Form good organizational habits and be organized everyday by incorporating the following into your personal daily routine. A solid routine is essential in helping you to be organized every day, and feel in control of everything you need to cross off your To Do List.
01 of 10
Leave your keys in the same spot.
I leave my keys, cell phone, blackberry, iPod and my little black notebook in the same place every single time I walk through the door of my apartment. I have a spot in my entry way for these items so I am never running around late for work wondering where my keys or blackberry are hiding.
TIP: Buy or re-purpose something you like to look at to hold your "smalls." Check out the decorative tray from the Macbeth Collection (pictured left).
02 of 10
Follow a routine.
Have a plan of what you need to get done and when you're going to check those actions items off your To Do list (See number 2 for a sample checklist). As extensively discussed in theDaily Routine Guide (see links below), sticking to a routine helps to automate tasks that need to get done -- whether you dread them or not -- because doing something every single day will make your brain happy and help to create good habits.
Try this out by making general plan for your day and stick to it for a... week.
03 of 10
Create and cross off a checklist.
I make a new to do list every single day based on the previous day's list and anything that came up since the last list was created. I may not do this the minute I sit down at my desk; sometimes I have an urgent matter I need to attend to immediately, and sometimes I am truly not in the right frame of mind, but at the minimum I look at it every day and cross off what I've completed (or what I've deemed no longer relevant, like the ridiculous notion that I was once going to pack for a... trip two weeks ahead of time. What was I thinking?).
TIP: Put your to-do list on your to-do list at either the beginning or end of the day. Mid day is too late for the current day, and often to early to have a real sense of the following day.Here's a sample Daily Checklist.
04 of 10
Carry a small notebook.
I write down items for my shopping list, errands, to-dos, and random thoughts in a small notebook that I carry with me basically every where I go. It's endlessly portable, user-friendly and never needs re-charging. You never know when you'll need to quickly jot something down:
- Upcoming events
- Notes about something fascinating you've heard or read
- Money you've spent
- Things to buy for an upcoming trip or project
A small pocket-sized notebook is essential to an organized life.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Check your online bank balance.
I do a quick scan of my checking and savings accounts for three reasons:
- It allows me to see what I spent the previous day;
- I can check for fraudulent charges; and
- Looking at my savings puts me in the right frame of mind each morning to continue saving.
06 of 10
Do the dishes.
I cook most weeknights so I make sure the dishes are done every night before I go to bed. Studies have shown that people with clean kitchens cook more. Is it the chicken or the egg?
TIP: Make your bed, too! Studies have shown this helps calm people down and sets a positive tone for the day.
07 of 10
Organizing your wallet is one of the best quick and easy organizing projects to instill as a daily organizational habit. Tackle this one whenever you have some downtime--like sitting on a train, or in front of the TV on a weeknight.
- File away the receipts you need to hang onto, shred the rest, then recycle.
- Go through your cadre of rewards cards. Make sure the ones you use the most are front-and-center.
- Remove your change and store it in a jar or other designated container in your home.... There's no need to carry around the extra weight.
I strongly recommend Hobo International wallets for their built-in organizational pockets and dividers.
08 of 10
Spend 2-5 minutes on your meal plan.
Check in with your meal plan either every single day (easiest) or every few days. I recommend daily because then it becomes a habit, and you can update it as necessary while you also look at your calendar. Daily meal plan "to dos:"
Continue to 9 of 10 below.
- Check out any meals you know you won't need to make.
- Add items to your shopping list, and cross items off your list you've already purchased.
- Schedule time to grocery shop.
- Schedule time to cook.
09 of 10
Lay out your clothes for the next day.
This is one of my favorite tips, and once I started this task, and realized how much easier my early mornings before work became, and then I noticed I started laying things out for other routine activities, too.
- Now before I cook something I like to lay out the ingredients on the counter before I even turn the burner on or pre-heat the store.
- Prior to packing for a trip, I get all of my traveling bags and cases laid out and open.
- Before I get in the shower, I put my hair dryer and facial... moisturizer on the bathroom vanity.
10 of 10
Prep the launch pad.
Much like laying out your clothes, prepping your foyer or launch pad area is going to make you feel really good about getting out the door quickly the next morning. A few To Dos:
- Re-pack and refresh gym bags, work bags and school bags.
- Lay out ingredients for breakfast and lunch.
- Check the weather report and locate umbrellas if necessary.
Customize your checklist to fit your life and schedule. The more you can do in the quiet evening hours, the less hectic your morning will be on the way to work and... school