By Ella Jones
Since the new year has come around, it’s a great time to finally organize your life and plan out your goals for the upcoming months. There are lots of different methods of organizing that work for different people. I’m going to go into detail with around 5 options so that you can choose the one you believe will suit your lifestyle best! First of all, let me emphasize the importance of organization…
“Clean space, clear mind.”
Controlling the amount of clutter you have in your life can not only make finding things much easier, but it can also benefit your mental health. You will have less mental clutter as well as less physical clutter! Simply cleaning your space can help you to stay on track and also remain organized. Personally, I find if my space is messy I cannot find the motivation to do my work or be productive; once I have cleaned the space I am in, however, I can focus on the tasks I have to do and prevent myself from being distracted. On top of being clean, it’s also key to manage your time and allocate set hours for the things you really want to do every day.
— Dated Planners: Weekly, Monthly & Daily
For some, having the exact dates spread out in front of them can help to visualize the amount of time they have to complete a task or plan out their week/month. For events that are not 100% confirmed, I advise you write them in pencil in case it gets canceled or moved to another date. Having the month written out in front of you can also help you to see what days you have free to do things you actually enjoy like exercise, hobbies and social events.
— Wall Calendars: Paper & Whiteboard
A wall calendar is another way to easily visualize your time and keep on top of your life. Since it is kept on your wall, you don’t even have to find your notebook or planner to see what’s happening – all you have to do is look up! Whiteboard calendars are especially useful as making changes are as easy as wiping it out and rewriting in the correct place. So, if you’re someone who easily makes mistakes or has an unpredictable schedule then a whiteboard calendar may be the way to go!
—To-Do List: Notebook & Prioritizing
Once you’ve organized your tasks break them down into smaller tasks so that they are less intimidating. After you’ve completed each mini-task, cross it out for some good-old ego boosting! Keep going through each one until you have finished the whole task. Also, you can prioritize your to-do’s so that you do the most important tasks first. If you’re unsure how to prioritize, try organizing your tasks into these four sections:
–Urgent + Important –> complete first
-Urgent + Not Important –> complete second
–Not urgent + Important –> schedule time to do it soon
-Not urgent + Not Important –> re-evaluate whether you actually need to do it
—Bullet Journal: Monthly Goals & Habit tracking
For the creatives, a bullet journal might be the best idea. It can be quite time-consuming to set up, but it can also be adapted to your personal needs and lifestyle. Here are some ideas for bullet journal spreads if you want some inspiration.You can keep track of your habits and goals through a bullet journal alongside your normal to-do lists and calendar spreads.
— Phone Calendar: Google Calendar & Reminders
If you’re on-the-go a lot, why not compact all your organization onto your device? For those still in education, I recommend the app MyStudyLife, which allows you to put your class schedule, homework, exam dates, and holidays all in one place. It can even notify you before your class begins so you know exactly where you’re going and when.
Google calendar is useful, as you can collaborate with multiple people; this makes it especially useful for business groups, study groups, and family/roommates. You can categorize your events into sections and colour code each (handy for the visual organizers). I also use the reminders app for tracking and prioritizing my to-dos.
— Finances: Budgeting, Tracking & Spendee
It’s important to maintain your finances, manage your spending, and put money into a savings account – which can seem overwhelming at first! The app Spendee allows you to track your income by organizing your spendings into categories. This lets you see how much money you’re spending each month and what you’re spending it on. It’s a good way to budget for specific things and keep track of your money overall (very useful if you sometimes spend money spontaneously)!