Six Habits That Will Make You More Organised, Starting Now
We often talk about being organised as though it’s something you’re born with – either you are, or you aren’t, and there isn’t much you can do about it. At least, this is what we tell ourselves as we text our friends “Bus is running late! Sorry!” when we’re actually sitting on our bed in a towel, still deciding what to wear. But in truth, no one is born organised. Organisation comes from a handful of good habits; a little bit of effort that has big pay offs.
Why is it important to be organised? Well, it makes the rest of life easier. Being organised is a great way to remove stress from your life. Your credit rating is going to be better if you pay your bills on time. You’ll be healthier if you prep your meals. You’ll get more respect at work if you turn up on time, wearing a freshly ironed shirt. It might seem like a hassle to do all of these things, but the hassle is outweighed by all the benefits.
But if organisation is unchartered territory for you, then it’s hard to know where to even start. Here are the habits you should pick up if you want to be a bit more together.
#1 Write it down
You can’t be organised if you’re relying on memory alone. This is where your notes app – or a notebook, if you’re old school – comes in. You know when you’re falling asleep and you suddenly remember that you’ve got to buy your Mum a Mother’s Day present? Write it down. Or when you feel like you’ve got one million tasks to do: write them down, in order of priority, and make that your To Do List.
Want to be super dooper organised at work? At the end of each working day, write down what you need to do the following day, in order of importance. Lists are basically Organisation 101.
Create a dedicated home for your stuff, and commit to putting things where they belong.
Start with paper. Round up all of those bits of paperwork that pile up in your kitchen, bedside drawer and coffee table. Sort them into piles according to what needs to be kept, what needs to be actioned, and what you can throw out. Then hop to it.
Whether you choose to file your important documents in a shoebox under your bed, or in an actual filing cabinet, your life will be so much easier if you’ve got all your tax documents, bills, employment contracts etc. in one reliable spot.
Other things that should have their own dedicated spot in your home: your wallet, your phone and your keys. Keep them in the one place and you’ll lessen the likelihood that you’ll lose them.
Dedicate ten minutes a day to a bit of a declutter, and in just a couple of weeks you’ll have a more organised house, and be a more organised you. Here’s how to do a comprehensive declutter.
#3 Say no
Even the most organised person will spiral out of control if they’re overcommitted. Politely declining an invitation in order to stay home and do a little life admin, or to rest up ahead of a busy week, is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
#4 Meal prep
Here’s a Choose Your Own Adventure for you: you’ve had a long day at work and you’re totally exhausted. You get home and you’re starving. Do you A) cook a nutritious meal? or B) order delivery and gorge on Thai food?
When it comes to eating well, the struggle is real. The best way to avoid this dilemma? Meal prep. Cook up a big batch of something good, freeze it, and then pop it in the microwave when the idea of chopping veggies is beyond you. Do it on a Sunday and coast through the week without having to buy lunch. You’ll save money and eat healthier. It’s a win-win.
#5 Use a diary
It might seem obvious, but writing down your commitments –whether in a day planner or Google Calendar – is the easiest way to stay on top of everything you have to do. Relying on memory alone is a recipe for stress.
#6 Take a break
There’s no point in being organised if you don’t sit back every so often and enjoy the fruits of your labour. You’ve taken back control of your life, now it’s time to put your feet up.
Amelia is the Editor of The Cusp. You can find her on twitter @amelia___m or instagram @ameliamarshall.