Welcome to Week 4 of Organize My Life Challenge! It is our last week of the challenge, and this week we are discussing our favorite tools. But before we get to that tomorrow, I wanted to go over my daily process to organize my day plus I have a brand new free printable. By doing these steps every morning and every night, I keep track of things, get more done, and don’t forget stuff. After reading tons of books and listening to hundreds of podcasts on the topic, these are the three habits that have made the biggest difference in helping me get stuff done everyday!
Three Steps to Organize Your Day
1.// Brain Dump
Do you ever get into bed and feel like you can’t turn off your mind? Before I had kids (and became chronically sleep deprived) this was a huge problem. I couldn’t stop my mind from racing because I would lay in bed and remember every little thing that I had to do the next day. So now, before I go to bed and start my night time ritual (brush teeth, wash face, vitamins, read) I take out my notebook and write down everything that needs to get done that I can think of. And I mean everything (order more diapers, return library books, wash the car, email this person back, make a Dr. appointment…) I write it down and put everything on the list. I do this for my blog too. This way, not only can I rest easy knowing that I didn’t forget something; but, I have an awesome task list if I end up with free time the next day (like that ever happens!) But, a girl can dream…
Then after I do the brain dump, I select THREE things that I want to work on the next day. These are the three most important things that are both necessary and will make me feel like I accomplished something. It is hard to narrow it down to three goals each day but usually; but it is important to only do three. Any more than that and it turns into a task list that you won’t accomplish. As far as the blog goes, I will write down three tasks that will help me grow my blog, or improvements that need to be made. One of them is always the task at hand, the second is blog improvement (updating the freebie library/ optimizing images), and the third is often something unrelated but important (sponsorships/ social media/ education.) Now, I WISH WISH WISH I got all of these things done in a day. But $%^& happens (or in my house, my kids don’t nap). As I type right now, I am trying to get Jack down for his morning nap. He is stubborn and it is not going well. So it looks like I got well, 15 minutes to work this morning. WOMP WOMP.
Because I know my days are sometimes like a marathon, I star one of the things out of the three tasks for each list. This is the most important task that HAS to get done that day. And if I get to do that, then I won’t consider the day a loss. On those days when I feel like I didn’t get anything done, I know that if I got that one thing accomplished, it was all ok.
3.) Schedule it and Check It!
In the morning, you need to look at your list that you set out the night before and figure out when you are going to do each task. Then, throughout the day, when you have an extra minute, check your list. Are you on track for doing it? If you end up getting extra time (and the clouds part and your child actually naps, are you going to be twiddling your thumbs?) Because you now have all of your important tasks written out for the day (PLUS extra brain dump tasks) you are guaranteed to not be stumped as to what to do. Cross off the items when you accomplish them! It will help, I promise!
And just so you don’t think I am perfect, I will share a little story that I have previously shared with my awesome newsletter subscribers. Newsflash: without my organization systems I am a hot mess–a messy bun, yoga wearing pants, did I brush my teeth today?, whoops! I forgot about preschool institute day mess! I got all cocky one day and was like, oh, I don’t need to look at my planner, I know what I need to do today! And you know what happened, I completely forgot an important meeting with somebody. And this was the first time we were ever going to meet. I totally blew her off! What an awful first impression! Thankfully, she was extremely gracious and it was ok. But I felt so awful. So remember this, this system works. It doesn’t work if you don’t do it. So just do it! Take the extra few minutes every day and make the time. You will be rewarded with increased productivity and organization. And you won’t completely blow someone off like I did!
Tell me, how do you organize your day and accomplish what you need to get done?