Being organized. Do you want to know how to organize your life?
Well, it takes time. But you know what? This is about spending time so you can save time later on.
Organizing your life comes with certain steps. These steps don't just endorse good habits – but habits that set you up for success.
So let's break down these steps in this article.
1. Make Small Daily Commitments
When I talk about committing, I mean taking actions that let you practice being the man you know yourself to be.
Make small daily commitments.
I stick to a morning routine which involves waking up with a real alarm clock (not the alarm on my phone), having coffee with my wife, making breakfast for the family and hitting the gym before work.
Commitment leads to action.
If there's one habit I encourage, it's to spend time in a new environment – like a coffee shop or local park – where you can reflect on your life so far.
As Socrates put it, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Make sure your life is going in the right direction by taking opportunities to reflect and think.
This should be a daily, weekly, and monthly commitment.
2. How To Organize your Life – Prioritize
I'm always asked, “Antonio, how do you prioritize your life?”
How many times have you constructed a to-do list? You've probably lost count.
But how many of those times did you actually write it in order of priority? Well, the people who best organize their lives are those who make prioritizing a priority.
Go grab an actual calendar – yes, I suggest a physical calendar instead of the one in your phone or computer – and figure out your top priorities.
No matter what you might feel about one task or another, some things are always more important than others.
Sometimes your stop-doing list needs to be bigger than your to-do list.
Some things require immediate action (like doctor's appointments) while other things can wait (like binge-watching that Netflix series that everybody's talking about).
Struggling to prioritize and focus? You're not alone. The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as Urgent-Important Matrix, is a decision making principle and productivity tool that helps prioritize your many tasks. Download our priority matrix now.
3. Learn To Be Productive
This may sound odd: the most productive people aren't necessarily those who spend more time to get work done.
It's more that they get more work done in less time. But how can that be?
Skillshare is an online learning community for people who want to learn from educational videos. My friend Thomas Frank explains that further and shares the keys to productivity in his new course Productivity Masterclass: Create a Custom System that Works.
Thomas' course teaches can teach you the efficient ways to:
- Manage your tasks
- Set up a useful calendar
- Take notes properly
- Organize your digital files
- Organize your physical files
It doesn't matter what your profession is – this course can give you some much-needed guidance to successfully organize your life in and out of the office.
Remember – successful and productive people engage in continuous learning. And what better way to do this, than in an online learning community?
4. Know Your North Star
Have you thought about how you'd want to be remembered when your life ends?
What words and stories will be shared at your funeral? Will friends and family members talk about your kindness, your hard work, your availability whenever they needed you?
That's why – as early as now – you've got to know the kind of person you intend to be for the long run.
Make Your Mission Statement
A mission statement is fundamental if you're really aiming to organize your life. Why? It simplifies things. Building a mission statement gives you a brighter and more precision-based focus on what you want in life.
When you don’t have your own mission statement, you’ll be living like you're shooting in the dark. A life without clear goals. No target for whatever it is you want to accomplish. You’re caught up basically responding to stuff based on patterns and routines.
A mission statement helps you focus on what you really want out of life.
So sit down…and have time to think about what you want out of life. What's important to you? What isn't? Often times, we must identify what you DON'T want – or no longer want – to better understand what we really want in our lives.
Afterward, you can either set that mission statement as your phone and computer background, or you can print it out and keep it somewhere noticeable on your office desk. Trust me on this.
Set Your Goals
Along with a mission statement, you can't advance in life without setting sights on different goals. These are the battles you need to conquer so that you'll eventually win the war. So break down your goals into the following categories: health, personal development, financial, and professional development.
For each category, make a note of what goals you'd like to achieve in five years, one year, a month's time, a week's time, and even on a daily basis. Map these targets in a simple spreadsheet. Then over time you should analyze your progress and amend it where it's appropriate.
5. Say Either “Hell Yeah” Or “No” To Things
With your North Star ready, now you can really start heading on the right path. Now's the time to ruthlessly go through and cut out things that'll only hinder you. This means saying “no” more than “yes”, both in your professional and personal life.
Accept that you’re human.
You can't do everything with the hope of pleasing everyone. As flattering as it is to have others wanting you for stuff that's important to them, you have to remember your limitations.
If you say yes to every project or dinner invitation, you risk screwing yourself over. You can lose time for things that truly matter to you.
It's either a “no” or a “hell yeah!” And frankly, you should only respond with “hell yeah!” if something is worth your effort and won't clutter up your life.
6. Automate & Review Automation
This is where it pays to embrace technology, gents. You want to consider automating the more unpleasant and redundant tasks in life: bills, credit card payments, grocery shopping, and even getting all your essentials such as vitamins and skin care products at the same time.
Thankfully, there are several apps and websites providing these services nowadays. So allow them to organize your life to a certain extent. Just make sure you're still the pilot of your life.
7. Build Better Routines
You know what life is? It's a series of routines that are based on habits. For someone with a less organized life, they might have a routine to begin with. The problem is their routine gets interrupted by unexpected occurrences due to poor planning, procrastinating, or even an ongoing emergency or crisis in life.
Everyone has their own default routines that can be turned into better ones.
The trick here isn't to build new routines from scratch. We all have routines by default – it's about turning them into better ones. Even the smallest changes can have strong positive impacts. Why not sleep every night at 10 instead of browsing Facebook and hitting the sack at 10:30?
Who knows? Those thirty minutes might let you start the day with more energy and less chaos.
8. Measure Your Progress
How can you stay up-to-date of where you are in the different aspects of your life? Simple – by keeping track of your progress towards your goals.
Gentlemen, this is where spreadsheets become your best friend. And if you've used Google in the past, you know just how handy Google sheets are. Take advantage of them.
Use them to create graphs so you'll get a visual understanding of how much or how little you've progressed with your goals. Track your progress weekly, monthly, and yearly as well.
Part of accomplishing any goal is to keep track and measure your progress towards it.
Let's say your goal is to lose weight in a year's time, for instance. You'll obviously change your diet and exercise more. But it's also good to weigh yourself every month and record your weight on a spreadsheet.
Not only do the results keep you motivated, but they warn you if you're likely falling behind so you can make necessary adjustments.
9. Declutter Ruthlessly for 1 Hour
Declutter. And be ruthless.
Declutter your home and ensure everything has a designated place. That way, you won't waste precious time looking for your car keys, pliers or even scissors on the day that it turns out you need them.
Maximise your productivity – declutter while listening to online learning course on productivity.
The same goes for your phone. Do you really need all those 40 icons? Chances are a good number of those apps have only been opened once – right after downloading!
Either store your secondary apps in folders or delete them. You know what the real important icons are: email, call, text messaging, calendar and reminders.
When it comes to your home, make sure that everything you own has a designated place.
Speaking of email, it's not a great sign either if your account has 20,000 unread emails! Just the word “unread” stirs up that uneasy feeling – like you're falling behind and missing out on something.
Clear out the junk mail. Use your filters to delete unwanted spam emails as soon as they’re received. Try also registering a new email account so you can forward important, key messages to it.
You can organize your life if you're driven enough to do it. So rather than wishing for a miracle to make your problems disappear, you should instead be the miracle.
If you have the will, you have the way. Good luck, gentlemen.