6 Tips to Stay Organized and Avoid Mounting Stress

Organization plays a huge role in both your general and mental health. When you’re more organized, your mind is clearer, and you’re much more productive. This improves your quality of life which, in turn, improves your overall general health. If you want to become more organized but aren’t sure how or where to start, check out these tips.

Restart your mindset

Before you can lay out a plan to become more organized, you need to want to become more organized. That means you need to reset your mind to actually zone in on the tasks that matter most to you. Disorganization and procrastination tend to go hand in hand, so it’s important to constantly remind yourself to never put off simple tasks that could be done today; this only piles up tomorrow’s workload, which inevitably means you won’t cross everything off your list. Before you can successfully be a more organized person, you need to truly want a more organized life.

Write everything down—no exceptions

Planners or agendas are your best friend. For some people, digital planners are preferred. For others, it’s real-life planners that allow you to physically write down your day’s tasks. (I’ve found that Whitney English’s Day Designer is the only planner that actually gives me everything I need in one place.) Whichever one you choose to use doesn’t matter, but it’s imperative you use one. Keep monthly, weekly, and daily track of everything you need to get done, such as paying monthly bills, attending weekly meetings, and the more minimal, daily tasks. If you think you’ll remember everything off the top of your head, you’re setting yourself up to forget.

Never put more than 5 items on your to-do list

Although it’s necessary to write everything down, you don’t want to write a to-do list that’s so long you can’t complete it. Stick to five must-do items each day. For example: Go to the gym, pay the phone bill, fold laundry, cook dinner, and straighten up your room. By limiting yourself to no more than five tasks, you’re likely to have the time and energy to get everything done. Plus, it allows you to spread your tasks throughout the week to make sure you still get some much-needed time to relax every day.

Find a place for every. single. thing.

It’s not easy to keep your desk, office, or house clean if you don’t have a place for anything. And being surrounded by a mess has been proven to negatively impact your health. When you have a place to put your belongings, you’re more likely to keep everything clean. Without a designated folder for bills, they’ll pile up on the counter. If you don’t have a spot to keep your dirty laundry for the week, it ends up on the floor of your bedroom. But finding a place for everything ensures that your space is always kept clean. Staying both mentally and physically organized is important to being an overall more organized person.

Give your tasks a time limit – and stick to it

Folding laundry or meal prepping for the week can be daunting when you think about how long those tasks could take. Instead of putting things off because you don’t feel like taking the time to do them, set a specific time frame during which you’ll work on something each day. For example, plan to meal prep from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings. (If you’re looking for meal prep tips, read this.) Now, you know exactly how long you have for the task and can plan the rest of your day around it, which prevents you from putting it off or forgetting about it altogether.

Make an effort to limit your distractions

With technology in our faces all the time, it’s easy to get distracted. Opening your phone to check email can turn into checking all of your social media accounts, too. Looking up something on the Internet can send you into a spiral of reading various news stories and information you didn’t mean to read. Try your best to keep distractions limited and focus on the task at hand. This will help you to only spend the necessary amount of time on your task and make sure a 30-minute project doesn’t end up taking two hours.

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