Running a business is hard work. There’s no getting around that. Throw in managing your household, childcare, and general life admin – things can get overwhelming!
When I’m feeling like this, you’ll find me trying not to freak out and frantically trying to tick off all of my to-do list at once! So after a few months of careful consideration, cultivating, and applying some general principles, today I hope to connect with you and provide you with some practical advice on how to take control of the situation.
1. Shift Your Focus to Be Goal-Oriented
Take time to sit down and map out your goals. Outline what you want, and how you plan to achieve it. Make a ponit of revisiting and adjusting as needed. Maintaining a loose plan will keep these guiding goals at the forefront of your mind in the decisions you make and assessing your progress in achivieving them.
At any given time I like to have a 5 year plan in mind. It’s not written in concrete, and doesn’t have to be stuck to completely. Just some healthy goals to guide me along in my journey.
Instead of trying to remember everything, write things down. Perhaps you work best visually – why not try and journal about your goals, and how you plan to get there?
Doing so will free up your mind for thinking and focusing on the tasks at hand—and you won’t have to worry about forgetting important things!
I don’t mind sharing that I have about 20 lists on my phone notes, which are vital in helping me remember ideas I have for my business, things I need to buy at our next weekly food shop, or life admin tasks that I need to prioritise!
3. Have a Schedule
Along with listing, it can be incredibly beneficial to schedule your day, keeping in mind your overarching goals from point 1. It can help you to stay on track and show you how your everyday tasks fit in with the bigger picture.
I swear by time blocking my calendar. Not only for client work, but for things I want to spend time focusing on to get me a step closer to where I want to be.
I know. The last thing on your mind is sorting the dishwasher, or folding the huge pile of laundry, when you have so much else to be getting on with! Staying on top of things is a great habit to get in to, though.
Generally, having a decluttered and clean house can add a sense of peace and organisation to your day. Vitally, make sure your working space is clear of clutter, this will give you the space and peace you need to focus on achieving your goals.
5. Learn to Say No
Probably the most important tip I can give you.
We often feel compelled to say yes for a number of reasons, and if you’re partial to people pleasing like me, those reasons might sound like: What if it upsets them? I feel bad! I need to do that or I’ll fail. How do I say no?! I don’t want to let them down. I’m sure I can squeeze that in somewhere.
Saying yes too often can leave us overwhelmed, overstretched, and burned out. When we’re feeling these ways, it’s incredibly hard to live a well-organized life. We easily lose sight of goals as we’re so occupied by trying to handle it all.
6. Plan Ahead
Take the first fifteen minutes of day to plan out your activities. Mentally run through the things you would like to accomplish, and write them down in your planner. Then, time block your calender to accomodate. Having a plan in place can help you be as productive as possible in the time you have – making time for whatever matters the most to you. Whether that’s spending time with your other half, or retail therapy!
Even a list of your “top three” priorities for the day will set the right mindset to make the day a success!
7. Involve Others
If you share your home with a partner or children, getting them involved is key. Think about which tasks you could delegate, and ask them if they’d be able to give you a hand for the day. This will take away some stress to help you get on.
My husband is notoriously unorganised, which works well for me as I am the total opposite! I find it helps tremendously to review our household calendar a month or two in advance, to help prepare us (him!) for what’s coming up and how we can organise ourselves prior. Whether it’s knowing his shift pattern and making sure we have someone to watch the dog, or when we have social events or camping trips scheduled.
8. Throw It Out
Similarly to 4. Housekeeping – getting rid of things that you don’t use, items that you don’t need, and stuff that simply hangs around is a great way to simplify your life and make it easier to keep things clean and organized. Once a month, or maybe quarterly, take an afternoon at the weekend to have a total reset of your material possessions.
There are so many ways to stay organised, but please don’t feel overwhelmed. Implementing a few of these steps (perhaps most importantly #1!) can help you become more streamlined in your day to day.
If it’s too much, always start small. Habits take time to form, and making small changes for the interim can set the scene for these later.
- Organise the kitchen drawer
- Put your laundry away
- Clean your workspace
- Journal your big goals
Most importantly, remember that organization is not about perfection. It’s about progress, and making things easier for you. Naturally, you might lose focus now and again. Be mindful and draw yourself back in. Re-focus by revisiting your journal or making a list.
What holds you back from living in an organised way? Which of these points will you work on first?
Alice @ YGF