Being organised is one of my superpowers. I don’t know whether it is just something you are born with or something you learn but my Mum is the same. As soon as we hear about an event, or realise we need to do something, the cogs start turning, the lists are started and invariably we have done so much before the actual event that we are left with a feeling that we must have forgotten something.
You may be nodding with a wry smile of understanding.
Equally you may be feeling a bubble of annoyance. If you are always a bit last minute, dashing round and arriving late or forgetting things, don’t worry. I have some easy ways to help you be more organised and reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
But first let’s look at the 5 ways being more organised can reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
How does being disorganised affect your life?
- You arrive late
- You forget important items
- You lose things; keys, phone etc
- You miss events altogether
- You miss opportunities
All of this is absolutely fine, as long as it doesn’t bother you. When it becomes an issue is when it impacts on your happiness and your mental health because you find it stressful being late, you get anxious when you can’t find your keys…
I know lots of people who are totally disorganised. They are never on time, their desk is a mess. They regularly miss events all together and are constantly looking for something they have misplaced. But they are mostly very creative, very warm, friendly people and many of them just laugh it off and know it is part of who they are. That is great. I couldn’t do it but we’re all different.
If, however, you feel anxious about the result of your disorganisation that’s when you need to make some simple changes. Being organised doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact it is often much easier than you might think.
Here are my top tips to get organised:
Use a diary
I have a paper diary, a calendar on the wall and a calendar in my phone too. My phone is for quick reference and so I know where my husband is too. As soon as I arrange something it goes in my phone if it is personal and in my paper diary if it is work related, then once a week, at least, I transfer everything across and make sure it is all up to date. I make sure I include what the children are doing and where they need to be (because that often still involves me getting them there). This is particularly important in business. If you say you are going to email/call them make a note in your diary – and CHECK YOUR DIARY EVERY MORNING! It’s no good writing things in there if you’re not going to look at it!
Have a place to keep things and use it
I’m not even going to pretend that I am a naturally tidy person because someone would call me out. It turns out being organised and being tidy are two very different skills. I have learned over the years though that I have to have a home for things which are important because I hate not being able to find things easily.
So, my keys live in the same place, I put them there are soon as I come in the house. I also put them in the same pocket in my handbag for the same reason. The same is true for my phone, my purse, my card holder, my diary. I always put them in the same place, the same pocket of my bag etc so I know where they are, and I can always find them.
Do things as soon as you find out about them
I pay bills as soon as I get them. I deal with paperwork as soon as it arrives. I reply to emails as soon as I see them. I get projects finished as soon as I can. Leaving things until last minute is a sure fire way to either forget to do them, to lose something you need to do them, or else you remember at last minute and dash round panicking trying to get things done.
If you are in any way disorganised, or, let’s be honest, even if you are mega organised, lists are your best friend! Don’t create lists on scraps of paper though, get a notebook and keep all your reminders together. I have lists for everything: shopping, places I want to visit, books I want to read, what I need to do today, what blogs I’m going to write…
I do sometimes write lists on the backs of envelopes etc, but that is when it is a short term list and very specific. So if we have people coming to stay I might create a list of things to remember to do: change beds, clean bathrooms, put the vac round, get the chicken out of the freezer etc. That I might do on a scrap of paper, but anything more important than that goes in my notebook.
Being organised doesn’t have to be time consuming, in fact it usually takes less time than being disorganised. It is though about structure, about priorities and about believing you are worth it.
Being disorganised is often a way we self sabotage and hold ourselves back. We can’t possibly do that because we’re not organised enough.
You deserve to have every opportunity and to make the most of every single day. So, put your keys away, write that get together in your diary and enjoy the calm that organisation brings to your life.
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”