Most days being organized is a trait that comes easily for us, but on the days that it doesn't, we can rely on these 6 organization hacks to help us get by. Regardless of where you find yourself on the spectrum of organization on any given day, you can trust that if you lean on these tips, you'll feel like you've at least accomplished something.
The Details - Tips for Easy Organization:
1. Just Do It
It's not just Nike's slogan but something that you should tell yourself every day + every time you put off doing something from your to-do list. Most of the tasks we need to get done take much less time in actuality than we build them up to in our head. Putting away laundry? 15 minutes max. Doing the dishes? 5 minutes at best. We promise you that the act of getting something done will feel MUCH better than the anxiety you'll build up the longer you put off doing it. Rather than telling yourself, "I'll take out the recycling after work today", do it + get it done in the moment that you think of it. Cut off all possibility of procrastinating what you need to get done + instead, just do it. This will not only help to actively cross things off from your to-do list, but it'll prevent build up of those things - if you keep crossing off 5 minute tasks from your to do list, they'll never have the chance to accumulate into hours on end of cleaning and chores.
2. Chip Away at the Block
When you're not sure where to start with getting things done, listen to your intuition. Abandon all logic of what "should" get done first and recognize that order never matters as much as building momentum + just starting to chip away at the block. Aside from actual deadlines + living necessities (more on that below), often times the only barriers we face are the ones that we place on ourselves - so in order to push through those barriers try listening to your gut instead. If you're feeling more inclined to vacuum even though you feel like the dishes should be the first to get done, just start vacuuming. If you run a personal blog and like to put out new blog posts every Wednesday but you're feeling more like updating your style library today, then start with that and see where the day takes you ;). Once you've built some momentum by crossing off the things on your list that come easily, you'll find it much more manageable to get done the things that don't come as easily, and even if you don't, you've at least accomplished getting something done and can feel good about that.
3. Pick a Day & Stick to It
Though this might seem contradictory to our second tip, we recommend picking a day or a set routine for getting done the things that you need to get done and sticking to it. Once you do, you'll build a habit out of it and before you know it, you'll be subconsciously crossing off your entire to-do list. For example, we've picked Mondays as our "self-care" day - face mask, teeth-whitening mask, brushing the dog's teeth, etc. - and now every time that Monday rolls around we feel like a new person and get to start off the week with a huge sense of accomplishment. Sure, there are days + weeks where we choose to use our Mondays for something else instead, but the more that we set the routine + stick to it, the fewer + further between those off days become, and the more that we get to feel a sense of accomplishment for sticking to our self-care goals. Setting yourself up with a good routine is one of the easiest ways to find fulfillment and build healthy habits. We won't even begin to go down the rabbit hole of the importance of self-confidence right now, but we'll leave you with words that we live by, "building self-confidence starts by keeping the promises that you make to yourself".
4. Trick Yourself into Being a Better You
Be honest with yourself about what your weaknesses are and use it as fuel for bettering yourself, even if that means tricking yourself into becoming a better version of you. If you're someone who struggles with being on time and sticking to a schedule, try lying to yourself about what time you need be out the door and try to make yourself really believe it. If you actually need to leave for dinner at 6' o'clock, tell yourself you can leave no later than 5:15. Then when you're naturally running late by a half an hour, you'll still be on time. The same goes for most anything really - identify your weaknesses, trick yourself into beating them and eventually they won't be your weaknesses anymore.
5. Notifications + Spam Email Filters
Notifications are the devil but they can also serve as great guidance for keeping us on track. Rather than letting every notification from every app + platform build-up into a constant source of noise + anxiety in your life, quiet them down. Remember that you're the one in control.
Start by turning off all non-essential notifications:
this will look different for everyone, of course, but we promise you that you'll survive if you're not alerted to every snapchat + DM the second that they hit your device. We personally operate with a no-notification for social media system and absolutely swear by it, but find what works for you.
Then, filter out the rest:
don't underestimate the power of a good email filter. for most adults, we imagine that your email will remain on the essential-notification side of your device clean-up, but that doesn't mean that all emails needs to slip through the cracks. There's a couple of different ways to go about this but the short-list is:
1. Use a Junk Email: email addresses are free to make. Make a junk email that you'll use for all non-essential things and keep the notifications off. You'll still have access to any emails that you may end up needing, like tracking numbers + discount codes, but you won't be hit with a notification for every promotion and spam that hits your inbox. This also gives you the opportunity to be anonymous, because if you're not using it for business matters, you certainly don't need to have any identifiable features.
2. Set up an + unsubscribe filter: Set up a filter in your email so that any email that comes through with the option to unsubscribe (basically all spam + junk emails) will automatically be filtered + archived. If it never hits your inbox, you'll never be notified of it, and instead your inbox can exist as a place for need-to-know information only.
3. Use advanced email filters and + aliases: There are about a million tips and tools out there for effectively managing your inbox and about 999,999,998 of them go unused. Take the 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with the functionality of your email account, and understand the systems in place with your email host to be sure that you're getting the most out of it. We use gmail and only recently learned about using variations of our email with the "+", in combination with filters, to manage our inbox and it has been a GAME CHANGER.
After you quiet the noise, the notifications that remain can serve as a to-do list in and of themselves and a starting point for your productivity.
6. Make Your Bed Everyday
You've heard it time and time again, and that's because it works. Even if you don't do anything else to be productive, making your bed every morning has proven mental health benefits and will make you feel like you have your life in order. Bringing it full circle by going back to the first few tips - making your bed is something that's guaranteed to take only a few minutes but will help you build the momentum to start your day on the right foot. It's the easiest + quickest thing that you can do to make an immediate positive change, and you can do it every day. So before you start your day, make your bed.