Top tips to get organised and stress-free in 2021
Struggling to juggle all the different tasks in your day to day life, getting blindsided by forgotten responsibilities, or just feeling overwhelmed overall?
Being organised is one of the keys to reducing stress and increasing happiness in your life, whether that’s in terms of physically organising your environments to be more relaxing, or in staying on top of your commitments and being efficient. To help you lead a more fulfilling lifestyle, we’ve collected the need-to-know information on how to be more organised in your life, as well as how it has positive impacts that are worth the building a new habit for.
What are the benefits of being organised?
One of the biggest challenges to starting any change, such as becoming more organised, is finding that motivation to get started. It can be difficult to see the benefits of being more organised in your life, whether physically or mentally, especially if you are already on top of everything and succeeding. However, there are definite advantages to being organised, with the most important being the health benefits of reduced stress. Having a tightly packed schedule of things to do, especially if you are unprepared or unaware, can have significant impacts on your mental health as a constant source of stress. Being proactive and taking an organised approach can help spread your workload into more manageable portions, work more efficiently so that there’s less work overall, or at least let you prepare for tough times to come.
The same concept applies on a physical level, as physically organising your environment or workspace has positive effects on stress. Not only will you be able to be more productive as items are placed strategically to minimise downtime, but you will also be able to better focus and feel less stress as a result of being in a more comfortable open space. Cleaning up your bedroom and other living spaces can also help you sleep better, improve your mood throughout the day, as well as increased energy to channel into productive avenues. These are some of many small benefits that add up to improve your quality of life, all due to simple changes in your normal environment. It can be hard to justify throwing out some items, there’s always the fear that it may be useful in future or still have value, but falling into this line of thinking persistently can lead to hoarding habits. Whilst the negatives associated with hoarding is no doubt commonly known, even small issues with clutter can block those benefits of organisation, and can make finding anything or doing anything extremely frustrating. Where possible, it is always best to declutter your life for minimal stress.
How can I improve?
Now that you understand the why, the next challenge is implementing the how. Although there are many different tips, philosophies, and systems that exist, we have chosen a few of the most common examples of how to bring structure and organisation to your life. There are no best or correct methods, so experiment yourself and get creative in finding what works out for you personally. An example of a simple yet highly effective method would be keeping a constant prioritised to-do list, whether on a digital note-taking software (Windows Sticky Notes, Mac/iOS notes) or on physical paper. Blocking time to check this daily helps you stay aware of what’s coming up, and leaving comments and tasks at the end of each day for you to start tomorrow is a great way to quickly pick up where you left off.
A common evaluation system is the Eisenhower matrix based on the concept of “urgency” and “importance”: urgent and important tasks should be at the top of your list and schedule, urgent and unimportant tasks should be delegated to someone else, non-urgent and important tasks should be scheduled for attention later, whilst non-urgent and unimportant tasks should be a focus for permanent elimination in future. It is also helpful to schedule blocks of time for tasks pre-emptively, helping to mentally set boundaries for different tasks, alongside letting you know exactly what you should be doing and when each day. There are many other philosophies commonly used, such as the KanBan technique where your responsibilities are visually tracked (via software or on paper) by assignment to different stages: incomplete, in progress, and complete. This approach lets you track how you are progressing and how your workload changes dynamically, allowing you to identify what needs to be focused on at the current moment.
If physical clutter is the problem you face, consider trying the popular KonMari method for keeping your environment organised and conducive to happiness. Pioneered and popularised by phenom Marie Kondo, its success is affirmed by followers all around the globe, with only six simple rules to follow. These are:
Commit yourself to tidying up.
Imagine your ideal lifestyle.
Finish discarding items first.
Tidy by category of item, not location.
Follow the right order (clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous then sentimental items)
Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
The goal is to truthfully eliminate items from your life or physical environment which are negatively affecting your happiness, and to only keep what is both necessary and beneficial for your quality of life. When it comes to organisation, in whatever definition or context of it, there is no ‘best’ method. In fact, you may find a combination of ideas and tips to be most effective for your lifestyle, so start exploring!
What else is out there to help?
Living in a modern age brings with it many conveniences and amenities, so why not take advantage of technology to streamline organising your life and hold yourself more accountable? Employing the use of software can be a great way to help make keeping life organised simple, shifting burden and responsibility off you so you can focus on what matters most. Todoist is a great app to categorise and plan ahead tasks in your personal or work life, helping you manage things down to a highly detailed level. Plan is a great tool that integrates seamlessly with Outlook or Google, helping you time block and schedule your day better, alongside providing many other useful analysis features. This not to say that classic offerings from companies such as Microsoft are not useful either, as Microsoft OneNote is an incredibly powerful tool for note-taking and keeping visual to-do lists plus more, all synced in real time. If insurance is something that you find yourself grappling with regularly, Quashed is a great app that could be right for you. View and manage all your different insurance policies through one easy platform, removing the hassles of insurance and making it work for you. Take control of your insurance, and try Quashed today.
Whether you’re looking to turn over a new leaf, or just trying to squeeze a little more efficiency out of your current habits, remember to constantly evaluate yourself and keep improving when it comes to organisation. After all, who doesn’t want an easier and happier life?