This is a funny little topic for the week but one I feel is super important for our busy lives. Don’t you just hate that word – “busy”? I do. I’ve grown to dislike it immensely. Mainly because I now understand that there is really nothing to gain from being “busy” all the time. We all need to slow down and organise our days a little better in order to actually be productive. Here are my three steps to being more organised.
1: Make Time To Plan
It sounds like an obvious one but sometimes its the most obvious things are the things we overlook. Whether you choose to plan your whole week on a Sunday night or Monday morning – or choose to take it day by day – setting aside a few minutes to make a plan is essential. For me it’s the first thing I do each morning, but I know that everyone has to fit it into the run of their own day. I take out my diary and I divide the page in two by running a line directly down the centre. In the left hand column I write out my time stamps – 10am, 11am, 12pm etc. In the right hand column I write out my to-do list. Then when I’ve it all written down – I slot the important things in first and take it from there. Any important appointments get popped into my Google calendar too so I get a notification on my phone or Apple Watch as a reminder. But this tiny little exercise takes only a few minutes and is vital for getting through a more organised day. Remember not only “work” things need to be on the to-do list. I also include workouts and little “mindful moments” where I need time for lunch or a cuppa just for a little space. Try it this week and see how you get on.
2: Delegate Where You Can
Take a look at your “to-do” list. Is it all highly necessary that you yourself have to get through it on your own. For example – can the kids help with walking the dog? Can a colleague help with organising an event? Can your other half take on the dinner this evening? Can something wait till a day that is “less busy”? We can all be guilty of trying to do it all ourselves. But we do need to remember that we can share the load if needs be. Don’t get caught in the mindset that you have to get through it all. Friends, family and colleagues are happy to row in to help lessen the load – especially when it’s needed. It really does go a long way to help you get through your day and leave you feeling more organised and less stressed.
3: Don’t be Busy For Busy Sake
This is something I really only learned the value of this past year. I spent so many working years being “super busy” and thinking that that was the key to success. It’s only more recently I have learned that nothing is gained from driving the body to the point of exhaustion. In fact having time off or freer days is more likely to result in you being more organised and efficient. Busy is a buzz word. My lovely friend Liz Costigan puts it perfectly when she says we often wear it as a “badge of honour”. Take a look at your own situation. Do you thrive off of being or feeling busy? Are you really being busy for the sake of it? Are you gaining anything from constantly running yourself ragged? I have learned to take a step back. To make sure there are times, moments and days where I can just “stand still”. Sure it won’t happen daily but making a little time for “nothing” is as important as getting it all done. Think about you and your life. Where are your moments for you? Make them happen. Because when you do – that is where the magic happens.