NOTEBOOKS AND APPS
Advice from Donna from SimpleInTheSouth:
“I write everything in a notebook I carry to stay organized and motivated. Being able to check them off as I go keeps me motivated to finish my list each day. I also use apps, such as google keep to make a list of my blog ideas. When I am ready, I go there and pick a new subject and begin to write.”
Advice from Claire at TheFrugalFamily:
“To stay motivated I remember 3 things I hated about where I was – and write down 3 things I love about where I am now and then 3 things I’m hopeful for in the future/ still working on”
6. WRITE THINGS DOWN
#6 Advice from Siyana at SiyanaOnline:
I stay organized by keeping a tiny diary and writing down all my plans for the week – meetings, work shifts, travel plans. I also keep my blog ideas in the ‘drafts’ section, so I can use them when I’m stuck!”
7. UTILIZE LISTS
“If I could give you a solid piece of advice to help you to get organized and motivated it would be utilizing lists! I absolutely love making lists. Not only do lists keep me organized but it also motivates me to want to accomplish each task that I have to do. If I can see my tasks in front of me and list them in order of importance, as I complete each and cross them off, I feel a sense of relief and accomplishment. I make lists for everything; to do lists, grocery lists, blog post ideas, what I want to accomplish for the month, what I want to accomplish for the year, any kind of list.”
8. PLAN OUT YOUR MONTH
Advice from Rachael at Relimpact:
“I stay motivated and organized by planning out my month on a big white board with stickies. It’s awesome to walk into my office each day and know exactly what I’m working towards that day, that week, and all month.”
9. SET GOALS AND AVOID RABBIT TRAILS
Advice from Jen at GraceInColor:
“For me, it’s all about having a (small) goal in mind and avoiding the rabbit trails I inevitably constantly find myself going down. My practical plan is to take 10-15 minutes to either create a list or mind map and put everything I want to get accomplished on it, big and small. I always set a timer during this exercise so I don’t let my mind wander too far. Then I sort that by “must do” and “want to do”. If my goals are really big, which some should be, I break them down into something more manageable. For example, “starting a podcast” is on my list but since it’s a big goal, I’ll break it down into “research equipment” or “go through Module 2 of a Podcast course I’m taking”.
If you're looking for a good planner for yourself, I HIGHLY recommend the Passion Planner. I love it for so many reasons but mainly because it's more than just a planner, or a to do list. It gives you space to write out goals for yourself, and even has free space to draw, write, color, whatever you want. It's perfect for the creative side of my personality!
Everyone is going to have different ways of organizing their lives, families, and businesses. I hope this tips encouraged you, even in a small way, to be and stay organized.