I'm guilty of pretending that I have it all together. From balancing classes, clubs, internships, job applications, and a social life, I find that staying organized usually falls to the bottom of my priority list. After a lot of trial and error, I've gathered a list of eight organization tips that keep me sane and organized amid my busy lifestyle. See the impact they can have on your life, too!
1. Never underestimate the power of the Post-it note.
I have endless notebooks and pads of paper that get lost in my room. When it comes to a simple to-do list, I always use Post-it notes that I can keep in my planner for safekeeping. Remember that keeping things simple (rather than having more "stuff") can be the solution to an organized life.
2. Begin and end each day with a checklist.
If I start and end my day recapping what I accomplished and what is still to be done I have a better understanding of everything going on in my life. I make sure that I don't negatively reflect on what I didn't accomplish in the day but rather adjust my plans so that the next day is productive.
3. Keep everything in one location.
I am guilty of succumbing to the glamour of a new organization app on my iPhone or wanting a new planner every six months. What has kept me sane is using one organizational tool to track my daily life and to-do lists. I am old-fashioned and prefer my planner over my phone. Having one place to look for information and record schedules is less of a hassle than coordinating three different organizational tools.
If you do love organization phone apps, check out Trello for a virtual to-do list.
4. Reflect the organization in other areas of life.
Keeping an organized bedroom, closet, bathroom, and kitchen has lessened the stress of daily life. Coming home from a long day of classes and meetings to an organized bedroom eliminates any additional nuisance that could hinder the productivity of my evening.
Here is a great article on how to have keep your home or apartment organized.
5. Once a month clean out drawers, files, and documents.
A fresh start is always refreshing. It is easier to be organized with less stuff accumulating, especially when it no longer serves a purpose. Make a habit of going through everything once a month to eliminate any unnecessary items that take up space.
6. Focus on the masterpiece more than the mess.
Although I continually aim to be organized and put-together, I've learned that sometimes I cannot control it all. If something is messy for a short time, focus more on the masterpiece coming from the stress and organize after the job is finished. It took a lot of patience, but I've learned that I cannot control every moment of my life, and I need to learn how to deal with disorganization.
7. Let yourself relax.
Organization is meaningless if stress still exists. I make sure I take time to read a book, watch a movie, or drink a glass of wine to find a balance between chaos and relaxation in my weekly routine. Take it one step further with a self-meditation book. Giving myself 10 minutes for meditation when I'm stressed out has been a game changer. This book is a great place to start.
8. Always keep improving, and be a self-motivator.
As my college years pass I've learned that I will always be improving. With my schedule always changing, I've accepted that I cannot be organized 100 percent of the time, but throughout the stress if I stay positive and look for results I'll be relaxed and productive. These organization tips help control the daily chaos of life so that I can focus more on achieving my goals.
Photo: Tammy Hanratty/Corbis