So I am a self-confessed Type A workaholic. Since my undergrad especially I have always managed to juggle a number of commitments. At the moment I divide my time between:
- Working full time, Monday to Friday;
- Working part-time Monday – Sunday;
- Training as a barrister through Inns;
- Senior Board of Law Review;
- If that wasn’t enough I have some other side projects too.
Safe to say that it is a fine art of juggling! In order for me to stay sane and not burn out or come crashing down I have sussed that I need to stay meticulously organised so here are some of my go to organisational hacks…
Thanks to Marie Kondo and her coveted Kon Mari method as well as other instagrammers like @_ellenokeeffe; @mrshinchhome; @lynsey_queenofclean; @_thisgirlcanorganise cleaning and decluttering is less like a chore and now a way of life for some! Personally, I can’t function properly if I don’t have a clean and tidy space which is free of clutter. Purging doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of everything and live a very minimalist lifestyle. It just simply means that you take stock of what you have and see if you need it/have used or worn it in this past year. I would suggest starting small and maybe taking your room section by section. Keep in mind that not everything needs to be thrown away and you may be able to donate or upcycle some items. Clean and tidy away items as you go along and you will soon have a sparkling and organised room.
Be prepared for the day ahead
I generally always try to set myself up for the next day the evening/night before I go bed. This usually means putting my handbag together for the next day. Choosing my outfit for work. I always have good intentions of making my lunch ahead of time but this happens 2 out of 5 work days a week so this is something I need to work on more. I will also place all items together that I need to grab the next day before heading out the door in a quick and easy place.
Don’t put off tasks
I need to put my hand up and say I don’t always follow this tip but when I do I feel a lot better. Make a habit of tidying clothes, coats and other items away after you have finished with them rather than throwing them on a chair or the floor. This also applies to replying to emails, texts etc. The rule of thumb should be that if it takes 2 minutes or less to do, it should be done right away! Always remember – a good place for everything and everything in its place.
Purchase and actually use a planner
Over the years, I have used and gone through a number of brands and styles of planners. No matter what your choice is you NEED a planner, even if it’s just a small notebook etc. There is just something cathartic about being able to write things down, cross them out and visually see them on a page! Don’t get me wrong, I do use a number of paperless planning tools also but I would be lost without my physical planner.
I personally have settled on bullet journaling to keep my life on track and I could not recommend it more. I love that it is a blank canvas in which you can be as creative or minimalist as you want with your spreads. You can layout each month as it suits you. I generally use one page to a week with a 3 column approach as shown below.
Column 1: Day to Day activities and this will include items like work, side project meetings or events that I need to attend.
Column 2: This column serves as a to do list
Column 3: This column is for fitness and its where I plan what PT sessions I have, runs I’ll do or fitness classes I will attend that week depending on my schedule.
I also include a habit tracker for each month and I split these into daily habits in which I want to track such as exercise, making my bed, and ensuring I drink enough water that day. I also have a weekly section in my habit tracker and this is where I will track items like laundry and cleaning my room etc.
This bujo serves as my personal planner, on top of this, I also have a moleskine in work in which I keep to do lists concerning just work items that I work from throughout the day.
To Do Lists
To do lists are a great thing and I probably wouldn’t make it through a day without creating one. However, when creating a to do list you need to remember to be realistic with your time and what you can actually achieve in that space of time. You also don’t have to use anything high tech or a new app or a perfectly drawn out to do list, pen and paper will simply do. With all of these different ways of doing things, you don’t want end up spending much more time trying to organise your to do list, or consolidate it, than you actually do trying to tick things off.
Set time limits
When it comes to study or prepping work for Inns, I will generally set myself time limits in which I will endeavour to finish that task. I find that this keeps me on track and motivates me to get items done or near completed within that allotted time.
I’m a visual person, and I find that color-coding my various lists and calendars minimises the time I have to spend looking at them. I know that I can glance at a day in my monthly spread and see exactly what items I have on that day.
These are just some guidelines and at the end of the day organisation is supposed to work for you and make life easier. There are some huge benefits to being organised, I find it streamlines my day and gives me more time to focus on the task at hand. Having a clean space also makes keeping it clean much easier rather than having to do a large clean up every once in a while which eats into other times in which I could be ticking items off my to do list or even socialising with friends.