I know life can be busy, busy. Every New Years day we make the comment of how fast this year passed by, and it seems to only be going by faster every time. This is why I wanted to share with you 9 hacks that I find can help put some order in your life so that in the middle of a chaotic busy life, you can still feel that you rock it.
Try these ideas to organize your life and hopefully give yourself more time to enjoy each day:
1. End your day by making a list. There’s nothing more inefficient than waking up and not really knowing what needs to be taken care on that same day, what can wait, or what things you might be forgetting- like buying your Abuelita’s birthday card.
- Reserve 5 minutes when you get ready for bed to plan out the next day. No need to get all fancy with categories and color code highlighters (unless you want to of course!). Simply keep a notepad by your night stand with a pen and use it to make a short list of the things you need to do next day. Use a notepad that you can easily rip out the page. You can also use an app, but I am old fashion and find the ritual of crossing out items on my list very satisfying.
2. Begin your day with your list. Before you even touch your phone or go to social media, emails, etc., take a look at your list of To-Do’s. This will help your brain to remind you throughout the day that you have things to complete before it gets distracted with something else. As much as possible, avoid doing anything that isn’t on that list. Keep at it until the items on the list have been completed.
3. Pay bills once every 2 weeks. No one likes spending time paying bills, at least I know I don’t and even less to get late fees. So what I recommend you do what I did. I sit on the 1st of the month and pay all bills that are due from the 1st-15th of the month. If you don’t have the money on the account on the 1st, don’t panic. Make sure you select the option to “Schedule Payment On” and select the date that works for you so that it does it automatically and you don’t have to revisit this item later on. Do the same exercise on the 15th of each month and pay or schedule payments for the 15th-30th.
Of course, even better would be to set-up automatic payments but I personally don’t like them for a few reasons so that is why it’s not one of my time-saving hacks.
4. Junk mail be gone! As soon as you check your mail, go through it and shred or recycle junk mail immediately and put any bills or important mail in a handy place for when you do your bill paying on the 1st and 15th of the month. Manage your mail and reduce clutter around the kitchen or entry hallway where junk mail tends to hang out.
5. Take 5 minutes to set-up your office for next day. Nothing worse than starting your day with a messy desk, leftover coffee in your mug, deliveries under a stack of emails or reports you still haven’t look at. If you want an organized life, organizing your work environment is equally important. Before you go home, take 5 minutes to stack anything that is pending response, wash your mug, put your pens where they belong, and open any deliveries you may have had that day. Decluttering your workspace helps you feel more energetic next day when you come in and helps your brain perform better.
6. Plan for unplanned obstacles. This one is very important so please hear me out. I don’t want you to start predicting all worse case scenarios for everything in your life and get your energy flowing in that direction. I only suggest that you consider from a neutral perspective what things could play out different and how would you deal with them if needed. It’s like when you live in Florida: you know you have a probability every year to get hit by a hurricane. We stack some things planning ahead but it doesn’t mean we stay on that thought everyday manifesting a hurricane. Makes sense?The idea is to not throw our life in a chaos mode when something doesn’t go as planned or expected. Organization will help you move past that challenge with calm and faster.
7. Clean your car at the gas station. We all accumulate receipts, wrappers, water bottles, and a bunch of garbage more in our cars. I understand we don’t have time or money to get it detailed every week, but that should not stop you from keeping the inside clean. When you arrive at the gas pump to refill, collect all garbage and throw right there. This will keep your car neat every week without adding extra time or effort to your routine. And you will make a better impression when you drive your co-workers for lunch on Friday!
8. Delegate everywhere. I know you want to be the hero of the story but even heroes need some help. Delegate at work where possible and delegate at home. There things you have in your plate right now that maybe a co-worker can take over or a family member can. Delegating is a beautiful skill as long as you don’t over use it and become abusive.
9. Keep cleaning supplies everywhere. I only clean once per week at my house. I know some of you do it more often, but I seriously refuse to spend more of my time doing that job even though I am extremely germ-conscious. What I decided to do is to keep a little basket on each bathroom and in the kitchen. In these baskets I keep one Mr. Bubbles spray, one brush, Clorox wipes, spare plastic bags, and a roll of paper towels. This way, throughout the week, if I get guests or something makes a bathroom or kitchen dirty I can clean in a blink without having to bring all the stack of cleaning supplies from the garage or getting comments from my hubby. This also helps me to keep the bathroom garbage cans from overflowing by the end of the week (I hate how much waste we make but it is a reality). If I have a replacement bag handy, then there is no excuse to let it get so full. You can teach your kids to do this for you as well as part of the delegate hack.
These are some of the hacks I’ve implemented in my life and believe it or not, have made big difference when it comes to allowing me to be a more efficient and organized person and home and work. Remember that our environments affect our mindset, so having a hacks in our life will help your mindset stay focused and alert, not reactive and in chaos mode.
Try making a few small changes and notice the effect it has on your life. Keep making additional changes until you’re satisfied. You can have a life that you enjoy. Organization is the first step to reaching your full potential.