6 Tips to Stay Organized

coffee-1276778_1920Things have been fairly busy lately. With sickness running rampant at the office, tasks have been piling up. I’ve been getting ready for my best friend’s wedding later this month. Add workouts and dance classes and catching up with old friends and you have a very busy mix.

I wanted to share a few things I do to stay organized. If you have any suggestions on being more efficient I’d love to hear them too!

1. Make all the lists
Every time you think of something that needs to be done, write it down. This can be done on an actual piece of paper or on your phone/computer. I like to make a giant to-do list, then create separate lists for grocery trips, trip planning, packing lists, etc.

2. Prioritize your tasks
Break down your to-do lists into two parts. Time-sensitive, must-do tasks. And everything else. That way you can focus on the urgent tasks and do the rest when you have the time. It also ensures you don’t forget about something that needs to be done ASAP.

3. Break it down
When approaching a huge task (like planning a vacation), it can easily get overwhelming, especially for an introvert. Write down all the small steps (figuring out accommodations, find flights, car rental, money exchange, etc) that lead to finishing the big task. Then start working on them one at a time. It’s way less stressful.

4. Use a day planner or organizer
Set aside time during the week to fill out a weekly planner. Start by writing down all your daily tasks first (work, food prep, laundry, workouts, etc). Then add all your urgent tasks (like work or personal projects). Extra spaces can be filled with hobbies, social time, or recharge time. My personal favourite is the Passion Planner, but there are tons out there.

5. Stick to it
Follow the schedule you’ve made up. The first few weeks will be full of trial and error. You may need to make adjustments here and there. But stick with it, it’s worth the effort.

6. Reward yourself 
Treat yourself when you’ve been successful in staying on track. Then keep up the good work!

Do you have any other tips or tricks?

How I plan things

coffee-2306471_1920There’s something extremely satisfying about watching a well-planned event come to fruition. Seeing all your hard work, research, time, and effort come together is such an awesome feeling.

I recently planned a coffee date with a few friends. I thought it might be interesting to run through how I approach the planning process. I’d love to learn how you plan for things too!

1. Choose the type of event.
In this particular case, I wanted to invite a few friends for coffee. But in the past, I’ve planned camping trips, movie nights, vacations, and road trips. The bigger the event, the greater the complexity (and the more lists I make). But I find that the more I do it, the more comfortable I become in organizing people and making decisions.

2. Pick your people.
There’s nothing like getting together for a one-on-one coffee date. However, in this case, I thought it would be fun to have a slightly larger group. As a result, I decided to invite 9 people. Now this isn’t because I enjoy chaos and want to cram that many people together. But it’s highly improbable that everyone will be able to make it due to conflicting schedules. In fact, I’ve never gotten more than 3-4 people to commit at any one time. So even though I’ve invited 9 people, it will likely be a smaller group of 4-5 who actually come.

3. Pick your stress level.
Coordinating two people can be a challenge. Trying to match schedules for multiple people is stressful and painstaking. If you’re doing it for a momentous occasion, like an anniversary celebration or bridal shower, it’s worth it. However, I decided to make things easier on myself. I decided to choose a date and time and if people could make it, that was awesome. If not, that was okay too.

4. Define the details.
I chose a day of the week and time I knew worked for most people. I picked a Sunday in the late afternoon. Two of my friends work morning shifts and wouldn’t be able to come earlier than that. Additionally, if anyone wants to extend the socializing past the coffee date, it won’t be too late. I also picked a location that was central to most.

5. Make a decision.
I was the one who made the final decision regarding the details of the event. However, I did run them past one of my friends, who agreed that everything seemed reasonable.

6. Send out the invites.
I then wrote up some invitation text with the details, threw in a few emojis, and texted the invite to my friends. I’ve learned from experience that people will not reply to my emails (even if I ask that they RSVP). So in order to ensure some kind of response, I’ve switched to texting. I always ask people to RSVP, even if they aren’t going. That way I can know roughly how many are coming and whether someone has read my text or not. I also like to invite people a couple of weeks before the event. If I don’t give them enough time, they may already have plans. But if I contact them too early, they may forget.

7. Relax.
All the prep work is complete! All you need to do is wait for people to get back to you. Then you can let things run its course and enjoy the event once it arrives!

How do you plan for things?