As you may know now if you have been reading that blog for a while, my life tends to get quite hectic at times. Before diving into my organizational system, I think I must offer you a glance into my life for you to understand that this particular system may suit your needs even though you do have a whole lot to handle. I personally run that blog, study English full-time at University, work at a supermarket on the weekends, am in the process of publishing an Ebook (and let me tell you that it is far more time-consuming than I thought!) and do my best every single day to be the girlfriend, daughter, sister and friend my loved-ones deserve. With that being said, I think that if my organizational system can help me, it can help you as well to feel far more “on top of your game”, especially when things get a little bit “too much” (and they sometimes do).
Let’s get started!
My daily system: a desk planner (+post-its)
I tried a lot of planners, sometimes digital and sometimes not. I do not think there is a “better” option as it needs to suit your own needs. Since the beginning of the quarantine and because I now work for home, I have switched to a desk planner as that particular system suits my own needs.
I bought the simplest desk planner and every day, I write the top-things I would like to do professionally speaking. I then color-code them: blue is for online classes, yellow is for the homework I must do but not hand back, green is for the homework I must hand back (essays, text commentaries &c.) and finally, pink is for blogposts I must publish, my Ebook and the literary reviews write for Booksirens.com. That can look like a lot but seeing, thanks to the colors, what kind of work I have to do that day helps a lot. I would recommend switching between essays and blogposts for instance, that helps not getting bored.
Moreover, I love using post-its in order to write the “non-work-related” tasks. For instance, I write the laundry I need to get done that day or the type of workout I have to do. Writing that helps me not feel overwhelmed and in the end of the day, when I see that everything has been crossed, I feel far more accomplished than if I had only written work-related tasks.
N.B. Remember that writing only three tasks and achieving them all is far better than writing ten tasks and achieving only three. Your self-esteem will thank you later.
Creating scheduled time for my loved-ones
I am not telling you to write the exact hour on which you will have time to call your mom, but do not forget to write it. Too often, we get trapped into work and when it turns dark outside, we realize that we have not had any social interaction that day. It is unhealthy, really. Thus, I would advise you to write that on your to-do list because if it is on that list, you will be less likely to say “I’ll do it later”.
Cleaning is a part of daily life
You can’t have your life together in a messy space. You may have the best grades in the world or a high-responsibility job, if your apartment is a disaster, I will still not consider you life to be “together”. I personally can’t feel well if my laundry is not done or if the dishes accumulate. Thus, you may dedicate a special time in your day to take care of your home. That can be as simple as ten minutes in the morning but those ten minutes add up and you will feel far more productive in a tidy place.
My Sunday routine to get organized through the week (+ weekly priorities)
Sundays are an essential part of my organizational system. As I work on Saturdays from morning to night, I do not really have a “weekend” so I try to divide my Sundays between “Me-time”, “Family-time” and “Organization” (if you are interested, here is a link to my Sunday routine).
The “Organization” part consists in writing a weekly to-do list, even though still imperfect, that I would better every single day. That helps me see in a schematic way what my week will look like. At that point, I write my weekly priorities, three to five tasks I must have finished at the end of the week (that may be an essay or a section of my book for instance). I also use Sundays to catch up on any email as I do not want to miss on an important information that may reshape my whole weekly organization. Then I like to deep-clean the apartment and as I clean a little every day, it never takes me more than an hour.
Create you own organizational routine on Sundays, and keep in mind that it sets the tone for the whole week to come.
My yearly planner + goals
I also have a yearly organizational system. I go on Trello.com to do so. That is a free app/website on which you can create aesthetic lists. One of those lists is dedicated to my “yearly planner”. The first section is dedicated to my yearly goals, that is to say three to five things I would really like to achieve that year (getting an honor degree, publishing an Ebook &c.). The twelve other sections are dedicated to each month and at the top of each one, there is an important task to be done. Then, each important date or deadline for the month are written to make sure I do not forget anything.
I check that list in the beginning of each month to know where I am at with my yearly goals and to make sure I have not forgotten anything important for the upcoming month.
My Trello boards explained
I would like to dedicate that last part to the app Trello. I am not sponsored or anything, but I really think it deserves to be discussed. As you have just read, you can use it to create aesthetically pleasing lists for FREE. Really though, you absolutely do not need any premium membership at any point in order to host your lists. It synchronizes on all your devices, which is also really great if you want to update your lists in a waiting room for instance.
My Trello lists are the following (maybe it can inspire you, who knows):
- Planner (for the times I do not want to use my desk planner)
- 2020 yearly planner
- Ebook (divided in writing/editing/publishing &c.)
- Exams (I like having all the important deadlines and essays for each subject on the same list)
- Finances (tracking your finances is an essential step towards having your life together)
- Freelance projects (Blogging ideas, Ebook possible tiles &c.)
- Travels (I may be a little “too much” but I like having a list of all the places I have been to and all the places I would like to visit)
I hope that post inspired you to get your “life together” or simply to change a little bit your own organizational system,
Lots of love,