Organization is something that plenty of us struggle with - both at work and at home. The good news is that all of us can learn to be a little bit more organized and incorporating a few new practices can help us improve our daily lives and get on top of our responsibilities.
Whether you’re at work or at home, keeping your space clean is one the major keys to getting (and staying) organized. Thinking about your space as one big area will probably leave you feeling overwhelmed, so start small instead. Choose one focus area, whether it’s your kitchen, your home office, or the reception desk at work, to start with and clean it up. Organize it in a way that will allow you to keep it tidy and then move on to another area. And remember to regularly check on hotspots, like the corner of the counter where junk mail tends to pile up.
Planning ahead doesn’t mean you have to be the person who needs all kinds of binders, notepads, calendars, sticky notes, and Google reminders to get through the day. If you prefer organizing your day that way and it works for you, that’s awesome! But when we suggest you plan your day the night before, we’re talking about things like checking the next day’s work schedule so you don’t forget about that 1:30 pm meeting you scheduled before you had your coffee, meal prepping so dinner won’t take quite as long to make when the kids are saying they’re hungry, and running errands before they become small emergencies - like finding out you’ve run out of toilet paper when you’re actually in need.
While it’s true that technology is far from perfect, it can make our lives infinitely easier. Whether you need to set up a Google reminder for the morning of an important appointment or you need to use the voice note feature to make a grocery list when you remember you’re out of milk, tech can help you with that. You can also stay organized by allowing technology to help you stay on top of your payments by setting up automatic bill pay. There are several ways to make automatic payments and you’ll want to choose the one that works best for you but some advice that applies across the board is that you should keep track of which payments are automated and which cards they’re connected to, so you’ll know to update your information if your card expires or gets lost.
The idea behind wanting to have too much rather than too little can make sense but, when put into practice, it’s often more trouble than not. This can apply to buying too many groceries at once and being left with a refrigerator drawer filled with wilting vegetables or purchasing too many office supplies that pens start falling out of every desk and closet in your practice. Overstock tends to waste space and create clutter so, whenever possible, buy only what you need and implement a system to keep track of what you have and what you’re running low on, so you can restock as needed.
Life is busy and, while it’s great to be organized in our professional and family lives, it’s just as important to organize time just for ourselves. That can mean organizing your work day to ensure you take your lunch break, pencilling in time to catch up with your friends and family over the weekend, finding an hour to relax in a way that resonates with you whether that means taking a bubble bath or reading a book, and working wellbeing into your regular schedule whether it’s in the form of exercising or practicing meditation.
Interested in more organization tips? Learn about how Goosepond Animal Hospital’s hospital manager, Nicole, organizes events at her practice.