We're nearly at the end of February and now is a good time to look back on those resolutions we made all the way back in January. This year's parred-down list is definitely different than previous year's, but we thought it was important to keep our resolutions to only what we thought was essential (which is one of our resolutions!). Still, like everyone else (and every other year), we're finding it much easier to set the goals than to keep striving toward them. But, unlike previous years, we're going to keep ourselves on track throughout the year. So, today, we're focusing on Resolution No. 1 - Stay More Organized and looking at what you can do to help you keep everything together in 2022. Here are goodMRKT's 4 GOOD habits for staying more organized.
1. CLEAN IT UP
This is the habit that nearly always makes things better. If you want to stay on top of all the things happening in your life, starting from a clean space will help you get there. For work, this always starts with a clean sweep of our workspace. Making sure our papers are put away, our coffee mugs are returned to the kitchen, keeping our planner within reach are all essential to starting the workday organized. Another work-life tip that has made all the difference for us is keeping a waste bin close by. Being able to get rid of something in the moment helps keep us focused on the things that matter. For our home-life (as separate as we can make those two spaces!), it starts the night before. Picking up random knick-knacks from around the house, putting the living room back in order, cleaning up the dishes in the sink, a nighttime cleaning routine sets the house in order for the next day and lets us wake up feeling refreshed. In the morning, 'clean it up' means making the bed. If you have a partner that wakes up at a different time, come back to it later in the morning (maybe after you've finished those morning pages you've been working on??) because there are few things more special than getting into a bed that's already made.
2. THIN IT OUT
This one is critical for staying organized. You can only clean up ever-accumulating clutter for so long! For us, 'thin it out' means stripping things down to the items we really need--not what we think we'll need. When we're out, using a slimmed-down wallet has changed our lives by reducing the bulk we're carrying around with us. At home, we've been adhering to a strict One in, One Out rule. From sweaters to blankets, to pots, to notebooks, to games, to yada, yada, yada, if nothing is ever going out, then it's always staying in and that's how you end up clutter--and a lot of items you're never going to use. So make sure you're keeping yourself balanced.
Along with that balance, give all your items a home! We've been quietly repeating, "A place for everything and everything in its place," as we walk throughout our space to help keep things organized. For thinning out our work-life, we've been implementing a one-tool rule where we can. Multiple calendars, different to-do lists, new note-taking apps, to stay organized, finding one tool to use, and sticking with will help keep everything together. And, yes, we're thinning out our social life too. We want to focus on what's important. If it's not a 'hell yes', it's a 'hell no', is the stance we've been taking. We have too much responsibility everywhere else to be at parties we're not excited about!
3. WRITE IT DOWN
This one might seem obvious, but with the number of things we are planning for, thinking about, looking into, and taking care of-- Every. Single. Day--this is not a habit to overlook. We're really good at a lot of things, but trying to remember every single thing we have to do every single day isn't one of them, so write it down. Make lists, create schedules and deadlines, use your to-do's to keep you focusing on what's important. If you've heard the phrase, "plan your work, work your plan," it's what we've been doing to keep us on track when all the other distractions inevitably head our way.
4. DO IT NOW
This habit is in contention for our least favorite. Not because we think it's a bad habit but because it is probably the most important habit, yet it is the one we do the least. All the other habits are important because they are helping set us up for success. This last habit, though, is that one that makes it happen. To stay organized, act! You have a clean space, you have the tools you need, you have the list of things to get done, now, it's time to do it. Not procrastinating, not delaying, but doing.
Here's the catch, though: do one thing at a time. Most of us, at heart, want to believe we're excellent multi-taskers, and maybe we are. But the place we really shine, the time we're truly at our best is when we put all of ourselves into one specific task. By focusing on one thing at a time, we've been able to stay organized and focus on the things that are important to us, the things that really matter, not just the latest thing that caught our attention!
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