How I Stay Organized and Motivated (and how you can too)
It's no secret that I have a lot on my plate. By now, you probably already know that on top of creating content for this blog and for my Instagram, I also balance a full school schedule, a full time job (and at times multiple jobs) and a bunch of extracurricular activities. Often times, I get asked how I manage a full schedule and stay organized while still keeping myself motivated to do it all. Well, I owe a lot of this to my system of organizing my schedule and also the little things I try to do to keep me going. Today, I want to share that with you! Hopefully this will help you the same way it has immensely helped me.
Note: These tips are things I have been doing for years. It works well for me and what I do. By no means will it work for every person, so take away the tips that you think will fit for you!
A Planner that you LOVE
I cannot stress how important it is to get a planner you actually love and get excited for (one of the things I actually splurge on). If you love it, you will constantly be using it. And if you splurged a lot of money on it, chances are you will more likely try your best to make use out of it.
For the longest time, I used a Lilly Pulitzer Planner, but currently I am using a Kate Spade Planner because I did not like any of the Lilly Pulitzer designs for this year.
Plan Your Week Ahead
I plan my whole week in advance (Sunday nights for at least 30 minutes). It helps me feel like I am on top of things. For my classes, I like to take my syllabus and list out all my exams and major due dates for the upcoming months (semester). I know I am one of the few people left who actually uses a paper planner, but I love writing things down and seeing a visual of what I need to do.
I cannot even begin to tell you how important this is in my weekly routine. It helps me start off my week strong and feeling like I am ready for the week ahead. Without it, I would probably be a hot mess all week.
Quote of the Week
This is more along the lines of motivation. I like to have a quote of the week every week that I can look to as a quick motivational, pick-me up especially when things are getting tough, and I am getting busy during the week. Usually, I like to choose something that would resonate well with me for that week, or something that could relate to what I am doing or have planned for that week. I know this may seem trivial and not like something that would actually make a significant difference, but from my personal experience it does. It keeps me going when the week gets tough. If you are a visual person, seeing this every time you open your planner is a great reminder from you to you!
You can see my quote for this week above
Use accessories for your planner (Accessorize!)
Accessories do not only work on outfits, but on organization too.
Use stickers, washi tape, post its (colorful ones are the way to go!), anything to spice up your planner game! I like buying motivational and reminder stickers from Happy Planner (find it here) to add to my planner while I am planning my week. Post it notes are also an amazing method to give yourself reminders. Sometimes, I use little post it notes to write a single task I have to do and once I complete it, I take it off to symbolize me accomplishing it. Once I clear a section of my "to-do" sticky notes, I feel super accomplished!
Chances are, if you are having fun using your planner, you will more likely be inclined to making a habit out of using it consistently. I actually really look forward to decorating my planner every week so it motivates me to plan my week ahead on Sunday nights (even when I feel exhausted).
Muji Pens. I swear by them. I always joke around with people that my Muji pens motivate me to get work done, but in reality it is pretty true. (And no, this is in no way sponsored by Muji, I just really really love their pens and regularly purchase them). I love that Muji Pens have 0.38 pen option. The sharpness of the pen makes writing in my planner (and just for school in general) so fun! They have a lot of pen point options too if you do not like ultra fine pens.
One of the biggest reasons why these pens work so well for me is because it comes in so many different colors, and I swear by color coding. Research shows that if you train your brain to color code your tasks, you are more likely to stay organized and feel less overwhelmed because it categorizes tasks in your head for you. Plus it just makes your life so much easier. Using one color just jumbles everything up. You won't ever catch me dead using just one color in my planner.
By color coding, you are basically organizing your thoughts and making it easier to distinguish different priorities. Color coding also helps you distinguish which tasks are your highest priorities.
Find my favorites here: Muji 0.38 Pack from Amazon (On Sale for $9.99 here)
Create a Daily To-Do List
Even though I already plan my week on Sunday nights, I like to take at least 30 minutes of my time the night before or even in the morning when I wake up to create a plan of action for the day. I will admit, my mornings are pretty hectic, so I may not get to it the first thing in the morning, but I try to do it as soon as I have even 10-15 minutes of free time.
Being such a Type A person, I NEED a plan otherwise I will not get anything accomplished that day.
Rank your tasks by level of priority
Before I started doing this, I always ran into the problem of everything being EQUALLY important and not knowing which one to do first. I mean when you have 1234567 deadlines, a midterm, a meeting, etc., how do you even decide which is more important? This just caused me to waste even more time that I already did not have. So I came up with a system that has worked wonders for me.
What I do: If you don't already, you should pick your top 3 priorities for each week and then also your top 3 priorities for each day. How I choose this? What are 3 things you ABSOLUTELY MUST DO this week/this day that if you did not do it, there would be repercussions? What are things you really want to do, but if it came down to it, can be pushed to tomorrow or next week? Ask yourself these questions when you are trying to decide. Pick the FIRST 3 things to come to mind and stick to it. Chances are those are what is most important to you. I use 3 because if something doesn't fit in that frame then that means it's something that doesn't automatically ring important to you and you can save it for a different time slot or give it lesser time.
Well there it is! My 7 secrets to staying motivated and organized every week.
What are some of your organizational/motivational tips?
Til' Next Time,