Do you know what you want to do tomorrow? Is there an idea in the back of your mind of what you hope to accomplish? How long is your list of things to do? If you’re anything like me, you are always doing something. I admit I pack lots and lots into almost every day. Sometimes the list of things I want to do is longer than time will allow and other times I accomplish everything with time to spare. As a certified professional organizer, I can honestly say that organizing my day is integral to my successfully accomplishing my tasks. There are 6 tricks I use which I will share with you so that you can better organize your day too.
1. Understand and acknowledge the most important thing or things in your life
Everyone has things that are important to them. What’s important to you? I’m not asking you what is on your ‘to-do’ list. Instead, I am asking you to identify what you want to attend to on a regular basis. I’ll give you a few examples of things I attend to regularly. These are my family, my dogs, my home, my faith, my plants, and my business. Everyday I give a little time to these aspects of my life.
Whatever they are, these are the things you will attend to on a daily basis. Even if just for a few minutes. To better organize your day, acknowledge that time will be given to the things that matter most to you.
2. What are you working on today?
No one can pay attention to everything that have going on in their lives every day. We all have more than a few things that are asking for our time. There are volunteer activities, friends and/or neighbors to check-in with, routine household chores, projects, and our work. Decide where you are going to focus your attention today. Remember to place your focus on things which support the way you want to live.
It can be tempting to place your focus on something that your peers think is important. Resist that temptation unless it also aligns with what matters to you.
I usually pick 1 or 2 things in addition to scheduled appointments and routine tasks.
3. Divide your day
To better organize your day, divide it into segments. Morning, afternoon, and evening are the segments that work for me. You may have a different idea and that is completely fine.
I schedule one area of focus to each segment of the day. Sometimes life gets in the way and the things I want to focus on during that time either get pushed to another time or another day. When that happens, I make a point of rescheduling the task I had originally planned to do.
Remember that later is not a time. When you are rescheduling a task pick a specific day and time.
4. Know yourself
When do you do your best work? Admit to yourself the time of day during which you make your best decisions. Are you a morning person? If so, organize your day so that you do the most taxing brain work in the morning and physical work in the afternoon. People who take a little longer to wake up might schedule brain work for mid-day or evening.
I am an early morning person. Most of my brain work is done before noon. I leave the afternoon for other things that also matter to me.
Take advantage of your personal strengths and better organize your day so that you do your hardest, most challenging work when you know you are at your best.
5. Free time
Ok. I know there’s no such thing as ‘free time’. When I was in school the expression ‘free time’ meant an unscheduled time during the day. I was free to do whatever I wanted.
Allow yourself ‘free time’ to reset your brain and your soul. Free time lets our mind wander which in turn invites creativity. It feels good to have nothing pressing during that time.
It doesn’t have to be hours free time can be 10 minutes. Close your eyes or if the weather is lovely find a place to be outside, stare into nature, and recharge.
6. Organize your day the evening before
At the end of the day, I take stock of what it is I have accomplished and what is left to do. It is not about how much you get done in a day or what you have accomplished, it is truly about how you feel. I make a point of noticing the things that have gone well and learning lessons from those that haven’t.
Then I look at my calendar, review my appointments for the next day, think about into which segments of the day I can schedule a few tasks, and decide my focus for the next day.
Planning my day in the evening lets me unwind and relax.
When I get up the next morning, I have an expectation of how the day will unfold. This is not to say that everything always runs smoothly, it does not. But, by organizing my day this way I know what I can let go, what I can reschedule, and where my flex time is.
Use these 6 tricks to better organize your day. Acknowledge what’s important, what are you working on today, divide your day, know yourself, enjoy free time, and finally organize your day the night before. These tricks work for me and for my clients. Join the Clear Space for You, virtual clutter support group to receive guidance and accountability while you work on your skills to better organize your day. Click here to read more blogs on this topic.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization. Diane and Jonda Beattie are the award-winning authors of: Filled Up and Overflowing.