We all start the year with the best of intentions – a tidy house, birthday cards sent on time, meals planned for the week – but after a short while, the stresses of work, family and daily life can once again take over. As part of our mission to make this your most organised year yet, we’ve put together some tips that will help you keep on top of it all. It’s not about grand organisational schemes – just simple, daily actions that will make your life easier.
1. Make a note
Write everything down immediately, whether in a diary, on a calendar or in your phone, to:
- Focus your mind
- Prevent you feeling overwhelmed
- Help you remember important dates and make arrangements
2. Set yourself a time plan and deadlines
These should be small, achievable goals that will keep you focused and motivated. Again, mark them in your diary or calendar to stay on track. If you’re looking for ideas, we love this printable planner (pictured right), or Vicki Arnold’s comprehensive collection should offer everything you might need.
3. Stop procrastinating!
We all do it, but putting things off will reduce your motivation and leave you with a sense of guilt, leading to further stress. Tackle your jobs one at a time, and they never feel quite as bad as you imagined when you were sitting there and thinking about them.
4. A place for everything.
A simple idea – put things away in their place as you go along. It requires a lot less effort than one big tidy up, and means that you can easily find the things you need.
5. Look for ways to simplify and save time
A few simple changes in the way you do things can make a big difference overall.
- Shop online and save your weekly basics in a pre-ordered list. That way, you can just add any additional extras as and when you need them.
- Plan your meals before you shop. This not only saves time but also money, as you’ll only be buying the items you need. Don’t forget that Hour Hands can help you with meal planning.
- Set up direct debits for bills, and add a reminder to your calendar when you need to review your service providers.
- Prepare your lunch and clothes the evening before, to save time in the morning rush.
- Keep a birthday/special occasion file or book. At the beginning of each month, buy all the greetings cards that you need that month (perhaps add them to your online food shop?), to avoid missing any important dates. You can also do the same with gifts.
- Open your post immediately and either file or shred each day. That way, you won’t end up with reams of paper around the house.