Elementary school through college, my classmates would ask me how I managed to stay so organized. What was my secret? Was it that I carried multicolored sticky notes everywhere or that I kept a weekly planner? Possibly, but it was mainly what I did with those items. This post is for all of my former classmates and those who have a hard time staying organized. Here are 6 Steps to Organize Your Day:
1. Create a master to-do list. At the beginning of the week, make a list of all tasks you need to complete during that week.
2. Create a daily to-do list. Take items from your master to-do list and populate your daily to-do list. Be reasonable about your goals for the day; making sure you don’t over- or under-work yourself. If you don’t complete all of the tasks on your list, simply move them to the next day.
3. Schedule your day. Schedule time for working, eating, sleeping, exercising, napping and other activities that you have planned for the day. It is not necessary to schedule every minute of your day, but you should know when to complete each activity and how much time it will take.
4. Work in distraction free zones. Right now, stop, and make a list of things that trigger you to be unproductive. Is it a television, radio, smart phone or refrigerator? I know that for me, personally, it is my bed. In college, I did my best studying in the library. It was hard for me to work in my dorm room because my bed was right next to my desk. One minute I was going hard in the paint solving differential equations and the next minute I was waking up at four o’clock in the morning, in my bed, unaware of how I got there with half of my math homework incomplete. This is the most important step in organizing your day. Get rid of the distractions and get to work!
5. Prioritize! Do the things that are most important and urgent first. Don’t cheat yourself by doing something super simple, just to gain the satisfaction of striking something off your list (this is me). Choose to complete an application that’s due tomorrow first, then finish the assignment that is due at the end of the week.
6. Be grateful. Be grateful for the work that you have accomplished and carry that positive energy into the next day. A positive attitude breeds productivity. Don’t beat yourself up if you do not finish your to-do list for the day. As mentioned in Step 6, just move uncompleted task to the next day. As with most things, it may take a little time to get use to organizing your day. Soon enough you’ll find your bearings and own unique approach to being organized.
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Take 15 minutes today to read, write down, and meditate on this scripture: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4