Whether you’re back in the office or working at the kitchen table, a park bench, or the library, you have a lot to juggle. There’s your workload, schedule, meetings, and your personal life. How do you balance a full day of meetings and projects with getting the kids to school on time or even just walking the dog? It’s easy to get overwhelmed. How do you keep it all together? With organization! It won’t happen overnight, but by organizing a few things at a time, you’ll be spinning all those plates with ease. Here are a few tricks I use for a successful, organized day.
Make To-Do Lists
This one doesn’t need to involve a rainbow of sticky notes around your office or laptop like I used to have. There are so many computer and phone apps you can use to keep all the things on your to-do list together in one place (and even across devices!). At the beginning of the week, create your list on your phone or computer. Once you have everything logged, rearrange the list from highest to lowest level of importance. Prioritize the top of the list, but, if you’re in a time crunch, try to hit a few short-term or more enjoyable tasks near the bottom as well.
Use Color Coding
This one is super helpful and can be done online or on paper. I began color coding my calendar with red for work events and blue for personal commitments. This helped me differentiate between the two and avoid any overlap. I have since expanded this trick to use more colors for different types of events, such as green for personal appointments or purple for work meetings. Want to take this one step further? You can use color to categorize the frequency of tasks as well. For example, orange for weekly tasks, teal for monthly tasks, and grey for yearly tasks. So many colors and options for organizing!
Write it Down
As much as I love to use a virtual calendar and notes app, nothing beats putting pen to paper. Studies show that we are more likely to retain information when we write it down versus typing it out. Invest in an agenda (like we used in school!) or a notebook you’ll enjoy writing in. Also, figure out your favorite style of pen and grab a bunch! Whatever you choose (virtual or paper), organizing your schedule will be a breeze when you keep everything in one place.
With these tricks, you’ll have a more organized workday and it’ll be easier to avoid the dreaded, “Oh no, was that today?” What tips do you have to stay organized at work?