Friday, 7 March 2014

How To Be More Organised

   You start off a normal day; perhaps you go to work or school, perhaps you've got a day off. Any which way, you finish your daily routine and mandatory errands, and find yourself a bit lost. Maybe you're lacking a hobby, or maybe you've got way too much to do and don't know where to start (surprise 3rd option: you've got way too much to do and procrastinate until the last minute - we've all been there).

   It's hard to get the ball rolling when you know that you can leave tasks until the last minute and get away with it. But is the stress really worth it when all of a sudden the deadline's upon you and you're nowhere near finished? Is that feeling of 'procrastinator's regret' before you go to bed going to haunt you forever?

   Here's a few tips to avoid the stress, organise your time better and abolish that end of day 'I'm going nowhere' feeling.

1. Clear up the clutter.

   Before starting, get everything trivial out of the way, e.g. do the washing, clean your room, get in your PJs and grab a cup of tea. Completing all those little things you do on autopilot will clear the mind and let you concentrate on more important matters.

2. Make a to-do list.

   This is simple, but effective. To-do lists are a girl's best friend, because they allow you to distinguish between what you have and haven't done. 

   Write down everything you've got to do, and break it up into three lists: to-do today (for urgent activities), to-do this month (things that need to be done in the next few days) and to-do in future (for example, 'try that craft project I saw on YouTube'). By doing this, you'll save yourself a lot of confusion.

   Try noting your to-do lists in this quirky notebook from ASOS.

3. Get a planner.

   It's a clear fact that we all rely on technology to a degree where we don't know if our phone is a part of our hand or not. Desk planners are a great way to break away from this; rather than tap all of your dates into the tiny screen on your phone, why not have it all out in front of you to remind you what's going on? Having a clear, tangible calendar on your desk everyday will train your mind to note your important appointments, instead of relying on your phone to notify you.

   Paperchase do great desk planners, like this London Underground style one.

4. Make time for procrastination.

   If you've ever had homework, you'll know what procrastination is. And unfortunately, it can become a nasty habit; the internet somehow automatically becomes a huge place to explore, while your urgent tasks slip further and further away and, before you know it, your eyelids are drooping and you tell yourself that you can carry on with your task tomorrow, only to repeat the same process.

   If procrastination is your thing, perhaps make time specifically for procrastination. Half an hour before you begin your homework/report/project, set an alarm to tell you to get on with your work. Then allow your mind to wander for 30 minutes. When the alarm sounds, stop what you're doing and get on with it.

   If that doesn't work, try the top anti-procrastination app, 'Unstuck', which figures out what type of procrastinator you are and how to deal with it.

5. Make decisions.

   Beware those indecisive moments! When you're out with your friends and you're choosing between a Chinese restaurant or an Italian, close your eyes and make a snap decision. Never say the words, 'I don't mind', for fear that someone else might not like the decision you make - they should have made it first!

   You'll find that by making more decisions, you'll grow more confident with your organisation skills. Deciding which task is more important than another will make coordination a breeze!

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