Trying to organise your life? Overwhelming, isn’t it?
There are just so many moving parts that it’s hard to know where to begin. Because these days, we are just so damn busy all the time. We hardly have time to breathe, let alone get things done.
But if you’ve read my article on the benefits of getting organised, you’ll know that you’ll be:
- Less stressed
- Have more time
- Be more energised
- Financially better off
- More productive
I also wrote an article on 5 of the best habits to adopt that you might find helpful.
But today, it’s time to look at 5 tangible ways to organise your life. So you could quickly get started today!
What we'll cover:
- The One-Minute Rule (made famous by Gretchen Rubin)
- Financial Organisation
- Task Management (getting those pesky things done)
- Tidy Up
- Mental Health
1. The “one-minute” rule
What can you do in one minute? More than you realise! This idea came from Gretchen Rubin.
If you’ve not come across Gretchen Rubin before, she has a fabulous Happiness podcast (Gretchen Rubin) that’s worth a listen.
The one-minute rule was created to make cleaning the house easier. But, it can also be used to help in other areas too.
Basically, it involves looking for tasks that can be completed in one minute or less.
Let’s use housework as an example;
- Empty the bin
- Put a load of washing on
- Clean a kitchen top
These are all small tasks that can be done in a minute.
The biggest barrier I always found stopped me from doing something was because I felt I didn’t have time. But, by splitting tasks down and following the one-minute rule, it gets things done without feeling like too much effort.
You could have your keys in your hand, ready to head out of the door, and take one minute to do something small before you go. Try it – you’ll be surprised how much more you get done with this superb one-minute rule.
2. Money Matters When You Want To Organise Your Life
Naturally, life organisation isn’t all about cleaning! It involves every aspect of your life.
When we lose track of our finances, it can very quickly feel like we are out of control.
Create A Simple Spreadsheet
I use a simple Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all my spending each month (you can also do this on Google Sheets).
At the top of the spreadsheet, I note my current bank balance and then below that, I have four columns:
- Money out
- Money in
For me, this works really well, but you do need to get into the habit of updating it each day/week.
Money Management Apps
Alternatively, you could use a money management app. It will help you track your incomings and outgoings, as well as everything you spend. I found a helpful breakdown of the different money apps on the website Your Money. Your Money promotes their own app, but there are many different options out there, so do a bit of research to find what works best for you.
Whichever system you use, you can track your income/expenditure and use this to determine where you need to make changes.
When you organise your finances, you can definitely organise your life better with the additional benefit of reducing your stress.
3. Focus on 3 important tasks each day
One tip that was a massive game-changer for me and I’m sure will benefit you if you want to organise your life.
Limit the number of tasks you need to complete each day.
I can’t remember which book I read this in, but I love this simple approach. Previously I’d have big long to-do lists, which left me reeling.
However, once I started to focus on 3 critical tasks each day, I found that I got a lot more done. The three, which I call my Most Important Tasks (MITs), are the things that I absolutely want or need to achieve that day.
The secret is to break big tasks down into smaller, manageable tasks. For example, if one of your day’s tasks is to sort out your finances – you might quickly feel overwhelmed. So the three critical tasks could be:
- Create a list of regular monthly outgoings
- Design a spreadsheet to capture all income and outgoings
- Create a filing system to deal with receipts
You’ll typically find, once you’ve completed your three daily tasks, everything else falls into place too. It helps because it keeps the number of tasks you need to achieve small, making it much easier to actually tick them off. Oh, the joy of ticking something off each day!
As you do so, you’ll feel much better about your day, and it will start to become a habit which leads you to a more organised life.
4. A Place For Everything
I wish I’d listened to my mum more. So often, she would say – put things back where you found them. Great advice that along the way I seemed to have conveniently ignored.
But it makes good sense.
It’s pretty tough to become organised if nothing has a place.
You can start this off quite easily by taking a walk around your home or office and seeing whether there’s a place for everything.
Are You Tidy?
If you have small piles of clutter dotted about the room, it suggests that not everything has its own place
You’ll want to make sure that similar items are kept together. Suppose you currently have numerous types of items in the same drawer, for example. In that case, it’s going to prove tricky to find what you actually need. So, creating set places for everything you own is one of the first things you should do before you can even attempt to organise your life.
5. Put Your Mental Health First
Finally, even the best organisational tips aren’t going to help you if you neglect your mental health.
When looking to organise your life, it means also addressing any mental health issues you might have. For example, if you’re prone to depression, it will be hard to stay organised.
So, try to manage your depression beforehand.
You can find all kinds of apps which can help with mental health issues. Google can be your friend here.
Here are a couple of suggestions on how you can improve your mental stress:
Exercise is brilliant for releasing all those good endorphins into your system. Although you don’t have to be a gym bunny, going for a walk each day is an excellent way to start.
Take up a new hobby
You could also take up a new hobby to keep the mind distracted. Try something creative such as drawing, flower arranging or even give an adult colouring book a go.
Once you get on top of your mental health, you’ll find it easier to develop healthier, more organised habits.
Take Action To Organise Your Life
Ready To Make It Happen?
It's all very well reading all about how to organise your life, but nothing will change until you take action. That's where the transformation can begin.
1. Create a list of all the small tasks that take a minute to do. Once you get started it can be hard to stop! Then keep that list handy for when you have a bit of free time.
2. Review your finances. Are you on top of your spending? Take the time now to create a monthly budget. Get started by listing all regular outgoings for the month. These can include:
- mortgage payment/rent
- insurances such as car/home
- mobile phone costs
3. Do a brain dump of all your to-do's and then commit to doing just three tomorrow. Remember to break up big tasks into bitesize pieces
4. Pick a room and do a walk-around. Is everything tidied away, or do you have a clutter spot? Schedule some time to deal with those annoying little areas before they become big piles.
5. Practice self-care to take care of your mental health. Choose a hobby you'd like to explore - you don't have to stick with it if you don't like it, but be open to try something new that will help your brain release any feelings of overwhelm or stress.
There are so many ways to organise your life, and the above are just 5 to get you started. You’ll find that once you’ve managed to get into one habit, you’ll find it easier to get into another.
You don't have to do all of them at once.
So which of the 5 ways will you choose to get started?