I’ll be one of the first to admit how busy and crazy life can get. I work a full-time job, and a part-time job, I live alone with a dog who needs and deserves just as much attention as my friends do. Oh, yeah, that’s right I need to spend time with friends too. I need to make sure bills get paid, I need to make sure my apartment gets clean and all the things get taken care of. On top of it all, I need to make sure I get time for myself – enter blogging – because, hey, why not add another “job” in to the mix.
You’re schedule may not look like mine. It could be busier. It could be less chaotic, but either way it doesn’t hurt to stay on top of life instead of life getting you down. In comes organization. A pro, I am not. I make mistakes and I fall behind in my organization, but I am also human. Mistakes happen. However, these are five things I do to keep on keeping on, on a daily basis.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
My planner is my life. I don’t go a day without having it with me. It is the foundation of what keeps me and my busy life together. I use an Erin Condren planner and have for the last 3 years. I have been using planners in general since I was a 7th grader. We won’t go into how long ago that was though;)
You need to find a planner that is set up in a way that works for you – there are various planners with various layouts. Most commonly: hourly, vertical and horizontal. I favor the horizontal layout because I’m a creature of habit and have always used a horizontal layout. One of the many great things about Erin Condren planners is the customization. Not only can you customize your (CHANGEABLE) cover and paper but you can also change the layout to what suits you best.
Color Your Life
Once you have a planner my next tip is to find fun, colorful pens you enjoy. I really enjoy the PaperMate flair pens. In comes color coding. For me, my part-time work schedule is done in purple (fave job/fave color), Preds hockey games are written in blue and if I’m attending the game I put a pawprint sticker next to it and payday is always written in green. These are just a few examples and you can choose colors the way you want to.
Why color coding? If you are busy and only have a quick glance at your planner you can look for colors and then pay attention to other details.
Another thing I enjoy doing to “color the life” of my planner, I add stickers or washi tape. Yes, this does take time. This is where scheduling time for yourself comes in. Take some time once a week, a couple times a week or even once a day if you can to spend looking and planning out your week with your stickers and pens. Make yourself a cup of tea/coffee and dive in to your week (or even month!) ahead. The stickers help make your schedule more uniquely you! I love “bill due” stickers to remember to pay bills (obviously!) and using washi tape to outline special days.
Make a List, Check it Twice
To-do lists are one of my favorite things. No, seriously. I make lists for my lists and sometimes when I cross-off too many things on my long lists I re-write them to make them look neater and cleaner. Sounds crazy, but it works for me. I make a list every day of what I want to get done that day. I do this for personal things and work things. If I need groceries, then I hand write that list too. Writing things out helps me remember tasks. Even if it’s a “I know I wrote that down, somewhere” moment.
Post-it’s Are Your Friends
One of my favorite things to make my lists on is Post-it’s. Of course, I use different colors and sizes as well! I love the basic square multi-color packs to make lists and reminders on. They are the perfect size to stick on my key fob, or my door, or in my car. I also really love the lined notepad Post-it’s that make my lists look neater and cleaner. There’s no excuse to forgetting when you can leave a sticky note anywhere to remind you what you need!
This final tip that I can offer is probably in your hand or near by. Yep, that’s right, your phone. Your phone is a valuable tool. I mean it’s got a calendar on it! This may be my least favorite method of keeping organized or remembering things, but not everyone is like me. You may like a more electronic approach to remembering your schedule. The best tool your phone can offer you is hands-free scheduling. All you have to say is “Ok, google” or “Hey Siri” and tell your phone what to do and when – that’s it! So if you are driving or have your hands full just say your phones command and problem solved! Now you really have no excuse!
These aren’t the only things I do to stay organized but they are the most common things I do to keep my life flow as easily as possible from one activity to the next. Just remember in your busy life to take time for yourself. That, if anything, is the most important tip that I can give to you. Take time to make memories, take time to relax, take the time you need to do you and do what you enjoy.
So the next time your friends or family members say, “I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how you can remember everything you have to do”, you can now offer these tips and tricks to them!