Let me just start off this post by saying that I am not an expert in time management or organization. I am working on both of those things and strive to achieve that thing call work life balance that so many people talk about. As a result, you’re probably wondering why you should trust me to tell you how to organize your life or manage your time. I like to think that I have the basics down. That I know enough to share with you and hopefully make some sort of difference in your life. I’m not organized to the point of label makers and hour by hour schedules, but I’m also not a disorganized mess. I’m floating in limbo somewhere between the two, just like every other millennial I know seems to be.
So, if you’re curious as to what I’m up to and how I keep track of everything, read on!
Last June I started my first full time job in the “real world”. I work 8:30-5:30 as a digital performance coordinator at a digital marketing and advertising agency. In school I was always very organized, so a lot of the same principals carried over to office life. I have a planner where I write down my daily to-do lists, meetings, notes, and things to remember. I know every person is different when it comes to the layout of their planner. Personally, I like to have a monthly calendar view, lines within each daily box to keep my writing neat, and blank pages in the back of the book to keep notes. I also like to color code meetings and related tasks with gel pens.
One of my co-workers likes to have her planner split in to two columns; one side is for her daily to-do lists and the other is for meetings. Since the set-up of a persons planner is so personal, I don’t dare try and buy someone a planner as a gift! If you’re looking though, here are a few I found that are so cute and great for the office:
- The Deluxe Monthly Planner from Erin Condren
- This pretty marble pastel option from Target
- The ban.do planner from Rose Parade Agenda – complete with pockets, note sheets and stickers!
One thing that I try to do every day when I get to work is take a look at my tasks and plan out my day. Sure, things can come up, but it’s nice to have an idea of how you’re day will go. This way you can work out how many things you’ll be able to accomplish throughout the day and communicate what’s not going to get done. If there’s one thing I have learned from working in an office it’s that communicating is key! It’s better to over-communicate than to leave people guessing as to how a project is coming along.
Another thing I quickly learned while at my job is that you can’t do everything yourself. Some days there’s just too much on my list for me to accomplish alone. I’m so fortunate to have an amazing group of co-workers who are willing to help with tasks if they have the time. Learning to let go and delegate tasks has seriously helped my sanity! Even if you think your job is a one person show, it’s really not. There’s always going to be a team of people there to help and who rely on you in one way or another. Just remember to thank the people who take on those extra tasks you delegated to them 😉
Related Reading: How I’ve Started To Increase Traffic To My Blog
Organizing My Blog
I love my blog. If I could, I would work on it for 10 hours a day every day. My blog has actually turned me in to quite the workaholic. I’m always thinking about my next post, how I could better organize my Pinterest boards, or more ways to drive traffic to my site. Since I have so many ideas floating around in my head I like to make lists in a dedicated blogging notebook. This differs from my work planner because it is quite literally just a notebook. No monthly calendars or boxes to write in, just sheets of lined paper. This way I can jot down ideas as they come and plan out blog posts. I also keep notes from whatever blogging course or eBook I’m currently working through (check out some of my favorites here).
In addition to my notebooks and lists, I use this excel doc from Reroute Lifestyle to track my social media growth, blog and social media goals, income, and expenses. The doc consists of 5 different sheets, one for each of the different categories. It’s then broken out by months and weeks so you can get very granular. Before using this doc I didn’t keep track of income or goals. The doc made be get serious about my blog and treat it less like a hobby and more like a business.
Grab your own copy here.
Organizing My Personal Life
Keeping my personal life organized is definitely the most difficult of the three. As I mentioned earlier, I love working on my blog. It is truly my passion project and hopefully one day it will be my full time job. However, this means that I tend to spend every waking moment on it. When I come home from work I eat dinner, get my things ready for the next day, and then hop on my computer to get some blog tasks done.
My weekends are also consumed by my blog. Saturdays and Sundays are my days to take any photos I need for the upcoming weeks, write the weeks blog post, work on emails, and whatever other big projects need my focus. As much as I love it, it can also be exhausting! Some days I’m so tempted to just say screw it and have a lazy Sunday. Then my type A personality kicks in and thought is quickly forgotten.
I do make a conscious effort to focus on me though. On weekdays once 8:30 or 9 PM roles around I shut my laptop and watch a show, read a book or play my guitar. On Sundays I stop all blog work around 4 or 5 PM so I can have the last few hours of the weekend to truly relax. I also hit the gym in the mornings before work or early on the weekends. A good workout sets the tone for the day and honestly wakes me up. I never thought I would be that type of person to enjoy their morning workout, but there it is. I still enjoy a cup of coffee everyday as well, but the workout is good too 😛
One thing I do to really organize my life is meal prep! Every Sunday I spend about an hour and a half cooking my lunch and breakfast for the week. A lot of people think meal prepping takes hours but it doesn’t. The 90 minutes it takes me also includes cleaning. If you make lunch in the crockpot it takes even less time! You’re then not left wondering what you’re going to take for lunch everyday or spending money on take out. I come home every day from work and pack my lunch with one of the containers my meal is in and some snacks and I’m good to go. Sure, by Friday I’m a little sick of whatever I made for the week but it’s a small price to pay for saving money and time.
Related Reading: Skincare Routine For Oily, Acne Prone Skin
So, like I said before, I’m not a disorganized mess but I could be better! I could wake up earlier and spend 15 more minutes at the gym. I should utilize sticky notes more so I don’t keep forgetting to do that one thing that always gets forgotten about. Oh and that package that needs to be returned to Amazon? Yeah, I should really just print the darn shipping labels and mail it back already.
Still, all things considered I think I’ve got the three main aspects of my life figured out. How do you stay organized, either at work or at home? I’d love to know so leave a comment down below!